It seems to be a reoccurring theme this season, but Week 5 proved to be another unusual one for area high school football teams.
Lightning delays effected nearly every game in our area last Friday, as we had a full slate of games among our local teams.
Charlotte, Lemon Bay and North Port all saw their games eventually cancelled due to the weather delays, while DeSoto County managed to fight through a long delay.
When all was said and done, the Bulldogs and top-ranked Venice both walked away with victories, while Port Charlotte suffered another tough loss.
The result is a change among the teams in the lower portion of our Power 6 rankings.
Here are this week’s rankings:
1. Venice (4-0)
Next opponent: at Lakewood Ranch
It’s become a familiar refrain by this point in the season, another week, another blowout win for the Indians and another impressive showing from Da’Marion Escort.
The running back rushed for 170 yards and 3 touchdowns in Venice’s 42-10 victory vs. Palmetto.
The Indians have sat atop the rankings all season, and that doesn’t figure to change after this week’s road game, one of only two on their schedule, at Lakewood Ranch.
Last week: 1
2. Charlotte (2-1)
Next opponent: at N. Fort Myers
The Tarpons looked to be bouncing back from their tough district loss to Dunbar, with a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter at Cypress Lake.
But repeated lightning delays would have pushed the game well passed midnight and thus the teams eventually pulled the plug on the game.
They’ll gear it up and try again Friday night at N. Fort Myers.
Last week: 2
3. Lemon Bay (3-0)
Next opponent: Bye
The Manta Rays were coming off of a 36-0 win at DeSoto County and had outscored opponents, 132-6 this season.
There seemed to be little reason to believe things would change at Gateway last Friday, but unbeaten Lemon Bay also fell victim to the weather and was unable to complete its game.
The Mantas will have to wait another week to get back on the field (against Booker) with the bye scheduled for this week.
Last week: 3
4. Port Charlotte (1-3)
Next opponent: vs. Booker
For the second consecutive week the Pirates found themselves undone by special teams errors.
This time they contributed to a 20-13 loss at Sarasota. Port Charlotte now stands two games below .500, but, at least, will finally return to its home turf Friday night against Booker after four consecutive games on the road.
Last week: 4
5. DeSoto County (2-2)
Next opponent: Bye
The Bulldogs were undeterred by weather delays as they dominated an undermanned Bayshore on the ground en route to a 35-18 victory.
Nazir Gilchrist led the way with two touchdowns and added an interception as DeSoto County picked up its second win of the season and reached the .500 mark.
Coming off the victory, the Bulldogs have an ill-timed bye before returning to action on Oct. 8 against Frostproof.
Last week: 6
6. North Port (1-3)
Next opponent: at Gulf Coast
Last Friday’s matchup against Ida Baker, looked like an opportunity for the Bobcats and their improving defense, led by Jeremiah Leguerre, to pick up their second win of the season.
But here also the finicky Florida weather had other ideas. The cancellation, paired with DeSoto County’s victory, drops North Port one spot in the rankings.
The Bobcats can reverse that with a victory at Gulf Coast on Friday, as the Bulldogs are idle this week.
Last week: 5