1 MANATEE 46 (5-2) -- Venice head coach John Peacock tried to pull a fast one last week when he said standout running back Danny Dillard wasn’t going to play. The Indians coach found out it didn’t matter who he started at RB. Even Tampa Bay Buccaneers super sub Earnest Graham wouldn’t have mattered against a Hurricanes squad that is playing at another level compared to the rest of the area teams.
2 PALMETTO 44 (7-0) -- The Tigers escaped the guillotine in their first night on Murderer’s Row. This week, it’s all about fun and bragging rights against Manatee in a game that has no playoff implications. Head coach Dave Marino would like to win, but his biggest concern is having everybody healthy for Southeast.
3 SOUTHEAST 30 (7-1) -- If the Seminoles win at Hardee on Friday, they guarantee themselves a playoff spot and can win the district title outright next week against Palmetto. A loss puts them in a must-win situation for the final game. Head coach Paul Maechtle doesn’t know which one of his multi-personality teams will show up in Wauchula. But a bigger concern could be the officiating as they head into good ol’ boy country.
4 LAKEWOOD RANCH 20 (4-3) -- The McKenzie Hathaway show hits the road as the Mustangs try to give Shawn Trent a district title. Rumors are the running back has hired a special van to take his offensive line that will be awarded a seven-course meal if he gets 200 yards rushing and they come out with a win.
5 BRADEN RIVER 6 (2-6) -- Nearly healthy for the first time this season, the Pirates swayed enough voters to edge into the fifth spot coming off their 26-11 victory over Sarasota. Folks over at Bayshore might want to call Katherine Harris and ask her to do a recount.
Others receiving votes:
Points system: 10 for first place, eight for second, six for third, four for fourth and two for fifth.
Voters: Alan Dell, Jason Dill, John Lembo, Vin Mannix, Tim Wolfrum.