When: 7:30 pm
On the air: WLSS 930-AM
The scoop: This Class 8A-District 6 showdown features the only undefeated teams in district play. There is where Manatee's tougher schedule should make a difference. Steinbrenner has not beaten a team with a winning record and the combined record of its opponents is 6-18. The Hurricanes have faced teams with a combined 13-7 record, including unbeaten Hoover (Ala) and Palmetto (4-1). Manatee's last game (two weeks ago) was arguably its best with 38-0 win over Alonso, though the Canes have to be concerned about the 12 penalties they were assessed. Manatee will continue to try to move the ball behind the running of Lorenz Allen, passing of A.J. Colagiovanni and explosiveness of Kavious Price. Steinbrenner likes to run the ball behind Jayquese Dantley (88 carries, 565 yards) and move through the air with quarterback Colin Wray (59-98-4, 803 yards) with 5 TDs, who has a trio of talented receivers. The Warriors present more of an offensive threat than Alonso.
Prediction: Manatee 24, Steinbrenner 17
Braden River (5-0, 1-0) at North Port (0-3, 0-1)
When: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: Ranked fourth in the Associated Press Class 7A poll, the Pirates haven't been tested in five blowout victories. Last week was all about Jacob Huesman (259 passing yards) and the defense (program-record six interceptions, two returned for touchdowns). DB Demetrius Lawson leads the team with five INTs, while LBs Chase Balliette and Ronnie McClellan share the team lead in tackles with 30. North Port has struggled since opening the season with a 28-13 victory at Fort Myers Cypress Lake. The Bobcats haven't scored in 10 quarters. They are coming off a 56-0 district loss at Venice. QB Skylar Razwilavich leads the team in rushing attempts (58) and passing attempts (52). He's only rushed for 86 yards and thrown for 313.
Prediction: Braden River 49, North Port 0
Palmetto (4-1, 1-0) at Lakewood Ranch (1-4, 0-1)
When: 7:30 pm
The scoop: This Class 7A-District 11 contest features two teams headed in different directions. The only blur on Palmetto's schedule is a one-point loss to Manatee, while Lakewood Ranch has give up at least 34 points in all of its losses and is having severe problems on defense. Palmetto quarterback Jack Allison should be able to exploit Ranch's porous pass defense and the Tigers can hurt you in the run game with either Octavious James or Isyah Funk. Lakewood Ranch still hasn't settled in with a quarterback and its only serious threat on offense thus far has been Justin Fischer, who is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and has amassed 470 yards on the ground. This is a golden opportunity for Ranch to turn its season around, but don't expect any miracles on this night. The Tigers should roar to an easy victory. Speed kills.
Prediction: Palmetto 31, Lakewood Ranch 14
DeSoto County (0-4, 0-1) at Southeast (1-3, 1-0)
When: 7:30 pm
The scoop: This Class 5A-District 11 matchup gives Southeast a chance to reach its goals. A victory would keep the Seminoles in first place and put them in a position to control their own destiny. Defending champion DeSoto has struggled this season and scored only 20 points while allowing 128. Southeast is in no position to take any team lightly, but it should feel confident with a defense that has been playing well behind underclassmen Teriq Houston, Dequan Williams and Derrick Bradley. Quarterback Joey Giardina can be a good game manager and Kevin Johnson can move the ball on the ground.
Prediction: Southeast 27, DeSoto 10
Bayshore (0-4, 0-1) at Sarasota Booker (2-2, 0-1)
The scoop: The Bruins return to district play a week after putting an early scare into Palmetto before losing 35-0. Booker played the Tigers in its preseason classic and lost by 38. BHS running back A'Shawn Angel is coming off his best game of the season with 72 yards on 23 carries. However, 70 of those yards came on 15 first-half runs. Bayshore is still the only team in Manatee County without an offensive touchdown and the Bruins have been shut out in three of their four games. The Tornadoes haven't shut out an opponent this year and beat Port Charlotte 41-38 last week. Their district loss was a 24-point defeat against Hardee in Wauchula on Sept. 18.
Prediction: Booker 17, Bayshore 7
Saint Stephen's (4-0) at Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin Catholic (2-3)
The scoop: The Falcons return from their first bye week of the season for another Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral Bay division game against Bishop McLaughlin. SSES is one of two unbeaten teams in the division - all four of its games have been conference games - and has a 2 1/2-game lead over Bishop McLaughlin. Saint Stephen's had its worst scoring output of the season before its Friday off, putting up 37 points in a win against St. Petersburg Canterbury School. Alex Virgilio ran for two touchdowns in that win, giving the Falcons seven different players with a touchdown run and four with multiple scores on the ground. Quarterback Fred Billy has contributed to 13 Saint Stephen's touchdowns this season -- five rushing and eight passing -- without a turnover. The Hurricanes have scored 11 offensive touchdowns this year and committed seven turnovers.
Prediction: Saint Stephen's 38, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic 28
Bradenton Christian (1-3, 0-1) at The Out-of-Door Academy (1-3, 0-1)
When: 7 p.m.
The scoop: This is most likely an elimination district game. Both clubs were blown out in their district openers to the favorites for the league crown. BCS had its best yardage output with 261 total yards of offense last week. The Panthers fell 65-15 to St. Petersburg Northside Christian, the No. 2-ranked Class 2A team by the Associated Press, though. ODA was off last week. The Thunder have also struggled to stop opposing offenses. ODA has allowed 4.9 rushing yards per attempt, while opposing QBs have completed 59.6 percent of their passes. Thunder QB Gus Mahler's favorite target is Owen Han, who leads the team with 11 catches for 157 yards.
Prediction: BCS 21, ODA 20
Clearwater Calvary Christian (0-5) at Cardinal Mooney (0-4)
On the air: WSRQ 98.9-FM, 106.9-FM, 1220-AM
When: 7 p.m.
The scoop: It's a rematch from the first round of last year's playoffs that also serves as the Class 3A-District 5 opener for both. The Cougars edged Calvary Christian, 17-14, in last year's postseason clash. Both teams are vastly different this season, as neither has picked up a win yet. The Warriors rely on junior QB Richie Mize, who leads the team in rushing (336 yards) and passing (949 yards). Mooney is coming off a narrow, 14-10, loss to Class 5A Englewood Lemon Bay. Six dropped passes hurt the Cougars, who are led by QB Tristan Hillerich (493 passing yards).
Prediction: Cardinal Mooney 21, Clearwater Calvary Christian 17
St. Joseph's (Montvale, N.J.) Regional (4-0) at IMG Academy (4-0)
When: 7 p.m.
The scoop: The No. 1-ranked team from New Jersey comes to town in this battle of two top-25 nationally ranked programs. The Green Knights are allowing an average of 10 points per game. St. Joseph's has already defeated national power Don Bosco Prep (17-7) and Lakewood, Ohio's St. Edward (22-20) to secure a No. 19 ranking in USA Today's Super 25 poll. IMG is ranked No. 11 by USA Today. The Ascenders were off last week. This is the second of three meetings against Garden State opponents. A star-studded IMG cast is led by QB Shea Patterson (61 percent of passes completed, 11 TDs, no INTs). DL Malik Barrow is out the rest of the year with a torn ACL.
Prediction: IMG 28, St. Joseph's 14