FOOTBALL: Week 8 preview capsules

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

BOOKER (1-6, 1-1) AT DESOTO COUNTY (1-3, 0-2)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last week: Braden River 26, Booker 16; DeSoto County 22, Lake Placid 12.
Last season: Booker 42, DeSoto County 6.
Players to watch: Booker: Talik Keaton (Sr., QB), Jermaine Ziegler (Sr., WR/CB), Anthony Thomas (Sr., S), Jacquez Bristol (Jr., MLB/DE); DeSoto County: Arnold Mele (Jr., WR/DB), Malcom Smith (Sr., QB/DB), Neo Hilliard (Jr., RB/DB).
What to expect: The season is basically on the line for DeSoto County, which needs to win out to have a realistic shot at the playoffs. The Bulldogs are currently 13th in the points standings for Class 5A and a loss here would not only decrease their point total but likely eliminate them from district contention. Booker has been shut out three times this season and provides a winnable game for DeSoto County.

CHARLOTTE (3-2, 2-0) AT NORTH FORT MYERS (5-0, 2-0)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Charlotte didn’t play; North Fort Myers 27, Dunbar 12.
Last season: Charlotte 24, North Fort Myers 21.
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); Charlotte: Anthony Squitieri (Jr., QB), Savorion Warren (Sr., RB/DB), Ny Harvey (Sr., RB/S), Jayden Grant (Jr., DE), Jeremiah Harvey (So., RB/S).
What to expect: The Red Knights can basically lock up the district title with a win with only district cellar-dwellers Ida Baker and Cape Coral left on the schedule. This is an enormous game for the Tarpons, who are currently out of the playoff picture and need a big win to improve their standing. Not only would a win improve their playoff hopes, but they also would control their destiny to another district title.

IDA BAKER (0-5, 0-2) AT PORT CHARLOTTE (4-1, 1-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Mariner 29, Ida Baker 20; Port Charlotte didn’t play.
Last season: Port Charlotte 56, Ida Baker 0.
Players to watch: Ida Baker: Chris Kovacs (Sr., QB), James Logan (Jr., WR/S), Shomari Mason (Jr., ATH); Thomas Morreal (Sr., WR); Port Charlotte: Paul Barnes (Sr., QB), Octavious Cummings (Sr., RB), T.J. Luther (Sr., WR/S), Devin Leacock (Sr., DL), Ludison Jeanty (Sr., DL), Skylar Razwilavich (Sr., LB).
What to expect: The Pirates bounced back nicely two weeks ago with a win over Cape Coral and are fresh off a bye week. They now get a winless Ida Baker squad that was shut out by Charlotte recently so expect a running clock and an early night in this one.

LEMON BAY (2-3, 1-1) AT SOUTHEAST (4-0, 2-0)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Estero 26, Lemon Bay 7; Southeast 35, Cardinal Mooney 31.
Last season: Southeast 21, Lemon Bay 9.
Players to watch: Lemon Bay: Hayden Wolff (Jr., QB), Logan Lydic (Sr., LB/SB), Thomas Chaney (Sr., WR/DE), Keegan Marinola (Jr., RB/LB), Josh Gossett (Jr., RB); Southeast: Alex Taylor (Sr., QB), Latrell Peavy (Sr., RB).
What to expect: The Manta Rays’ season is on the line against the Seminoles, who are tied for first in the district standings with Hardee. Lemon Bay already has lost to Hardee and is currently deep out of the playoff points standings for Class 5A. A loss would all but eliminate the Manta Rays from the postseason so expect them to lay it all on the line.

NORTH PORT (3-3, 0-2) AT VENICE (6-1, 2-0)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: North Port 9, Bayshore 7; Venice 49, Lakewood Ranch 3.
Last season: Venice 56, North Port 0.
Players to watch: North Port: Devon Allen (Sr., QB), C.K. Poulos (Sr., WR/CB), Javon Howell (Sr., RB/S), Brian Taylor (So., RB/LB); Venice: Bryce Carpenter (Sr., QB), Court Doss (Sr., RB), Jaivon Heiligh (Sr., WR/CB), Jared Bailey (Sr., DB), Tyrone Barber (Sr., DT).
What to expect: The Indians are playing on three days rest after defeating Lakewood Ranch on Monday. The Bobcats saw the return of quarterback Devon Allen in last Friday’s win over Bayshore despite a torn ACL and they’ll need him to give everything he has to have a chance in this one. A loss eliminates North Port from the district race.

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