Friday Night Football Gallery

Ashar Thomas (4), Jay Arias (18) and the rest of their Charlotte teammates are back atop the rankings following their victory Friday night against Nova at Charlotte High School.

There were a few surprises on Friday that has led to a little bit of a shakeup.

The biggest was Venice’s narrow loss to Riverview. It wasn’t a historic upset by any means, but it’s a team the Indians haven’t lost to since 2006 and were favored to defeat. But the Rams had different plans, possibly seeking revenge for the loss of their two top players.

It’s been an inconsistent start for Venice, who got blown out by a talented IMG team, following that up with a double overtime win over Trinity Christian and then a loss to Riverview. They wanted a tough schedule, and they certainly got it.

The other surprise, tough Port Charlotte might not think it was a shock, was the Pirates’ win over dominant-but-untested Sarasota. The Pirates were able to keep the rushing attack at bay and force turnovers to slow down a potent offense that scored 75 points the week prior.

Here’s how the rest shook out:

1. Charlotte (4-1, Last week: 2): The Tarpons have been sitting and waiting for the Indians to falter to swipe the top spot back. It was nothing special given the level of competition, but they took care of business on Homecoming night, beating Nova, out of Davie, 39-0. Charlotte’s got one loss to a quality Braden River team and has a 154-22 margin in four wins.

2. Venice (2-2, Last week: 1): It was a step back overall, but in reality the loss doesn’t affect their plans much given that Riverview was outside their district. Venice still has a few challenging games left, including a matchup with St. Frances, who ranks fifth in Maxpreps’ top 25.

3. Port Charlotte (4-1, Last week: 3): The win over the Sailors did a lot to help the Pirates, but not quite enough to jump a team like Venice. The Pirates rebounded from a blowout loss to Palmetto and took down a surging Sarasota team, 21-13. Looking ahead, they play their third undefeated team in as many weeks when they travel to Southeast.

4. DeSoto County (2-2, Last week: 4): Was on a bye week so not much to say here.

5. Lemon Bay (0-5, Last week: 6): The Mantas continue to struggle, falling 28-0 last week to Oasis. It continues to be slow going for Lemon Bay, but have some more favorable games upcoming down the stretch.

6. North Port (0-5, Last week: 5): Not sure what the Bobcats expected going up to visit a strong Tampa Catholic team, but a 67-0 rout was probably not it. North Port is still searching for consistency on offense.

Email Jacob Hoag at and follow him on Twitter @ByJacobHoag.


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