By JASON DILL
While one winning streak was snapped, another one continued last Friday. In this edition of Numbers Game, we'll look back at Week 3 and take a gander at this Friday's high school football schedule.
This week, in particular, is when the games really matter. It's the start of the district slate, which dictates who qualifies for the postseason and who does not.
So without any more delay, let's dive into some numbers!
Average yards per carry for Braden River junior running back Raymond Thomas following his third consec
utive game cracking the 100-yard rushing mark. Thomas delivered four touchdowns to give himself eight scores on the year, and has produced 404 rushing yards for the season. He's doing it in Braden River's timeshare backfield. Sharing the rock with DeShaun Fenwick and Jaylin Austin, Thomas went off for 127 rushing yards against Cape Coral Ida Baker. All three backs tallied touchdowns in the first two games, showcasing the versatility in the Pirates' rushing offense.
Offensive touchdowns the Braden River defense has allowed in three victories. The Pirates slowed down the up-tempo Ida Baker offense in last week's, 42-14, road victory. The lone scores came via Ida Baker's special teams and defensive units.
Braden River's victory kept the Pirates' regular season winning streak intact. They've now won 13 consecutive games in the regular season. Braden River went undefeated last year, before falling to Tarpon Springs East Lake in the second round of the playoffs and is 3-0 this season. The Pirates beat Arcadia DeSoto, 27-12, in the final game of 2013 to begin the current streak.
The last year Manatee lost to a Florida program during the regular season before last Friday. The Hurricanes lost to Venice in 2009, but that was later ruled a victory due to an ineligible player participating. Manatee lost three times in 2008, dropping games to Venice, Punta Gorda Charlotte and Sarasota Booker by a combined 24 points. Consider that President George W. Bush was still in office to see just how impressive that streak was! That's because Manatee fell to Tallahassee Lincoln, 24-21, after the Canes squandered an 18-point first-half lead this past week. It was the second time in as many games that Manatee's fate hinged on a field goal in the final seconds. This time, Nick Null's 38-yard effort sailed wide. Manatee's 56-game winning streak against Florida opponents and the Canes' 30-game winning streak at home were snapped. They turned it over twice in the second half and were gouged for 233 rushing yards.
Of the seven games on this Friday's docket, six are district games. Saint Stephen's, an independent, can't compete for a Florida High School Athletic Association state championship. The highlight of the district slate is the East County rivalry game between Lakewood Ranch and Braden River. The Pirates are favored by 24, according to Joe Pinkos' weekly forecast on FloridaHSFootball.com. Braden River snapped the Mustangs' four-game winning streak in the series with a 21-6 victory last year. The series is tied 4-4. The other all-county district showdown is between Southeast and Bayshore. Both teams are looking for their first win in 2015, and Southeast has dominated the Bruins in recent years. The Seminoles have outscored the Bruins, 321-136, in the last 10 meetings -- all Southeast wins.
IMG Academy's Shea Patterson's completion percentage that went for touchdowns in Friday's rout of No. 12 nationally ranked Cocoa. The Ascenders drilled the Tigers, 49-7, from the outset thanks to Patterson's four touchdown passes in the first half. He completed six passes in eight attempts, with the two incompletions caused by receiver drops. IMG also handed Cocoa its first loss to a Florida program not named Miami Booker T. Washington for the first time in four seasons. Patterson, an Ole Miss commit, slung 69-yard and 70-yard touchdown passes to Drake Davis, while connecting with Tony Jones (28 yards) and Isaac Nauta (33 yards) before he was rested in the second half. Davis, meanwhile, has seen his Sportscenter-esque Top 10 play from a week earlier against DeSoto (Texas), where he leaped a lineman, blocked an extra point and ran it back for a two-point conversion, hit the 439,704 video views mark on MaxPreps as of this writing.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill and on his Facebook page at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.