Weston Cypress Bay (3-2) at Manatee (3-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
On the air: 930-AM, WLSS, 7 p.m.
The scoop: The Lightning’s two losses have come to nationally-ranked Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (34-0) and Miramar (20-0). ... LB Josh Witt (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) has verbally committed to Miami. He chose the Hurricanes over a dozen other suitors, including Wake Forest, West Virginia and Louisville. ... Cypress Bay is a Class 8A school this year but made the state semifinals last season in Class 6A. ... OL Daniel Isidora (6-3, 330) is ranked 29th by Rivals on the list of the top offensive guards for the class of 2012. Miami, Wisconsin and Michigan are among the schools who have made him offers, according to Rivals. ... Cypress Bay’s head coach is Mark Guandolo, formerly of Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna, which last played Manatee in 2006. ... The Canes have won their last two games by a combined scored of 111-6. ... RB Leon Allen is averaging 5 yards on 56 carries and has scored six TDs. ... LB Hershel Caywood leads the team in tackles (47) and has two sacks. ... The Canes have a plus-8 turnover ratio, including seven fumble recoveries for 33 yards. ... Tonight is Manatee’s homecoming game.
The score: Manatee 21, Cypress Bay 14.
Southeast (5-1) at Riverview (1-4)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: This is one of the area’s most storied rivalries, but doesn’t have much glamour this year with the Rams under first year coach Todd Johnson sporting a 1-4 record. ... It still is important to both teams, particularly Southeast. This is the Noles last “meaningless game” before ending the campaign with three straight district contests that will determine their fate. ... Southeast still looked punch drunk last week in a listless 28-13 victory over Arcadia DeSoto and needs to shake the effects of that bombastic defeat to Manatee two weeks ago. ... A good sign is that Brian Poole is being incorporated into the offense at quarterback, running back and receiver, and he doesn’t let down for anyone. Southeast has a lot more weapons against an atypical Riverview squad that is small compared to past seasons and doesn’t have any home run threats. ... The Rams have given up 40 plus points to Palmetto, Manatee and Venice. ... If Southeast plays up to its potential, it should be able to light up Riverview’s new $250,000 scoreboard.
The score: Southeast 35, Riverview 13.
at Braden River (1-5)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: These are two struggling teams beset by injuries and in need of something to feel good about. ... The Pirates hope to have quarterback Steven Ross back, and his presence means all the difference in the world because it allows Ryan Fischer to return to receiver, where he is Braden River’s most productive player. Ross is listed as a game time decision because of an ankle injury, but is expected to play. ... Among Manatee County public schools, the Bruins rank last in run defense, allowing 206 yards per game and are second to last in total defense. ... Bayshore has given up an average of 35 points per game in its past three contests. ... The Pirates defeated the Bruins 23-13 last year, and it sent Bayshore on a four-game losing streak. Whoever can muster the most from its defense should win this game.
The score: Braden River 17, Bayshore 14.
Bradenton Christian (2-3, 2-2 Class 2A urban-District 6) at Tampa Carrollwood Day (3-3, 1-3)
Time: 4 p.m.
The scoop: Losing a couple early-season district games has meant any more slip-ups and Bradenton Christian won’t make its first playoff appearance. ... That makes Friday’s road game against Carrollwood Day extremely important for the Panthers, who are returning from a bye last week. However, the district thought to be firmly entrenched as Admiral Farragut’s district was thrown for a loop when the Blue Jackets dropped. ... Carrollwood Day is reeling, dropping a 26-20 decision to St. Petersburg Canterbury last week to fall 1-3 in the district. The Patriots defense was gouged by Canterbury’s all-world tailback Brent O’Neal (250 yards and two touchdowns). ... It should be noted that even though O’Neal passed the 200-yard barrier against BCS, the Panthers’ physical nature turned into a 35-14 victory over the Crusaders -- who are currently leading the division. Carrollwood Day features quarterback Deuce Gruden, son of former Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden.
The score: Bradenton Christian 32, Tampa Carrollwood Day 28.
Dade Christian (4-1) at Out-of-Door Academy (3-2)
Time: 6 p.m.
The scoop: Dade Christian has to travel from Florida’s east coast to the Suncoast, and starting quarterback Bilal Marshall has turned the ball over a few times. That’s the good news for ODA. The bad news is that Dade Christian is 4-1 and looking like a possible state title contender in Class 2A. Not your typical homecoming opponent. ... Marshall has thrown five interceptions and lost four of six fumbles. However, he has connected on more than 65 percent of his passes and is averaging more than eight yards a carry. Dade Christian is averaging 35 points a game, while the defense hasn’t allowed more than 21 points since the season-opening loss to Immokalee ... The Thunder are coming off a bye week, which was a blessing in disguise for a team that is on a two-game losing streak after winning their first three games. It’s why the off week should enable ODA to come down from the emotional letdown of losing to rival Fort Myers Evangelical Christian. ... And while that game was two weeks ago, the loss shouldn’t be fresh in their collective memory with head coach Brett Timmons gearing the squad up for Friday’s non-district showdown with Dade Christian. That game should help ODA get back on track with the right frame of mind for the postseason stretch run. The sputtering Thunder have been outscored 54-28 in their current two-game slide.
The score: Dade Christian 42, ODA 21.
Cardinal Mooney (3-3) at St. Petersburg Catholic (1-5)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: This is the first of three straight away games for the Cougars, including district games at Fort Meade and Frostproof. ... RB Anthony Caiazzo, who ran for a program-best 366 yards last week, leads the area in rushing with 963 yards. ... Mooney is looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season. ... The Crusaders are led by junior RB Ryan Green, who has received offers from schools such as Florida State, Notre Dame and Purdue, according to Rivals. ... St. Petersburg Catholic has allowed 191 points this season, and its lone win was an 83-6 rout of Belle Isle Cornerstone Charter Academy.
The score: Cardinal Mooney 35, St. Petersburg Catholic 28.
-- Herald sports writers John Lembo, Alan Dell and Jason Dill