BRADENTON -- The Manatee Hurricanes came up just two wins short of a state title last season and this year, the 'Canes are the final team in the county still involved in post-season play. Manatee has moved up to 8A for 2013, and struggled a bit in their playoff opener last Friday, a 34-28 win over Vero Beach at home. This week, Manatee takes on a familiar foe in Ft. Pierce Central, who also made the jump to 8A for 2013. This will be the third season in a row in which the 'Canes and the Cobras have locked up for playoff action.
Tonight, the 'Canes head to Ft. Pierce, an east coast town between Vero Beach and Port St. Lucie. Manatee routed Central last season, stepping onto their home turf and picking up a 51-0 victory. The Cobras will surely be looking for revenge in this week's big game. Central went 9-1 this season, losing only to 6A powerhouse Mainland (Daytona) 31-28 in the final game of the regular season.
In last week's District 8 playoff game, the Cobras routed Sarasota Riverview 45-0. Manatee also faced Riverview this season, beating the Rams 47-0 in week 6. If the 'Canes get past Central tonight, it could set up a big game with rival Tampa Plant, who faces Dr. Phillips High tonight in the same bracket.
District 8 High School Football Semi-finals
Manatee vs. Ft. Pierce Central
Ft. Pierce Central High School
4101 S 25th St
Fort Pierce, FL