High School Football

It’s Gameday! Here’s what you need to know for Week 5 of the high school football season

Week 5 of the high school football season brings several intriguing non-district matchups for Manatee County’s public-school programs, but you might have to hit the road to take in a game under the Friday night lights.

Looking to climb above .500 after an 0-2 start, Braden River heads to Pinellas County to face a team that has recorded four straight shutouts to open the season.

Looking for its first win of the season, Manatee travels to Polk County to take on a program that produced Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa after leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-7 victory over the New York Giants.

Looking to remain undefeated, Palmetto ventures over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to tackle a Pinellas County team that has won three straight district championships.

Looking to remain undefeated, Southeast stays within county lines and will make a 4.5-mile trip to face Bayshore in the lone all-Manatee matchup of the week.

And don’t forget IMG Academy, which faces its third nationally ranked program of the season on Saturday when the Ascenders battle perennial power St. John’s College in Washington, D.C.

Lakewood Ranch, which had lost 15 straight games heading into the season, takes a 3-0 record into its open week.

Enjoy all of the action.

Here’s what you need to know heading into Week 5 of the season:

Football file primary
Bayshore and Saint Stephen’s are the only Manatee County programs playing at home on Friday night. Bradenton Herald file photo


Opponent: Southeast (2-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Balvanz Stadium at Bayshore High

Need to know: Looking for that elusive first win of the season, Bayshore (0-4) faces a well-rested Southeast team — the Seminoles were idle last week — that has outscored its two opponents 81-26 this season. After facing the Noles, the Bruins play four of their final five games on the road.

Braden River.jpg
Lavontae Youmans and the Braden River Pirates face a difficult road challenge against the undefeated Lakewood Spartans in St. Petersburg. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Braden River

Opponent: St. Petersburg Lakewood (4-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Lakewood Stadium at Lakewood High

Need to know: Braden River (2-2) opened some eyes during last week’s 37-20 rout of previously unbeaten Punta Gorda Charlotte, with the defense creating five turnovers in its Class 6A-District 12 opener. Now comes three straight road games, the first two against teams with a combined 8-0 record — Class 4A Lakewood and rival Palmetto. ... Not only is Lakewood off to a perfect start, the Spartans have yet to allow a point this season. Lakewood has outscored its opponents 166-0, beating St. Petersburg (48-0), Largo Pinellas Park (40-0), St. Petersburg Gibbs (43-0) and Gulfport Boca Ciega (35-0). Those four teams are a combined 4-11.

Bradenton Christian

Opponent: Tampa Cambridge Christian (4-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Skyway Park, Tampa

Need to know: After posting a shutout victory in Week 1, Bradenton Christian (1-2) has given up at least 40 points each of the past two weeks as they look to avoid three straight setbacks. ... Cambridge Christian is facing a Bradenton school for the second time this season. The Lancers blanked Saint Stephen’s 42-0 in Week 2.

Cardinal Mooney

Opponent: Lakeland Victory Christian (3-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: John Heath Field at Austin Smithers Stadium at Cardinal Mooney High

Need to know: Finally, after four straight road games to open the season, Cardinal Mooney (2-2) gets to show off the refurbished John Heath Field and Austin Smithers Stadium. The Cougars picked up a much-needed win last week at Fort Myers Riverdale to snap a two-game losing streak and play four of their next five at home. ... Victory Christian has allowed only nine points en route to its perfect start and is coming off a 35-0 rout of Fort Meade.

IMG Academy

Opponent: St. John’s College (2-2) of Washington, D.C.

Time: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Smith Field at Fernandez Stadium at St. John’s College

Need to know: Another week, another high-profile opponent for IMG Academy (3-0), which climbed to No. 3 in the nation in the MaxPreps rankings after beating then-No. 12 St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.) 31-25 last week. Sophomore running back Kaytron Allen rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown and junior defensive back O.J. Burroughs recorded his seventh interception of the season in the victory. Now comes No. 27 St. John’s College, which has lost back-to-back games but is 2-0 at home. ... One of St. John’s College’s losses was a 34-30 setback against St. Joseph’s Prep. The other is a 35-14 loss to Duncanville (Texas) that dropped St. John’s College from No. 16 to No. 27.

Tyreak Allen and the Manatee Hurricanes will be looking for their first win when they head to Lakeland to face the Kathleen Red Devils. ttompkins@bradenton.com Tiffany Tompkins


Opponent: Lakeland Kathleen (1-3)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Johnnie Johnson Stadium at Kathleen High

Need to know: Manatee (0-3) returns from its open week looking to get on track ahead of next week’s Class 7A-District 10 opener against Lakewood Ranch. Off to their first 0-3 start since 2004, the Hurricanes were held to 26 points during those three games, in large part because their opponents — Lakeland, Palmetto and Braden River — are a combined 10-2. Of note: The Canes’ three district opponents — Lakewood Ranch (3-0), Sarasota (4-0) and Venice (2-1) — are a combined 9-1, with the lone loss coming against IMG Academy’s National team. ... Kathleen routed Dover Strawberry Crest 51-6 last week for its first win of the season.

Out-of-Door Academy

Opponent: Largo Indian Rocks Christian (1-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Thunder Stadium at Out-of-Door Academy

Need to know: Out-of-Door is off to a 4-0 start for the second consecutive year, and the Thunder look primed to make it 5-0 heading into the Sept. 27 showdown against rival Saint Stephen’s. Junior quarterback Tyler Beasley dazzled in last week’s 20-point win over Bradenton Christian, accounting for five touchdowns (three passing and two rushing). ... Indian Rocks Christian posted its first win of the season last week, a 21-7 victory against St. Petersburg Keswick Christian. IRC lost to Bradenton Christian 41-0 on Aug. 23.


Opponent: Largo (3-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Packer Stadium at Largo High

Need to know: With its Week 6 showdown against Class 6A-District 12 rival Braden River looming, Palmetto (4-0) wraps up its three-game road swing to three different counties against one of Pinellas County’s top programs. The Tigers beat Sarasota Riverview (38-28) and previously unbeaten Port Charlotte (47-7) the previous two weeks and are 4-0 for the first time since 2011, when they won their first seven games. ... Largo opened the season with a 7-2 win at Braden River and is coming off a 21-14 victory against Clearwater.

Saint Stephen’s

Opponent: St. Petersburg Northside Christian (3-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

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

Need to know: Unbeatable at home since Week 1 of the 2016 season, Saint Stephen’s (3-1) opened its four-game homestand with a 10-point win over Class 4A Englewood Lemon Bay last week. After Northside Christian, the Falcons host Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral League Bay Division rivals Out-of-Door Academy and Bradenton Christian on consecutive weeks. ... Coached by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike Alstott, Northside Christian opened 3-0 before losing 47-7 to Winter Garden Foundation Academy last week. Alstott is in his eighth season leading the Mustangs’ program.


Opponent: Bayshore (0-4)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Balvanz Stadium at Bayshore High

Need to know: Having had two opens dates in the season’s first four weeks, Southeast (2-0) makes the short trip to winless Bayshore before the schedule toughens considerably. The Seminoles’ final six opponents are a combined 20-6. Junior quarterback Maleek Huggins has accounted for nine touchdowns (five passing, four rushing) to pace a Noles offense that averaged 40.5 points in the first two games. ... Bayshore has been limited to two touchdowns and a total of 20 points through four games.

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Week 5 of the high school football season in Florida is here. Bradenton Herald file photo

Week 5 schedule

Friday’s games

Bradenton Christian at Tampa Cambridge Christian, 7 p.m.

IMG Academy Varsity at Tampa Berkeley Prep, 7 p.m.

Lakeland Victory Christian Academy at Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m.

Largo Indian Rocks Christian at Out-of-Door Academy, 7 p.m.

St. Petersburg Northside Christian at Saint Stephen’s, 7 p.m.

Braden River at St. Petersburg Lakewood, 7:30 p.m.

Manatee at Lakeland Kathleen, 7:30 p.m.

Palmetto at Largo, 7:30 p.m.

Southeast at Bayshore, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s game

IMG Academy National at St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), 2 p.m.

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