Manatee WR Anthony Lauro has
committed to play at University of Akron
BRADENTON -- Football season is winding down but the playoffs are almost here. Southeast and Palmetto will play for the District Championship Friday night at Harlee Stadium in Palmetto. Last season, the Tigers came up big in a close game, while Southeast ended up missing the post-season as a result. In other action, Manatee looks to keep their perfect season intact against Sarasota at home and Lakewood Ranch battles to keep its playoff hopes alive.
Palmetto is coming off a brutal 62-0 loss to Manatee and will have to rebound quickly against a Seminole team that is on the upswing, having gone undefeated since their own disappointing 52-13 loss to Manatee. For the 'Noles, their success has hinged on their passing game. When it's firing on all cylinders with QB Miles Braxton-Johnson hitting his trio of senior receivers Jacob Sannon, Adam Nacht and Antonio Ray, it keeps defenses from keying on star running back Courtney Allen, who's given upposing defenses fits whenever he hasn't had to carry the full load. Allen is also a skilled receiver out of the backfield, which also tends to work better when defenses are spread out by longer routes. Last week, Southeast's offense was right on key against Hardee, but they'll have to step it up against Palmetto, a much more talented team.
Palmetto's offense is remarkably similar to Southeast's in terms of weapons. They're anchored by their own star running back, Josh Hicks and have three senior receivers who are among the best in SW Florida in E.J. Burston, Corey Crawford and Shaq Harris. Like Braxton-Johnson, Palmetto QB Chris Tuten hasn't been consistent, but when he's on, his teams win. Both teams have fielded better than expected defenses and throw in the fact that it is Palmetto Head Coach Dave Marino's second game against long-time mentor Paul Maechtle and things get downright interesting.
High School Football: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Southeast @ Palmetto
Sarasota @ Manatee
Braden River @ Venice
Osceola @ Lakewood Ranch
St. Stephen's @ Out-of-Door Academy (Sarasota)
Bradenton Christian @ Keswick Christian (St. Pete)
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