Manatee (8-1) at Venice (9-0)
When: 7:30 p.m.
On the air: WLSS, 930-AM
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The scoop: After losing three straight to Venice from 2007-09 (Manatee was later awarded the '09 win in a ruling by the FHSAA), the Hurricanes have won the last seven meetings, including two games each from 2010-12 when the teams were in the same district and met in the second round of the playoffs. ... DE Kwanzi Jackson leads Manatee in sacks (19), quarterback hurries (18) and tackles for loss (15). ... RB Johnnie Lang was limited to fewer than 100 yards last week against Palm Harbor University, the first time that happened since Week 1. But Lang barely touched the ball after halftime because of the running clock and finished with 88 yards and three TDs. His 23 TDs lead the area. ... QB Sloan Drummonds has not thrown an INT in 74 attempts. ... Manatee clinched the Class 8A-District 7 title last week and hosts Fort Pierce Central next Friday in a Region 2 quarterfinal. ... The Indians are looking for their first perfect regular season since 2008. ... Venice has 335 carries to 101 pass attempts, and the ground game is led by QB Bryce Carpenter, who leads the team in carries (104) and yards (634). A freshman, Carpenter has completed 56 percent of his passes (56-for-100) for 850 yards while throwing 5 TDs and 3 INTs. ... RB Langston Provitt has 12 rushing TDs on just 69 carries and leads the team in receptions (23). ... LB Ben Chisolm has 103 tackles, tops on the team. ... DT Jarrod Hewitt is tied for second in tackles (96) and leads Venice in sacks (12). ... The Indians are the Class 6A-District 7 champions and open the playoffs at home next week against Tampa Hillsborough.
Prediction: Manatee 27, Venice 24.
Southeast (1-8) at Palmetto (3-5)
When: 7:30 p.m.
Online: palmettohighsports.com; highschoolcube.com
The scoop: The Seminoles were eliminated from playoff contention with last week's loss to Booker. ... Three of Southeast's last four losses have been by six points or fewer. ... QB James Thomas is third in the area in passing (1,295 yards) but has thrown 15 INTs to 9 TDs. ... The Seminoles have won the last two meetings, including a 2012 meeting in Palmetto that clinched a district title. ... Dmitry Smith has 25 catches, seventh in the area, but also is a safety who leads Southeast in tackles (52). ... The Tigers are 0-4 against non-district opponents this year, though three of those four opponents went on to win their district. ... QB Jack Allison is second in the area in passing (1,309) with 16 TDs, but his 13 INTs surpassed last year's total (9). ... Dearius Washington leads the area in receptions (38). ... A runner-up out of Class 7A-District 10, Palmetto is headed to the playoffs for the fifth straight year and heads to Tarpon Springs East Lake next week.
Prediction: Palmetto 28, Southeast 14.
Bayshore (1-7) at Frostproof (5-4)
When: 7:30 p.m.
On the air: WWPR, 1490-AM
The scoop: The Bruins were off last week after their elimination from playoff contention the previous week against Sarasota Booker. ... Bayshore's biggest hurdle this season has been itself. The Bruins routinely cost themselves field position and produced drive killers with undisciplined penalties. ... The Bulldogs are a schizophrenic club this season, having beaten some good teams and dropped games to teams they should have defeated. Case in point: Frostproof knocked off Arcadia DeSoto, which won Bayshore's district, but also got beat by Wauchula Hardee, the team the Bruins defeated this season. ... Still, the Bulldogs should provide a long trip for the Bruins in the season finale for both clubs.
Prediction: Frostproof 35, Bayshore 14.
Arcadia DeSoto (7-1) at Braden River (8-0)
When: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: The game features two district champions most concerned about getting out of this game healthy in preparation for next week's playoffs. ... The Pirates would make history with a victory. It would mark the first undefeated regular season in the program's history. It's a worthwhile goal, but not if it comes at the cost of an injury to a key player. ... Braden River has been piling up the points, and it would help to get a big lead. Jacob Huesman is the area's most efficient quarterback with 14 TDs and two interceptions and has thrown for an area-high 1,519 yards. Using the NFL method, he would have a quarterback rating of 122.8. ... The junior has an elite receiver in Justin Ross, who scored three touchdowns last week and is averaging an area-best 21.8 yards per catch. DeSoto already lost its best offensive player in quarterback Reggie Jones. He was hurt against Bayshore a month ago, and the offense is not the same without him. ... The Bulldogs' most explosive threat is DeWayne Hearns. ... Braden River should have enough to get that perfect regular season.
Prediction: Braden River 38, DeSoto 14.
Lakewood Ranch (5-3) at Port Charlotte (6-3)
When: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: Lakewood Ranch is trying to finish the year with three straight victories and send its senior class out on a high note after back-to-back 5-5 seasons. Senior Chad Rex, the Mustangs starting quarterback since his sophomore year, has played extremely well in the past two games and is coming off one of his best outings when he ran for four touchdowns and rushed for 142 yards in a 33-14 victory over Sarasota. ... He got plenty of help from junior Justin Fischer, who rushed for 187 yards. ... Port Charlotte also is out of the playoffs after losing to archrival Charlotte and has struggled with injuries. ... When healthy, the Pirates present a strong running game. ... Both teams are playing for pride in their season finale, and it might come down to who wants this game more. ... Mustangs head coach Mick Koczersut said his school is not considering a bowl game, though the team is eligible.
Prediction: Lakewood Ranch 31, Port Charlotte 17.
Hialeah Champagnat Catholic (5-2) at IMG Academy (8-1)
When: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: Champagnat is the defending Class 2A state champion. ... Lions WR Darnell Salomon, a junior, is the team's top recruit with more than 20 Division I offers. They also have a pair of committed seniors in WR Steven Claude (Wake Forest) and DB Gerald Robinson Jr. (Syracuse). ... Champagnat is a district champion this season and is coming off a 70-49 shootout loss to West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy. ... IMG is flying high after a 50-21 victory over Class 3A's No. 1-ranked team, Clearwater Central Catholic. ... QB Deondre Francois (Florida State commit) tallied four TDs (two passing, two rushing) in the romp. DB Saivion Smith also notched his fifth non-offensive TD this season on a fumble recovery. ... It's Senior Night for the Ascenders, who enter their final game boasting a No. 17 national ranking, according to MaxPreps.
Prediction: IMG 56, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic 14.
Ocoee Legacy Charter (5-4) at Saint Stephen's (6-3)
When: 7 p.m.
The scoop: This game will help decide the final standings in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference. ... The Eagles allowed 449 rushing yards and 78 points last week against Southwest Florida Christian. ... QB Colton Liddell has thrown for nearly 1,600 yards, 361 of those coming in a season-opening win against Orlando Faith Christian. ... The Eagles are averaging more than 34 points a game but are allowing more than 33 points per game. ... The Falcons are looking to pad their program-record of six victories. ... QB Fred Billy is seventh in the area in passing yards (858). ... Griffin Donnelly leads the team in passes defended (6), and Garrett Barnes paces the Falcons in tackles (75). ... Saint Stephen's has limited four opponents to seven points or fewer with two shutouts.
Prediction: Saint Stephen's 35, Legacy Charter 28.
Booker (5-3) at Cardinal Mooney (7-2)
When: 7 p.m.
On the air: WRSQ, 1220-AM, 98.9-FM, 106.9-FM
The scoop: This matchup of playoff teams features a district champion in the Cougars (Class 3A-District 6) and a runner-up in the Tornadoes (Class 5A-District 13). ... Cardinal Mooney will face a former teammate in Vince Sellers Jr., a running back and defensive back who enjoyed an impressive freshman season in 2013 before transferring to Booker. Sellers picked off a pair of passes, returning one for a touchdown, last week in the Tornadoes' 22-14 victory over Southeast that clinched a playoff berth. ... The Cougars wrapped up consecutive district titles for the first time since 1971-72 with a 44-6 rout of rival Fort Myers Bishop Verot last week. ... Cardinal Mooney's defense, the area's best unit (91.6 yards and 8.5 points per game), came through again. Linebacker Tyler Garris returned an interception for a touchdown for the second straight week, and Sean Morris got a pick six. Linebacker Sam Leonard leads the team with 94 tackles. ... Booker will visit Cape Coral Island Coast in the first round of the playoffs next week, while the Cougars will host Clearwater Calvary Christian.
Prediction: Cardinal Mooney 27, Booker 20.