By JACOB HOAG
There hasn’t been a lot of change in the rankings so far, that is until this week.
Though Charlotte proved itself to be a big threat once again, Venice accomplished what it needed to in order to move into the top spot — defeat a quality opponent.
The Indians squeaked through with a marquee win on Friday night in Jacksonville.
Here’s what else changed this week:
1. Venice (2-1, Last week: 2) — It’s another slim margin, but after a thrilling 50-49 win over Trinity Christian, the No. 7 ranked team in Florida, the Indians make their first appearance as the top team. Venice’s only loss came against IMG Academy and other than that, they’ve taken care of business with a loaded team.
2. Charlotte (3-0, Last week: 1) — The Tarpons didn’t really do anything wrong, it was more that Venice’s strength of schedule has been one of the toughest in the state. Having said that, the Tarpons went out and whooped another former 10-win playoff team (49-8 over Riverdale) and are cruising at the start of the season. Time will tell how good these teams really are, but on paper they are quite convincing wins.
3. Port Charlotte (3-0, Last week: 3) — After a lsow start, Port Charlotte blew things open in the second half for a 42-7 win over DeSoto County. Port Charlotte has looked very solid at times and sits without a loss entering district play this week. They will face their toughest opponent yet in Palmetto.
4. DeSoto County (1-2, Last week: 4) — The Bulldogs came out strong early, but with low numbers, coach Bumper Hay said fatigue set in quickly against Port Charlotte, allowing for a big second half. They should bounce back against 0-3 Mariner this week.
5. North Port (0-3, Last week: 6) — The Bobcats held 3-0 South Fort Myers to just seven points in the first half, but also fell apart in the later part of the game en route to a 34-0 shutout. The offense is still a work in progress, but there will be more room to run this week against an improved, but lacking Lakewood Ranch.
6. Lemon Bay (0-3, Last week: 5) — Sarasota might be as tough a team as the Mantas will see this season with athletes everywhere. It was going to be an uphill battle regardless and a 48-9 loss was somewhat to be expected.