High School Football

It’s Gameday! Here’s what you need to know for Week 4 of the high school football season

Three of Manatee County’s six public-school programs kick off their district schedules on Friday night, including Braden River and Palmetto in Class 6A-12, which figures to be one of the most competitive races in the state.

Braden River hosts Punta Gorda Charlotte in its final home game until mid-October, while Palmetto travels to Port Charlotte looking to extend its perfect start to the season.

Heading into Week 4, the five teams in 6A-12 — Braden River, Charlotte, Palmetto, Port Charlotte and Southeast — have a combined 12-2 record.

Bayshore also has its district opener, hosting Tampa Chamberlain in 5A-12.

Meanwhile, Manatee and Southeast are idle this week, and Lakewood Ranch hosts North Port in a non-district game.

The Hurricanes, 0-3 for the first time since 2004, get a chance to regroup after a difficult season-opening three-game stretch against Lakeland, Palmetto and Braden River. Manatee is back in action on Sept. 20 at Lakeland Kathleen.

The Seminoles, 2-0 for the first time since 2011, get to rest before facing Bayshore in Week 5. Southeast then has a five-game stretch — vs. Port Charlotte, at Sarasota, at Braden River, at Palmetto, vs. Punta Gorda Charlotte — against teams that are a combined 13-2. Quarterback Maleek Huggins accounted for nine touchdowns (five passing, four rushing) through two games for the Noles.

Enjoy all of the action.

Here is what you need to know for Week 4 of the high school football season:

Friday night lights photo.jpg
IMG Academy, Palmetto and Out-of-Door Academy will look to extend their perfect starts to the season during Week 4 action. Bradenton Herald file photo


Opponent: Tampa Chamberlain (1-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Balvanz Stadium at Bayshore High

Need to know: The Bruins (0-3) will look to get on track in their Class 5A-District 12 opener. The six teams in 5A-12 — Bayshore, Booker, Chamberlain, St. Petersburg Gibbs, Tampa Jesuit and Tampa Robinson — are a combined 3-14. Bayshore has been limited to two touchdowns through three games and outscored 103-13. ... Chamberlain hasn’t played since beating Gibsonton East Bay 47-8 on Aug. 30.

Braden River pic .JPG
Running back Lavontae Youmans (22), quarterback Shawqi Itraish (2) and Braden River host Punta Gorda Charlotte on Friday night in their Class 6A-District 12 opener. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Braden River

Opponent: Punta Gorda Charlotte (3-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Pirates Stadium at Braden River High

Need to know: The Pirates (1-2) jump-started their season with a much-needed victory against Manatee last week as quarterback Shawqi Itraish threw a pair of touchdown passes. Now comes the Class 6A-District 12 opener as Braden River looks to get back to .500 in its pursuit of a sixth consecutive postseason appearance. After facing the Tarpons, the Pirates play three consecutive road games. ... Charlotte outscored Arcadia DeSoto County, Fort Myers and Fort Myers Riverdale by a combined 115-22 en route to its 3-0 start.

Bradenton Christian

Opponent: Out-of-Door Academy (3-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Thunder Stadium at Out-of-Door Academy

Need to know: The Panthers (1-1) play their Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral League Bay Division opener looking to bounce back from last week’s 40-19 loss to Winter Garden Foundation Academy. Bradenton Christian is in search of its first win against ODA since beating the Thunder 40-22 in 2016.

Cardinal Mooney

Opponent: Fort Myers Riverdale (1-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Riverdale High Stadium, Fort Myers

Need to know: It’s the end of the road — well, for a couple weeks, anyway — as the Cougars (1-2) play the last of four straight games away from home to start the season. Because of a renovation project on its athletic complex, Cardinal Mooney won’t play its first home game until Sept. 20 against Lakeland Victory Christian. Mooney is coming off back-to-back lopsided losses against Hillsborough County teams — 55-14 to Tampa Catholic and 35-7 to Tampa Berkeley Prep. ... Riverdale is averaging 9.3 points per game this season.

IMG Academy

Opponent: St. Joseph’s (Pa.) Preparatory (1-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: SHI Stadium at Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.


Need to know: It’s a matchup of two of the nation’s top programs as the Ascenders (2-0) head to the Northeast to face the Hawks. IMG is ranked fourth in the country by MaxPreps, while St. Joseph’s Prep is 12th. This is the first of back-to-back road games the Ascenders will play against nationally ranked opponents. IMG faces No. 16 St. John’s of Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21. ... Led by quarterback Kyle McCord, an Ohio State commit, St. Joseph’s Prep is playing an elite schedule this season. To prepare for IMG, the Hawks faced No. 10 Marietta, Ga. (a 21-17 loss) in their opener and St. John’s (a 34-30 victory) last week.

Lakewood Ranch

Opponent: North Port (0-3)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Lakewood Ranch High Stadium

Need to know: The Mustangs (2-0) very well could head into their open week with a perfect record before the schedule toughens considerably. Lakewood Ranch entered the season with a 15-game losing streak, but wins over Englewood Lemon Bay and Bayshore (Isaiah Harrison rushed for 182 yards on 23 carries and scored twice) show the program is heading in the right direction. The Mustangs are idle next week before traveling to Manatee on Sept. 27 for their Class 7A-District 10 opener. ... North Port has been shut out in back-to-back games and outscored 108-13 this season, and has lost seven straight dating to a Week 7 victory over Bayshore in 2018.

Out-of-Door Academy

Opponent: Bradenton Christian (1-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Thunder Stadium at Out-of-Door Academy

Need to know: The Thunder (3-0) are eyeing their second straight 4-0 start and look to improve to 2-0 in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference’s Coral League Bay Division. ODA stayed perfect with a 28-21 overtime victory at Class 6A Seminole Osceola last week and is averaging 31 points per game. The Thunder beat Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin 27-0 in their first Bay Division game of the season.


Opponent: Port Charlotte (3-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Pirates Cove at Port Charlotte High

Need to know: The Tigers (3-0) head to Charlotte County for their Class 6A-District 12 opener having beaten three playoff teams (Largo Pinellas Park, Manatee and Sarasota Riverview) from a season ago en route to their perfect start. Palmetto is seeking its first district title since 2011. This is the second of three straight road games for the Tigers. Palmetto travels to Largo next week before hosting district rival Braden River on Sept. 27. ... A bit of perspective on Port Charlotte’s perfect start: The Pirates’ three wins have come against teams (Englewood Lemon Bay, Wauchula Hardee County and Arcadia DeSoto County) that have a combined 2-6 record.

Saint Stephen’s

Opponent: Englewood Lemon Bay (0-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Turner Fields at Moore Athletic Complex at Saint Stephen’s

Need to know: Junior D.J. Clark scored five touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving, one interception return) for the Falcons (2-1) during last week’s 23-point victory at St. Petersburg Catholic. Now comes four straight home games for Saint Stephen’s, which hasn’t lost at the Moore Athletic Complex since Week 1 of the 2016 season. ... Lemon Bay has scored only 25 points through three games, which includes a 19-9 loss to Lakewood Ranch in Week 2.

IMG Academy’s game against St. Joseph’s Preparatory (Pa.) will be televised on ESPN2 starting at 7 p.m. The showdown between the nationally ranked squads will take place at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J. Photo courtesy of IMG Academy

Week 4 schedule

Bradenton Christian at Out-of-Door Academy, 7 p.m.

Cape Coral Oasis at IMG Academy Varsity, 7 p.m.

Cardinal Mooney at Fort Myers Riverdale, 7 p.m.

Englewood Lemon Bay at Saint Stephen’s, 7 p.m.

IMG Academy National vs. St. Joseph’s Preparatory (Pa.) at Rutgers University, 7 p.m.

North Port at Lakewood Ranch, 7:30 p.m.

Palmetto at Port Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

Punta Gorda Charlotte at Braden River, 7:30 p.m.

Tampa Chamberlain at Bayshore, 7:30 p.m.

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