High School Football

It’s Gameday! Here’s what you need to know for Week 11 of the high school football season

It’s the final week of the high school football regular season, and by the end of Friday night, Manatee County’s playoff contenders will have a better indication of their postseason fate.

Two teams — Manatee and Palmetto — already have celebrated district titles and will open the Florida High School Athletic Association playoffs next week on their home field.

Others — Braden River and Lakewood Ranch — have work to do before the FHSAA releases its final RPI rankings that will determine the playoff field on Sunday morning.

Here’s where things stand heading into Week 11:

Class 7A-District 10 champion Manatee and 6A-12 champ Palmetto have extended their postseason streaks, with the Hurricanes heading to the playoffs for the 11th straight year and the Tigers for the third consecutive year. Palmetto is expected to be the top seed in 6A-Region 3, while Manatee likely will be either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in 7A-Region 3.

Seeking its sixth straight playoff berth, Braden River is eighth in 6A-Region 3 and could be headed toward a first-round matchup with rival Palmetto. A Week 11 victory would enable the Pirates to extend their postseason streak.

In search of its first trip to the playoffs since 2011, Lakewood Ranch needs a win and a lot of help to end the program’s postseason drought. The Mustangs are ninth in 7A-Region 3, trailing No. 7 Sarasota and No. 8 Loxahatchee Seminole Ridge.

Indeed, the regular season’s final week should not be lacking in drama.

Enjoy all of the Week 11 action.

Here’s what you need to know heading into the final week of the FHSAA’s regular season:

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Noah Font and Braden River have the program’s sixth consecutive postseason berth within their reach. Bradenton Herald file photo

Braden River

Opponent: Clearwater Academy International (6-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Pirates Stadium at Braden River High

Need to know: The Pirates (4-5) haven’t finished below .500 since 2012 and haven’t missed the postseason since 2013. A Week 11 win would extend both of those streaks. Clearwater Academy International is averaging 45.9 points per game, with its two losses coming against Elder High of Cincinnati and Class 1A power Madison County, which has won back-to-back state titles.

Cardinal Mooney

Opponent: Southeast (3-5)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

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

Need to know: Seeking their first victory since Sept. 13, the Cougars (2-7) have lost five consecutive games and will look to head into the offseason on a positive note. Cardinal Mooney won last season’s meeting 30-20 en route to its 8-0 start and a postseason berth. This will be Mooney’s first losing season since 2015, when the Cougars went 2-9.

IMG Academy

Opponent: Hoover, Ala. (8-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.

Need to know: Ranked 14th in the nation by MaxPreps, the Ascenders (8-1) close their season against a familiar foe — this marks the third straight season they are facing one of Alabama’s premier programs. IMG won the first two, including a 48-7 rout in the 2018 season finale. Hoover, which has won nine state championships, takes a six-game winning streak into the matchup.

Lakewood Ranch

Opponent: Seminole (1-8)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Warhawks Stadium at Seminole High

Need to know: Their first winning season since 2014 assured, the Mustangs (5-3) will look to finish perfect in non-district action. Lakewood Ranch is 5-0 against non-district foes, having outscored the opposition 127-56. Against Class 7A-District 12 teams, the Mustangs went 0-3, were outscored 147-6 and were shut out twice. Seminole has lost six straight since beating Dunedin on Sept. 13.

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Tyson Phelps and Manatee ended a three-year drought with a district title with last week’s win over Venice. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Manatee

Opponent: Miami Jackson (3-6)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium at Manatee High

Need to know: District champs for the first time since 2015, the Hurricanes (5-4) have won five of six since their 0-3 start and are headed for their first home playoff game in four seasons. Manatee is 3-3 at home, averaging 51.7 points in the three wins and 4.7 points in the losses. The Canes were shut out at home by Lakeland (45-0) in Week 1 and Kissimmee Osceola (13-0) in Week 9.

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Sagel Hickson and district champion Palmetto have their sights set on a deep postseason run. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

Palmetto

Opponent: St. Petersburg (2-7)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Harllee Stadium at Palmetto High

Need to know: Coming off their first loss of the season, a 42-23 defeat at Tallahassee Lincoln, the Tigers (8-1) will look to extend their home dominance. Palmetto is 4-0 at Harllee, outscoring its opponents a combined 100-22, and shut out rival Southeast on Oct. 18. Playing its third straight road game, St. Petersburg has lost three in a row and is 0-4 away from home.

Southeast

Opponent: Cardinal Mooney (2-7)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

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

Need to know: Like Cardinal Mooney, the Seminoles (3-5) enter their finale having lost five straight and are looking to head into the offseason on a winning note. Since starting 3-0, Southeast has lost to Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Braden River, Palmetto and Punta Gorda Charlotte, all of which are positioned to make the postseason heading into Week 11.

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Coming off the first playoff win in program history, Jordan Miller and Bradenton Christian face rival Saint Stephen’s in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference FBS bracket quarterfinals. Tiffany Tompkins ttompkins@bradenton.com

SSAC playoffs

Who: Bradenton Christian (3-4) vs. Saint Stephen’s (7-1)

What: Sunshine State Athletic Conference FBS bracket quarterfinal

Time: 7 p.m.

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

Need to know: Coming off its first playoff win in program history, a 48-33 triumph at Riviera Beach Inlet Grove, Bradenton Christian has a much shorter trip for this matchup. The Panthers have lost four straight against Saint Stephen’s, including a 41-33 setback on Oct. 4 in which they were unable to protect a 19-point second-half lead. Meanwhile, well-rested Saint Stephen’s opens its quest for a third SSAC championship in four years at home, where the Falcons haven’t lost since Week 1 of the 2016 season. Saint Stephen’s hasn’t played since Oct. 11. The Falcons were idle on Oct. 18, then had a first-round bye last week. The winner faces either Oviedo Master’s Academy or Fort Myers Gateway Charter on Nov. 9 in the FBS bracket semifinals. The championship game is Nov. 16 in Lakeland.

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The final week of the high school football regular season features home games for Braden River, Manatee, Palmetto, Saint Stephen’s and Southeast. Bradenton Herald file photo

Week 11 schedule

Friday’s games

Bradenton Christian at Saint Stephen’s, 7 p.m.

IMG Academy National at Hoover (Ala.), 7 p.m.

IMG Academy Varsity at Satellite Beach Satellite, 7 p.m.

Cardinal Mooney at Southeast, 7:30 p.m.

Clearwater Academy International at Braden River, 7:30 p.m.

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

Miami Jackson at Manatee, 7:30 p.m.

St. Petersburg at Palmetto, 7:30 p.m.

Previous high school football coverage

Hungry for football: Here’s how Manatee County high school teams get their fill on game days

There’s a new football program in Manatee. Here’s how PCHS is building it from ground up

IMG Academy football is the ‘ultimate student-athlete experience.’ On and off the field

Hammer time: How everyday tool has motivated Palmetto High football team’s perfect start

Maleek Huggins comes from Southeast High football family. Now he’s making name for himself

From 15 losses in row to 3-0 start. Here’s how Lakewood Ranch football is changing its culture

When lightning strikes: What you need to know about how prep football handles bad weather

When it comes to player safety, embracing helmet technology was no-brainer for Manatee programs

Meet the ‘Ice Gang.’ Palmetto High’s four senior wide receivers are as cool as ice

He played at Florida and with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Now Manatee High has him as a coach

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