By JACOB HOAG
High-flying offenses took center stage on Friday for our top teams and a few other area football teams had some tightly-contested thrillers.
The top four teams from last week’s rankings all got wins and make their case to hold on to their positions. Venice and Charlotte got blowout wins, Port Charlotte held on at the end and DeSoto County pulled out some overtime magic.
Here are the Week 2 Power 6 rankings:
1. Charlotte (2-0, last week: No. 1): I just couldn’t do it. I debated swapping the Indians and Tarpons after Venice bounced back with a dominant win, but Charlotte maintains a slight lead as of now with a quality win. Though Venice is loaded with talent, the Tarpons handled a Fort Myers team that was projected as a playoff team 42-14. They looked crisp and strong in all three phases.
2. Venice (1-1, last week: No. 2): More of a 1-B this week, Venice did what it expected to do and rebounded from a tough Week 1 loss to IMG and thumped St. Petersburg 44-0. The Indians have a schedule fitting of their talent and will be in plenty of battles in 2019.
3. Port Charlotte (2-0, last week: No. 3): Port Charlotte got its first decent test of the year and passed with a 21-14 win over Hardee. The Pirates are off to a 2-0 start to the year and continue to gain momentum.
4. DeSoto County (1-1, last week: No. 5): The Bulldogs needed some extra time, but earned a thrilling, 28-21 overtime victory over Lake Placid with the go-ahead touchdown scored by Nelson Daniels. After being shut out by Charlotte in Week 1, the Bulldogs responded nicely.
5. Lemon Bay (0-2, last week: No. 6): Many thought — myself included — that the matchup with a formerly winless Lakewood Ranch team was just the matchup the Mantas needed, but they were much improved from 2018. A few miscues allowed some early scores. Lemon Bay played strong defense the remaining three quarters, but fell 19-9.
6. North Port (0-2, last week: No. 4): Injuries and a tough schedule are making for a rough start for the Bobcats. They couldn’t find much success against a revamped Sarasota squad, falling 43-0.