High School Football

Gameday is here! What you need to know for Week 2 of the high school football season

Highlights from the 2018 season for Manatee County football teams

Here are some highlights from the 2018 season for Manatee County football teams.
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Here are some highlights from the 2018 season for Manatee County football teams.

The teams enter this annual Manatee County showdown desperate for a victory, but for far different reasons.

Start with Palmetto High, looking to carry the momentum from its impressive season-opening 20-point victory over Largo Pinellas Park and secure only its second win over rival Manatee in the past 15 years.

As for Manatee, the Hurricanes want to put the memory of last week’s 45-point home loss to Lakeland to bed and avoid an 0-2 start while extending their recent dominance of the Tigers.

The Manatee-Palmetto matchup highlights Week 2 of the high school football season in Manatee County.

Meanwhile, Braden River, which hosts Sarasota Riverview, is another game featuring teams in search of a needed victory.

Braden River, which is seeking its sixth straight postseason berth, hasn’t started 0-2 since 2011. Riverview, a Class 8A state semifinalist a season ago, hasn’t dropped its first two games since 2015.

Enjoy all of the action — and hope Mother Nature cooperates.

Here is what you need to know for Week 2 of the high school football season:


Opponent: Auburndale (1-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Balvanz Stadium at Bayshore High

Need to know: The Bruins (0-1) play their home opener looking to bounce back after a 51-0 loss to Sarasota last week. Bayshore beat Sarasota 24-0 in the 2018 season opener en route to a 3-0 start. The Bruins went 4-2 at home last season. ... Auburndale, which went 3-7 in 2018, is coming off a 42-0 victory against Haines City.

Braden River

Opponent: Riverview (0-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Braden River High

Need to know: The Pirates (0-1) dropped their season opener for the second straight season and will be looking to avoid their first 0-2 start in eight seasons. Braden River’s defense was dominant in last week’s 7-2 loss to Largo; the game’s only touchdown was scored on a punt return. … Riverview, which lost Florida State commit Malachi Wideman to Venice in the offseason, opened its season with a 29-28 loss against Naples.

Bradenton Christian

Need to know: After opening the season with a 41-0 victory at Largo Indian Rocks Christian, giving Greg Williford a night to remember in his head coaching debut, the Panthers (1-0) are off this week before hosting Winter Garden Foundation Academy on Sept. 6.

Cardinal Mooney

Opponent: Tampa Catholic (1-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Crusader Stadium at Tampa Catholic

Need to know: Coming off an impressive 30-7 season-opening win against Booker, the Cougars (1-0) play the second of four straight road games to open the season as work continues on their stadium. … Tampa Catholic, which reached the Class 3A region semifinals in 2018, opened its season with a 23-0 victory against Naples Palmetto Ridge.

IMG Academy National

Need to know: The Ascenders (1-0) were scheduled to host Miami Norland at 5:30 p.m. Friday, but the game was canceled Thursday afternoon. IMG returns to action Friday, Sept. 6, at home against Miami Northwestern.

Lakewood Ranch

Need to know: Playing their season opener under first-year head coach Rashad West, the Mustangs snapped a 15-game on-the-field losing streak Thursday night with a 19-9 win against Englewood Lemon Bay. The game was moved to Thursday because of the threat of Hurricane Dorian. Lakewood Ranch’s previous win — not counting a forfeit victory against Braden River in October 2017 — was a 28-13 triumph over North Port on Sept. 28, 2017.


Opponent: Palmetto (1-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Harllee Stadium at Palmetto High

Need to know: The Hurricanes (0-1) were overmatched from start to finish in last week’s 45-0 loss to seven-time state champion Lakeland. Looking for an omen? Manatee bounced back from last season’s 22-point Week 1 loss to Lakeland and beat Palmetto 29-20 in Week 2. … Seeking its third straight postseason berth, Palmetto is coming off a season-opening 27-7 win against Largo Pinellas Park.

Out-of-Door Academy

Opponent: Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin (0-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Hurricane Stadium at Bishop McLaughlin

Need to know: The Thunder (1-0) used a Week 1 rout of Fort Myers Canterbury in 2018 to ignite a 4-0 start. Coming off a 38-22 win against Canterbury last week, ODA is looking for more of the same this season as the Thunder head to Hernando County for their first road game of 2019. ... Bishop McLaughlin, which went 4-5 in 2018, lost 56-7 at Jacksonville Christ’s Church Academy in Week 1.


Opponent: Manatee (0-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Harllee Stadium at Palmetto High

Need to know: The Tigers (1-0) were Manatee County’s lone public-school program to win in Week 1, beating Largo Pinellas Park 27-7 behind two touchdown passes from Xavier Williams to Curtis Thomas. The last time these teams met at Harllee Stadium, the Tigers rolled to a 35-7 victory, Palmetto’s first in the series since 2004. Moreover, that game marked Manatee’s first loss to a county program since 2006. … Looking for an 11th straight trip to the playoffs, Manatee is looking to bounce back after a season-opening 45-0 loss to seven-time state champion Lakeland.

Saint Stephen’s

Opponent: Tampa Cambridge Christian (1-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Skyway Park, Tampa

Need to know: The Falcons (1-0) rallied for a season-opening 23-19 win against St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut last week to extend their regular-season winning streak to seven. Moreover, Saint Stephen’s is 32-3 since the start of the 2016 season. … Cambridge Christian, which reached the Class 2A region semifinals last season despite winning only four games, opened its season with a 26-21 triumph at Winter Garden Foundation Academy.


Opponent: Booker (0-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tornado Alley at Booker High

Need to know: One of two Manatee County teams that didn’t play in Week 1 (Lakewood Ranch was the other), the Seminoles are eager for a fast start as they seek to end their two-year playoff drought. … A six-win team that qualified for the Class 5A playoffs in 2018, Booker suffered a 30-7 loss to Cardinal Mooney in its season opener.

Week 2 schedule

Friday’s games

Cardinal Mooney at Tampa Catholic, 7 p.m.

Out-of-Door Academy at Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin, 7 p.m.

Saint Stephen’s at Tampa Cambridge Christian, 7 p.m.

Auburndale at Bayshore, 7:30 p.m.

Manatee at Palmetto, 7:30 p.m.

Sarasota Riverview at Braden River, 7:30 p.m.

Southeast at Booker, 7:30 p.m.

Miami Norland at IMG Academy National, canceled

Thursday’s results

Lakewood Ranch 19, Englewood Lemon Bay 9

Fort Pierce John Carroll Catholic 42, IMG Academy Varsity 7

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