All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted
East Lee County (5-3, 4-0) at Cape Coral (4-4, 3-1)
* What to watch for: East Lee: This is a District 5A-11 game. With a victory, the Jaguars, would secure the first football title in the program’s history. East Lee has dominated its district opponents this season, averaging 49.5 points per game and winning by an average margin of 33 points. The Jaguars’ balanced running game has been dominant this season, averaging 204 yards per game and 7.1 yards per carry, led by senior RB Omaris Tolbert (419 yards, 2 TDs) and junior RB Kendall Sawyer (364 yards, 7 TDs). Senior LB Bryant Richardson (97 tackles) powers a physical Eats Lee defense that’s forced 22 turnovers this season. Cape Coral: The Seahawks kept themselves in the chase for the district championship with a sloppy but thrilling 48-42 win at Lehigh that saw Cape scored the game’s final 20 points. The Seahawks’ defense surrendered 477 total yards but survived thanks largely to senior QB Trey Daniels, who had his best game of the season, throwing for 288 yards and 2 TDs while rushing for another score. If Cape wins tonight, the Seahawks will either capture their fourth straight district title (provided Lehigh beats Estero) or create a three-way tiebreaker for the top two spots with East Lee and Estero (if Estero beats Lehigh).
* The News-Press pick: East Lee County 28-21
South Fort Myers (9-0, 5-0) at Ida Baker (5-3, 3-2)
* What to watch for: South Fort Myers: The Wolfpack already have clinched the District 6A-11 championship but will look to capture their second 10-0 season. This would mark the 15th 10-0 season in Lee County football history dating back to the 1950 Fort Myers High team. “You’re playing every game to win ’em, no matter if you’re in the playoffs or not,” South coach Grant Redhead said. “We’re going to go about this as if the playoffs were on the line. They’re a district opponent. They’re solid. They’re definitely big and physical. They can give a lot of people problems.” The Wolfpack are healthy other than a broken collarbone suffered by DE Travis Freeman last week. Baker: Coach Brian Conn said his players would remain motivated despite postseason elimination. “We’re playing a 9-0 team, and a team we’ve never beaten in school history,” Conn said. “That’s enough for us to stay motivated. We were a little down on Saturday. But then they started looking forward to the challenge of stepping it up.”
* The News-Press pick: South Fort Myers 35-14
Naples (7-0) at Lely (3-5)
* What to watch for: Naples: This is the 39th annual Coconut Bowl, with the Golden Eagles leading the all-time series 23-15 and have won five of the past six meetings. In a special on-field ceremony prior to the 7:30 p.m. kickoff, “The Coconut Bowl Trophy” will be officially renamed “The Joe Klimas Trophy.” Naples senior RB Manny Morgan has rushed for 1,077 yards on just 119 carries (9.1 yards per rush) and 18 touchdowns. Lely: After scoring just 48 points total in six previous games (going 1-5 during that stretch), the Trojans exploded for 47 points in last week’s shutout win over Palmetto Ridge. They’ll be hard-pressed to match that output tonight.
* The News-Press pick: Naples 38-7
Dunbar (7-1, 4-0) at Sarasota Booker (3-6, 3-1)
* What to watch for: Dunbar: This is a District 4A-6 game. The Tigers can clinch the district championship with a win over the Tornadoes, a team they beat 22-18 last season. Dunbar has been a big-play offense this season, averaging 10.3 yards per carry and 15.3 yards per reception. Booker: Following a five-game season-opening stretch that saw them outscored 210-42, the Tornadoes reeled off three consecutive wins, all in the district.
* The News-Press pick: Dunbar 36-14
Palmetto Ridge (1-7, 0-1) at Barron Collier (5-3, 0-1)
* What to watch for: Palmetto Ridge: The Bears can make the postseason by winning this game, which would give them the District 6A-12 runner-up spot and the chance to play at South Fort Myers in the first round of the state playoffs. Barron Collier: The Cougars are coming off a bye week and will be looking to win this game using their triple-option offense.
* The News-Press pick: Barron Collier 21-6
Immokalee (5-3, 1-0) at Golden Gate (3-5, 1-0)
* What to watch for: Immokalee: This game will decide the District 5A-12 champion. Both teams have clinched a playoff berth, but the winner gets to start the postseason at home against the District 5A-12 runner-up. Coach Jerrod Ackley said senior QB Tshumbi Johnson was questionable to play after missing the previous two weeks with an injury. Junior Louinelson Celian has filled in nicely for Johnson, Ackley said. “He’s not the same type of athlete as Tshumbi, but he’s a competitive kid who can run pretty well and has a decent arm. He played real well against Cape Coral.” Golden Gate: The Titans have gotten better as the season has progressed, Ackley said. “They have a good secondary,” Ackley said. “They have a good linebacker. They are a very skilled, athletic team.”
* The News-Press pick: Immokalee 27-7
Fort Myers (7-2, 3-2) at Bishop Verot (1-7, 1-4)
* Radio: WCRM-AM (1350)
* What to watch for: Fort Myers: Both teams have been eliminated from the postseason, but Fort Myers will look to win this District 6A-11 matchup, which would cap an 8-2 record. Fort Myers is 2-1 all-time against the Vikings, having lost the first game between the two programs 19-14 in 2009. Bishop Verot: Sophomore QB Quinn Farrell enjoyed his return to the lineup after a six-week gap between games while recovering from a concussion. He completed 11-of-18 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown last week during a victory against North Fort Myers. “He played extremely well for a guy who hadn’t played a game in six weeks,” Verot coach Phil Dorn said. “He really enjoyed playing football. He had fun out there. He was much more accurate passing than we expected. I didn’t think the timing would come back that fast.” Despite the return of his QB, Dorn anticipated a tough matchup. “I’m hoping this year will be a competitive game, because they’re a good football team. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
* The News-Press pick: Fort Myers 35-14
Cypress Lake (0-9, 0-4) at Mariner (2-6, 0-4)
* What to watch for: Cypress Lake: This is a District 5A-11 game. The Panthers lost their 15th consecutive regular season game last week, 55-16 to East Lee County. Cypress is out to avoid its first winless season since 1996. Mariner: The Tritons dropped a 48-35 shootout to Estero last week. Sophomore QB Joey Lantz has accounted for 11 touchdowns this season (seven passing, four rushing.
* The News-Press pick: Mariner 37-13
Lehigh (2-6, 2-2) at Estero (6-2, 3-1)
* What to watch for: Lehigh: This is a District 5A-11 game with playoff implications. While Estero scored 48 last week, Lehigh gave up 48 points as it blew a 14-point lead to Cape Coral. As a result, Lightning coach Nate Sund has told his players they need to win and we need some help to keep their playoff hopes alive. Sund respects Estero coach Rich Dombroski and the job he’s done – “He brought Estero back from the grave” – but he added he’s not focusing on going to Estero and trying to match emotion with a team that hasn’t been in the postseason in 11 years. “We have to focus on us,” Sund said. “It’s DYJ – do your job. We just have to do what we can control. When you start to think of things bigger than you, you lose sight of your job.” Estero: Sund is concerned about the Wildcats’ array of offensive formations as well as senior RB Eric McFadden, who ran for two touchdowns, passed for another and caught six passes for 54 yards in last week’s 48-35 win over Mariner.
* The News-Press pick: Estero 28-24
Riverdale (3-5, 1-4) at North Fort Myers (0-9, 0-5)
* What to watch for: Riverdale: This is a District 6A-11 game where the only thing on the line is pride. The Raiders are out to avoid their first losing season since 2007. Look for sophomore RB Van Edwards (925 yards, 9 TDs) to surpass the 1,000-mark tonight. North Fort Myers: The Red Knights would certainly like to avoid their first winless season since 1967. However, with an offense that’s generated just 41 points all season, reaching double-figures just once, North will be hard-pressed to upset the Raiders.
* The News-Press pick: Riverdale 38-13
Gulf Coast (2-6, 0-2) at Lemon Bay (5-3, 1-1)
* What to watch for: Gulf Coast: This is a District 7A-11 matchup. The Sharks have rushed for 896 yards this season, seven times the amount of passing yards they’ve gained. Scoring early and protecting a lead will be key to Gulf Coast’s game plan. Lemon Bay: The Manta Rays are coming off of two shutout losses, one of which was against district rival Charlotte. They have been outscored 200-185 this season, but with a win tonight Lemon Bay will clinch at least a berth in a postseason tiebreaker.
* The News-Press pick: Lemon Bay 21-14
LaBelle (4-4, 1-3) at Clewiston (3-5, 3-1)
* What to watch for: LaBelle: This is a District 4A-6 game. The Cowboys lost 16-14 last week at Lake Placid, a defeat that eliminated them from postseason contention. Clewiston: Although the Tigers have a losing overall record, they are currently in second place in their district and eying a playoff spot. With a win, Clewiston clinches at least a berth in a playoff tiebreaker.
* The News-Press pick: Clewiston 29-15
First Baptist (8-0, 6-0) at Community School of Naples (5-3, 2-3)
* Time: 7 p.m.
* What to watch for: First Baptist: This is a District 2A-6 matchup. With a 46-42 win at Sarasota Out-of-Door last week, the Lions clinched the district championship. FBA rolled up 589 rushing yards of rushing in that victory. Community School: The Seahawks have a varied offensive attack, with plays being split almost evenly between rushes and passes. This has still earned them only 20 touchdowns this season, 13 through the air and seven on the ground.
* The News-Press pick: First Baptist 37-14
Evangelical Christian (2-7, 1-5) at St. John Neumann (6-3, 4-2)
* Time: 7 p.m.
* What to watch for: Evangelical Christian: Although this is a District 2A-6 game, both teams will be playing for pride after being eliminated from playoff contention. After starting 0-6, the Sentinels have prevailed in two of their last three games with starting QB Caleb Chapman, who returned from injury in week seven. St. John Neumann: The Celtics defeated SFCA last week 47-6 behind the strong running of Kendrick Mouton and Rayray Perry. Mouton has been the leading rusher, scoring 12 rushing touchdowns on 96 carries and Perry averages 8.85 yards per carry on 26 rushes.
* The News-Press pick: Neumann 28-14
Southwest Florida Christian (2-5) at Boca Raton Christian (7-1)
* What to watch for: SFCA: The Kings are on a five-game losing streak. They’ve allowed an average of nearly 38 points each game, while scoring an average of only 13. Boca Raton: After being dealt their first loss last week, Boca Raton will look to bounce back. They’ve been dominant so far this season, outscoring their opponents 351-89.
* The News-Press pick: Boca Raton Christian 41-17
Gateway Charter (2-5) at Winter Haven All-Saints (4-2)
* Time: 7 p.m.
* What to watch for: Gateway Charter: After failing to record a win in over 35 games, the Griffins have won two out of their last three games. Their most recent win was against Marco Island Academy 47-0. In both their victories. All Saints: The Saints are currently on a three-game winning streak after starting the season 1-2.
* The News-Press pick: All Saints 27-13