High School Football

It’s Gameday! Here’s what you need to know for Week 6 of prep football in Manatee County

It’s Braden River week.

Or, depending on your perspective, it’s Palmetto week.

Regardless of your allegiance, the showdown is here.

With control of the Class 6A-District 12 race at stake, the Braden River-Palmetto matchup highlights an intriguing Week 6 of high school football in Manatee County.

While both teams have their sights on ending district-title droughts, the Pirates seek to continue their recent domination of the rivalry and the Tigers look to extend their perfect start to the season.

While Braden River-Palmetto will attract most of the attention, don’t overlook Out-of-Door Academy against Saint Stephen’s.

An ODA victory would give the unbeaten Thunder the Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral League Bay Division title.

A Saint Stephen’s win would give the one-loss Falcons control of the division race.

Also, Lakewood Ranch and Manatee meet for the first time as Class 7A-District 10 foes.

It’s rivalry week.

Enjoy all of the action.

Here’s what you need to know for Week 6 of the high school football season:


Opponent: St. Petersburg Gibbs (0-5, 0-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Newton-Williams Memorial Stadium at Gibbs High

Need to know: Here’s a good chance for the Bruins (0-5, 0-1 Class 5A-District 12) to break through for their first victory as they cross the Sunshine Skyway to face the winless Gladiators. Bayshore scored a season-high 21 points last week against Southeast and will be facing a team that is allowing more than 32 points per game this season. ... Gibbs has been outscored 162-12 and shut out three times, including a 25-0 loss to Tampa Robinson in its 5A-12 opener.

Braden River for Week 6.jpg
Junior running back Jaheim Hodo and the Braden River Pirates will look to end Palmetto’s perfect start to the season when the teams meet at Harllee Stadium. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Braden River

Opponent: Palmetto (5-0, 1-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Harllee Stadium at Palmetto High

Need to know: The Pirates (2-3, 1-0 Class 6A-District 12) haven’t lost to the rival Tigers since 2013 as they look to take early control of the district race. Playing the second of three consecutive road games, Braden River is chasing its first district title since capturing the 7A-11 crown in 2015. Moreover, the Pirates have won 17 straight games against Manatee County opponents — not including forfeit losses from the 2017 season — dating to a 45-27 loss to Palmetto on Nov. 1, 2013.

Bradenton Christian

Opponent: Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin (1-4, 0-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Dan van der Kooy Field at Bradenton Christian

Need to know: The Panthers (1-3, 0-1 Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral League Bay Division) will be looking for their first victory since Week 1 as they host the Hurricanes, who broke through for their first win of the season last week, 34-7 over St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep. ... Bradenton Christian and Bishop McLaughlin have one common opponent to this point: Out-of-Door Academy. The Panthers lost 42-22 to ODA, while the Hurricanes were blanked 27-0 by the Thunder.

Cardinal Mooney

Opponent: Clearwater Calvary Christian (3-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

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

Need to know: The Cougars (2-3) look to bounce back after failing to protect a 20-point lead in last week’s 28-20 loss to Lakeland Victory Christian Academy. This marks the third matchup between the teams in less than a year — Cardinal Mooney handled host Calvary Christian 34-22 on Sept. 28 last season before the Warriors traveled to Sarasota and beat the Cougars 34-31 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs. ... Calvary Christian’s lone loss is a 21-13 setback against Tampa Berkeley Prep.

IMG Academy

Opponent: Miami Booker T. Washington (4-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: IMG Academy Stadium at IMG Academy

Need to know: Ranked No. 3 in the country by MaxPreps, the Ascenders (4-0) host the five-time state champion Tornadoes in their first home game of the season. IMG won road games against Venice (46-7), Miami Northwestern (24-7), St. Joseph’s Preparatory (31-25) and St. John’s College (35-20) in extending its winning streak to eight dating to last season. What’s more, the Ascenders have won 48 of their last 49 games. ... Booker T. Washington has won three straight since a 32-29 loss to Miami Central in Week 2.

Lakewood Ranch for Week 6.jpg
Senior wide receiver Dylan Bennett and the Lakewood Ranch Mustangs take a 3-0 record into their showdown with Manatee. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Lakewood Ranch

Opponent: Manatee (1-3, 0-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium at Manatee High

Need to know: Coming off their open week, the Mustangs (3-0) stay within county lines for their Class 7A-District 10 opener. Idle since a thrilling overtime win against North Port on Sept. 13, Lakewood Ranch faces a drastic step up in competition — and would make a huge statement with a win — even though Manatee has only one victory. The three teams the Mustangs have beaten — Englewood Lemon Bay (19-9), Bayshore (16-6) and North Port (42-35) — are a combined 0-15.

Manatee for Week 6.jpg
Senior running back Tyson Phelps and the Manatee Hurricanes welcome Lakewood Ranch to Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium in the Class 7A-District 10 opener for both teams. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com


Opponent: Lakewood Ranch (3-0, 0-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium at Manatee High

Need to know: The Hurricanes (1-3) beat Lakeland Kathleen last week for a much-needed first victory, and now they get four consecutive home games, starting with the Class 7A-District 10 opener against the unbeaten Mustangs. Moreover, Manatee plays five of its final six games at home as the Hurricanes chase an 11th straight postseason appearance. This is the first meeting between Manatee and Lakewood Ranch since the final week of the 2012 regular season, a 49-6 Hurricanes win.

Out-of-Door Academy

Opponent: Saint Stephen’s (4-1, 0-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

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

Need to know: The Thunder (5-0, 2-0 Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral League Bay Division) have had this game circled on their calendar for months as they look to snap a seven-game losing streak against the rival Falcons. Out-of-Door Academy recorded its second shutout of the season in last week’s 34-0 rout of Largo Indian Rocks Christian, and a victory against Saint Stephen’s — ODA hasn’t beaten the Falcons since 2012 — would clinch the SSAC Coral Bay championship.

Palmetto for Week 6.jpg
Junior running back Sagel Hickson and the Palmetto Tigers will look to stay perfect on the season as they host rival Braden River in a Class 6A-District 12 showdown. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com


Opponent: Braden River (2-3, 1-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Harllee Stadium at Palmetto High

Need to know: After capping a run of three straight road games with a 38-point rout of Largo, the Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Class 6A-District 12) return home looking to gain the upper hand in the district race. Palmetto hasn’t beaten Braden River since 2013 and hasn’t won a district championship since 2011. A victory against the Pirates would send the Tigers into their open week on a high note, with district games at Punta Gorda Charlotte (Oct. 11) and against Southeast (Oct. 18) next on the schedule.

Saint Stephen’s

Opponent: Out-of-Door Academy (5-0, 2-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

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

Need to know: The Falcons (4-1, 0-0 Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral League Bay Division) look to extend their recent dominance of the Thunder and prevent their rivals from clinching the division title. During its seven-game winning streak against ODA, Saint Stephen’s has outscored the Thunder 285-56 and allowed seven points or fewer five times, including two shutouts. The Falcons close the regular season with their three division games — vs. ODA and Bradenton Christian, then at Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin.


Opponent: Port Charlotte (4-1, 0-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Paul Maechtle Field at John Kiker Memorial Stadium at Southeast High

Need to know: The Seminoles (3-0) begin a stretch of four district games in five weeks by hosting the Pirates in their Class 6A-District 12 opener. After facing Port Charlotte, Southeast has three consecutive road games — at Sarasota, Braden River and Palmetto, the latter two being 6A-12 contests — against teams with a combined 11-4 record. ... Port Charlotte lost 47-7 to Palmetto in its district opener on Sept. 13 but bounced back with a 21-13 win at previously unbeaten Sarasota last week.

Friday night lights photo.jpg
Week 6 includes Palmetto hosting Braden River, Lakewood Ranch traveling to Manatee and Saint Stephen’s taking on Out-of-Door Academy. Bradenton Herald file photo

Week 6 schedule

Clearwater Calvary Christian at Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m.

Miami Booker T. Washington at IMG Academy National, 7 p.m.

Out-of-Door Academy at Saint Stephen’s, 7 p.m.

Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin at Bradenton Christian, 7 p.m.

Bayshore at St. Petersburg Gibbs, 7:30 p.m.

Braden River at Palmetto, 7:30 p.m.

Lakewood Ranch at Manatee, 7:30 p.m.

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

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