FOOTBALL: Week 6 preview capsules

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

Charlotte (1-2, 0-0) at Island Coast (0-2, 0-1)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Fort Myers 40, Charlotte 17; North Fort Myers 65, Island Coast 0.
Last season: Charlotte 63, Island Coast 20.
Players to watch: Charlotte: Alex Muse (Jr., QB), Anthony Squitieri (Jr., QB), Savorion Warren (Sr., RB/DB), Ny Harvey (Sr., RB/S), Jayden Grant (Jr., DE); Island Coast: Tyrone Campbell (Jr., CB/WR), Mikel Coleman (Sr., DL), Marcus Evans (Sr., WR), Clifton Henderson (Jr., DB), Will Jenkins (Sr., QB), Drew Lusk (Sr., WR/DB), Dylan Shipley (So., QB).
What to expect: Charlotte finally opens district play against an Island Coast squad that’s been shut out in its first two games. It’s been a tough start to the season for the Tarpons, who had injuries to starting quarterback Alex Muse and running back Andrew Grace in last week’s loss to Fort Myers. But this is the perfect game for a bounce-back win for Charlotte. Expect the Tarpons to win big.

North Fort Myers (3-0, 1-0) at Port Charlotte (3-0, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: North Fort Myers 65, Island Coast 0; Port Charlotte 38, Booker 0.
Last season: Port Charlotte 38, North Fort Myers 34.
Players to watch: North Fort Myers: Toby Noland (Sr., QB), Fa’najae Gotay (Sr., RB/LB), Joe Wilkins (Sr., WR/DB), Bryce Adkins (Sr., TE/FB), Malcolm Battle (Jr., OL/DL), Hunter Kobylanski (Jr., LB/RB), Terry Lindsey (So., RB/DB); Port Charlotte: Paul Barnes (Sr., QB), Octavious Cummings (Sr., RB), T.J. Luther (Sr., WR/S), Bo Guy (So, RB), Devin Leacock (Sr., DL), Ludison Jeanty (Sr., DL).
What to expect: This is the game of the week in the district and one that could determine who dethrones Charlotte as 6A-10 champ. The Pirates won this game in a thriller last year and fans could see a repeat this year. Quality athletes will be on both sidelines and on both sides of the ball, with North Fort Myers forced to stop Port Charlotte’s T.J. Luther and the Pirates forced to key on Fa’najae Gotay, who already has seven touchdowns for the Red Knights this season.

North Port (2-2, 0-1) at Lakewood Ranch (2-0, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: North Port 10, DeSoto County 0; Lakewood Ranch 23, Springstead 21.
Last season: Lakewood Ranch 42, North Port 7.
Players to watch: North Port: C.K. Poulos (Sr., WR/CB), Javon Howell (Sr., RB/S), Brian Taylor (So., RB/LB); Lakewood Ranch: Justin Curtis (Sr., QB), Michael Koczersut (Sr., TE), Drake Theriot (Jr., TE), Mason Fischer (Sr., RB), Chase Sharp (Sr., RB/LB).
What to expect: Lakewood Ranch has had a surprising 2-0 start while North Port has been up and down. The Bobcats received terrible news this week when quarterback Devon Allen was diagnosed with a torn ACL, though he says he’ll receive a second opinion. As for who will replace him, that remains a mystery and one that could cost North Port another district game.

Venice(3-0, 0-0) at Braden River (2-0, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Venice 48, Dunbar 0; Braden River did not play.
Last season: Venice 42, Braden River 35 (regular season), Venice 64-42 (region semifinal)
Players to watch: Venice: Bryce Carpenter (Sr., QB), Court Doss (Sr., RB), Jaivon Heiligh (Sr., WR/CB), Jared Bailey (Sr., DB), Tyrone Barber (Sr., DT); Braden River: Deshaun Fenwick (Sr., RB), Knowledge McDaniel (Jr., RB), Travis Tobey (So., TE), Tyrone Collins (Sr., DB).
What to expect: Braden River hasn’t played since Sept. 1 and has only played six quarters all year, with no full game since Aug. 24. Venice running back Jaivon Heiligh had four touchdown catches in last week’s win over Dunbar and will continue to be the focal point of the offense in a game that’ll likely determine the District 7A-11 champion. The teams have played four times in the last two years and know how to put up points, so expect a high-scoring game in the teams’ district opener.

Hardee (2-2, 1-0) at Lemon Bay (1-1, 0-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Hardee 42, Booker 6; Cardinal Mooney 22, Lemon Bay 7.
Last season: Hardee 21, Lemon Bay 7.
Players to watch: Hardee: Kai Washington (Sr., QB), Jean Youte (Jr., WR); Lemon Bay: Hayden Wolff (Jr., QB), Logan Lydic (Sr., RB/LB), Thomas Chaney (Sr., WR/DE).
What to expect: This is the first of two games in four days for Lemon Bay while Hardee is playing its second in its last five days. It’s Lemon Bay’s district opener while Hardee won its district opener over Booker on Monday. The Manta Rays must stop Kai Washington if they hope to win. Washington can do it all as a quarterback that can throw and run.

DeSoto County (0-1, 0-0) at Southeast (2-0, 1-0)

Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: North Port 10, Southeast 0; Southeast 34, Bayshore 12.
Last season: Southeast 35, DeSoto County 6.
Players to watch: DeSoto County: Arnold Mele (Jr., WR/DB), Malcolm Smith (Sr., QB/DB), Neo Hilliard (Jr., RB/DB); Southeast: Alex Taylor (Sr., QB), Latrell Peavy (Sr., RB).
What to expect: DeSoto County finally played its first game of the season last and looked like a team that hadn’t played in months, getting shut out by North Port. It doesn’t get an easier this week for the Bulldogs against Southeast, which should be heavy favorites in this one coming off a win in its district opener.


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