|photo by Grant Jefferies|
Manatee and its stacked defensive line look to clinch the Class 7A-District 10 title tonight.
Three games tonight have playoff implications.
Here they are:
SARASOTA (5-3, 1-1 7A-10) at MANATEE (8-0, 2-0)
At stake: Despite their 20-game winning streak and a No.1 national ranking in three separate polls (ESPN, MaxPreps and USA Today), the Hurricanes haven't officially locked up a district title or even a playoff berth. They're heavy favorites, however, heading into tonight's game with the Sailors, and will clinch the District 10 championship with a win. A Hurricanes win means they host the District 9 runner-up, which will be Clearwater Countryside, Pinellas Park or St. Petersburg Northeast. All three are in the mix tonight to win the district or advance as the runner-up.
SOUTHEAST (7-2, 3-0 5A-10) at PALMETTO (7-1, 3-0)
At stake: The Seminoles and Tigers are the only area teams to officially seal a trip to the playoffs, but tonight's game decides the district champion and the host of a first-round playoff game. The losing team heads to the winner of tonight's District 9 title game between Lake Wales and Auburndale, while the loser of that games heads west to Manatee County.
SEMINOLE OSCEOLA (6-3, 3-1 6A-7) at LAKEWOOD RANCH (5-3, 3-1)
At stake: The math is simple - winner heads to the playoffs, loser doesn't. The Mustangs won last year's meeting in Pinellas County before nearly upsetting nationally-ranked Seffner Armwood in the first round of the Region 3 playoffs. Neither team gave district champ Largo much a game this season, though the Warriors found the end zone in a 41-20 defeat while the Mustangs didn't, losing 38-0. Will that have any bearing on tonight's game? Tonight's winner opens the playoffs at Tampa Hillsborough, the District 8 champion that upset Armwood (3-0) on Oct. 18.