High School Football

It’s Gameday! Here’s what you need to know for Week 10 of the high school football season

It’s the final week of district action in the high school football season, and two Manatee County programs enter their district finales with championship aspirations to highlight Week 10.

First, Manatee heads to Venice with the Class 7A-District 10 title on the line. The Hurricanes, who have lost three straight against the rival Indians, are seeking their first district crown since 2015.

Both teams are 2-0 in the district, and the winner secures a first-round home game in the FHSAA postseason.

Also, Bayshore travels to Tampa Jesuit with a chance to earn a share of the Class 5A-District 12 crown.

Jesuit (4-0 in the district), Bayshore (3-1) and Tampa Chamberlain (3-1), which hosts Tampa Robinson in its district finale, remain alive in the 5A-12 race. Chamberlain beat Bayshore 35-7 in Week 4; Jesuit beat Chamberlain 24-13 in Week 6.

Palmetto gave Manatee County its first district champion, going 4-0 against Class 6A-12 opponents to win its first district title since 2011. What’s more, the Tigers won the crown in dominating fashion, outscoring their district foes by a combined 136-10.

In the race for playoff berths, Palmetto remained No. 1 overall and in Class 6A-Region 3 in the FHSAA RPI rankings system being used to determine postseason participants.

Also in solid position with two weeks remaining in the regular season are Manatee (fifth in 7A-3), Braden River (sixth in 6A-3) and Lakewood Ranch (sixth in 7A-3). The top eights teams in each region after Week 11 earn playoff spots.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs kick off, with Bradenton Christian (48-33 win over Riviera Beach Inlet Grove on Thursday) and Out-of-Door Academy (Friday against Fort Myers Gateway Charter) opening play in the 12-team FBS bracket.

Saint Stephen’s has a first-round bye, giving the Falcons — off since Oct. 11 — three weeks to prepare for the FBS quarterfinals. The SSAC title game is scheduled for Nov. 16 at Bryant Stadium in Lakeland.

Finally, IMG Academy will host a doubleheader on Saturday, with the national team — coming off only its third loss since the start of the 2014 season — getting it started at 3 p.m., followed by the varsity squad at 7 p.m.

Enjoy all of the action

Here’s what you need to know heading into Week 10 of the high school football season:

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Bayshore heads to Tampa Jesuit with a chance to earn a share of the Class 5A-District 12 crown. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Bayshore

Opponent: Tampa Jesuit (6-2, 4-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Alumni Field at Corral Memorial Stadium at Jesuit High

Need to know: Despite an 0-5 start, the Bruins (3-6, 3-1 Class 5A-District 12) head into their regular-season finale with district title aspirations. Since losing 36-21 to Southeast in Week 5, Bayshore has won three of four, including district wins over St. Petersburg Gibbs (26-6), Booker (17-13) and Robinson (17-14). Winning at Jesuit with so much at stake would should how far the Bruins have come in the second half of the season. The Tigers have won their four district games by a combined 169-26.

Braden River

Opponent: Port Charlotte (7-1, 2-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Pirates Cove at Port Charlotte High

Need to know: The Pirates (4-4, 2-1 Class 6A-District 12) return from their open week looking to make it a sweep of their Charlotte County district rivals. Braden River beat Punta Gorda Charlotte 37-20 in Week 4; now the Pirates face a Port Charlotte team that has won four in a row and is coming off an emotional 24-20 victory against rival Charlotte. Port Charlotte’s lone loss was a 47-7 drubbing by Palmetto in Week 4. Braden River has won two straight since suffering a 27-3 loss to 6A-12 champion Palmetto on Sept. 27.

Cardinal Mooney

Opponent: Lakeland Christian (5-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

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

Need to know: The Cougars (2-6) return from their open week having lost four straight and six of seven, and they are looking for their first victory since beating Fort Myers Riverdale on Sept. 13. Cardinal Mooney is 0-3 on its refurbished field heading into its home finale. Lakeland Christian has won five in a row since its 0-2 start and is averaging 45.8 points per game during the winning streak.

IMG Academy

Opponent: Miami Norland (4-3)

Time: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton

Need to know: Coming off only their second loss in the past 53 outings, the Ascenders (7-1) play their home finale in a makeup of a Week 2 game that was postponed because of the threat of Hurricane Dorian. IMG dropped from No. 3 to No. 14 in the nation in the MaxPreps rankings after last week’s 35-7 loss to St. Frances Academy (Md.). The Ascenders are 3-0 at home this season, having outscored their opponents by a combined 145-30. IMG Academy’s varsity team (4-4) hosts Lake Placid (3-5) at 7 p.m. Saturday to cap the day-night doubleheader.

Lakewood Ranch

Opponent: Sarasota (5-3, 0-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cleland Stadium at Ihrig Field at Sarasota High

Need to know: Already guaranteed their first winning season since 2014, the Mustangs (5-2, 0-2 Class 7A-District 10) will look to add another milestone — their first district victory since September 2017. Lakewood Ranch is 5-0 in non-district games this season but was outscored by a combined 107-6 in its district losses to Manatee and Venice. Meanwhile, Sarasota, which is coming off its open week and has lost three of its past four games, was outscored by a combined 94-21 in its losses to Manatee and Venice.

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Manatee has its sights on winning the Class 7A-District 10 title as the Hurricanes head to Venice. Both teams are 2-0 in the district, with the winner earning a first-round home playoff game. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Manatee

Opponent: Venice (5-3, 2-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Powell-Davis Stadium at Venice High

Need to know: The Hurricanes (4-4, 2-0 Class 7A-District 10) suffered their second home shutout loss of the season and had their four-game winning streak snapped last week with a 13-0 setback to Kissimmee Osceola. This is Manatee’s third and final road game of the regular season — the Canes have seven home games — and their first away from Hawkins Stadium since beating Lakeland Kathleen 28-12 on Sept. 20. Venice’s losses are against IMG Academy (46-7), Sarasota Riverview (24-21) and St. Frances Academy of Maryland (49-7).

Out-of-Door Academy

Opponent: Fort Myers Gateway Charter (5-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Thunder Stadium at Out-of-Door Academy

Need to know: The Thunder (6-2) are rested and ready as they open their quest for a Sunshine State Athletic Conference title. ODA was idle last week, giving the Thunder two weeks to prepare for their playoff opener. Out-of-Door snapped a two-game skid with a 39-7 victory over Tampa Carrollwood Day in its regular-season finale on Oct. 11. The winner will travel to Oviedo Master’s Academy (6-2) in the FBS quarterfinals on Nov. 1.

Palmetto

Opponent: Tallahassee Lincoln (5-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Lawton Chiles High in Tallahassee

Need to know: The Tigers (8-0) continue their postseason preparations by facing a program that has won three state championships in the past 20 years. A district champion for the first time since 2011, Palmetto has posted back-to-back shutouts, and has allowed seven points or fewer in five straight games and six of eight outings this season. Since allowing 28 points to Class 8A-District 8 champion Sarasota Riverview on Sept. 6, the Tigers have allowed a total of 16 points in their past five games. This will be Lincoln’s second game in five days; the Trojans were beaten 39-17 by Crestview on Monday night.

Southeast

Opponent: Punta Gorda Charlotte (5-3, 0-3)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

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

Need to know: The Seminoles (3-4, 0-3 Class 6A-District 12) will look to snap a four-game skid and avoid going winless against district opponents. With back-to-back home games against Charlotte and Cardinal Mooney to close the season, Southeast has a chance for its first winning season since 2012. Charlotte, which is 5-0 in non-district games with an average margin of victory of 28.4 points, is coming off a 24-20 loss to rival Port Charlotte.

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Cardinal Mooney, IMG Academy, Out-of-Door Academy and Southeast have Week 10 home games. Bradenton Herald file photo

Week 10 schedule

Thursday’s SSAC playoff result

Bradenton Christian 48, Riviera Beach Inlet Grove 33

Friday’s games

Lakeland Christian at Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m.

Palmetto at Tallahassee Lincoln, 7 p.m.

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

Braden River at Port Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

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

Manatee at Venice, 7:30 p.m.

Punta Gorda Charlotte at Southeast, 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s SSAC playoff game

Fort Myers Gateway Charter at Out-of-Door Academy, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Miami Norland at IMG Academy National, 3 p.m.

Lake Placid at IMG Academy Varsity, 7 p.m.

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