Bradenton rivals Manatee and Southeast square off tonight in what could be the state's biggest game. Despite two losses on the young season, both to out-of-state powers, Manatee is ranked No. 4 in the POWERADE Florida Football Rankings. Southeast checks in at No. 21 but could make a big jump with a win. Here's Corey Long on the matchup:
ESPNU 150 defensive back Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast) has one final shot at rival Bradenton Manatee this Friday.
The Under Armour All-American said that he really wants to end his career with a victory over his arch nemesis.
"We were real close last year and just ran out of gas," Poole said. "But we've got the players to get it done. It's going to be hard because they are a great team."
Last year Poole rushed for a season-high 145 yards on 13 carries as Southeast stormed to a 24-7 halftime lead.
The second half was a different story as Poole and his teammates started to wear down from playing both ways. Manatee's trio of quarterback Cord Sandberg, running back Mike Blakely and wide receiver Quenton Bundrage led a furious comeback as Manatee won 31-24.
Giving the Bradenton clash a run for its money is a showdown of Miami powers Central and Columbus. The Rockets (3-0) and Explorers (3-0) are both unbeaten and enter the contest ranked No. 8 and No. 9, respectively, in the POWERADE Florida Rankings. Only one will remain in the top 10 after this weekend.
Central Florida's biggest matchup pits No. 6 Dr. Phillips (4-0) against No. 19 DeLand (3-0), the top two squads in the Orlando Sentinel's Super 16. And in the north, No. 10 Bolles (4-0) hosts North Marion (2-1), which is coming off an impressive 69-0 win.
What game will you be watching? Let us know in the comments.