MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee just finished up a perfect season and is expected to have an easy time with Northeast in round 1 playoff action. The 'Canes are ranked No. 1 in the nation by all three national high school polls. A win at home Friday night could set up a rematch with Venice a week from tonight, if the Indians win against Pinellas Park.
Palmetto was unable to bounce back from their 62-0 loss to Manatee, losing the district title to Southeast at home two weeks ago, but they closed out the year with a win over Trinity Catholic last week. The Tigers are expected to beat a 6-4 Auburndale team, which could set up a rematch with Southeast, if they also win tonight.
The Seminoles aren't expected to have too much trouble with Lake Wales. Southeast is the No. 9 ranked 5A team in the state, but has been on an impressive 5-game win streak since getting dumped by Manatee, that includes their 31-17 win at Palmetto that clinched the District 10 5A title.
High School Football
Friday: 7:30 p.m.
St. Petersburg Northeast @ Manatee
Palmetto @ Auburndale
Lake Wales @ Southeast
Manatee's fearsome front four (from left): Demarcus Christmas, Derrick Calloway, Marquis Dawsey and Blake Keller
Photo by Dennis Maley
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