Game of the week
South Fort Myers (5-0) at Ida Baker (2-4)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — South: This is a non-district game. The Wolfpack are coming off a bye week, prior to which they defeated Dunbar 21-16. RB E’Quan Dorris rushed for 100 yards and a TD on 19 carries in that game and has been spearheading the offense along with QB Maurice Flournoy. “Maurice gives us the run-pass option,” South Fort Myers coach Matt Holderfield said. “That was really big for us.” Holderfield also hopes to get some playing time for junior QBs Will Morris and Tyler Lackey, which would allow Flournoy to focus on his duties as a CB. Ida Baker: The Bulldogs are coming off a 46-36 lost to Cape Coral in which they surrendered 356 rushing yards to the Seahawks’ Isaac Washington. The good news: Baker continued to have a solid passing attack as QB Toby Noland passed for 382 yards and five TDs, with Luke Endsley catching 12 passes for 155 yards and three TDs. “Our biggest thing, and why we’re excited about playing against them, is we’ll get a good look at a team that’s going to spread the field and throw first,” Holderfield said. “A pass-friendly team will be good for our defense to see.”
The News-Press pick: South Fort Myers 35, Ida Baker 28
Dunbar (3-2) at Island Coast (0-6)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — Dunbar: This is a non-district game. The Tigers had an entire bye week to stew over two straight losses to Lely and South. In each of those games Dunbar jumped out to double-digit leads before faltering. The Tigers offense managed just seven points combined in the second halves in the losses. Offensive coordinator Dwayne Donnell must find a way to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers like WRs Shocky Jacques-Louis and Kenny Benjamin. Running speedster Seneca Milledge out of the Wildcat was highly effective early against South. Island Coast: The Gators didn’t lose more than five games in a season in the school’s first seven years of existence. Now the team is all but guaranteed a losing record for the second straight season. The defense is surrendering more than 40 points a game and must find a way to stop the Dunbar running game led by Lajuan Preston and Keanu Young. In addition, the offensive line must play its best game of the season to protect senior QB Kory Curtis. Dunbar DE Rocky Jacques-Louis had 13 sacks through the first four games of the season.
The News-Press’ pick: Dunbar 31, Island Coast 20
Bishop Verot (3-3) at East Lee County (2-3)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — Verot: This is a non-district game. Verot is coming off a 56-7 district loss to undefeated Avon Park where it scored more points than all five of the Red Devils’ previous opponents. Junior quarterback Korey Besse continues to be among the Lee County leaders in passing with 1,210 yards and eight touchdowns. However, Verot is averaging just 78.5 yards per game on the ground. East Lee: The Jaguars posted their first district win in coach Dave Smith’s tenure when it held on against Estero last week. Senior RB Lothario Adderley has logged 100-yard rushing performances in four of East Lee’s five games and could be an integral part in keeping the Verot offense off the field. Jaguars defensive backs will be tested by Verot junior receiver Deven Thompkins.
The News-Press’ pick: Bishop Verot 38, East Lee County 13
Cape Coral (1-4) at Lehigh (2-3)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — Cape: This is a non-district game. The Seahawks are coming off their first win of the season, a 46-36 shootout against Ida Baker. Senior Isaac Washington rushed for 356 yards and five touchdowns in the game. The Seahawks amassed nearly 500 yards on the ground, scored on a fumble return and hit a 31-yard field goal. In five games quarterback Chase Sealander has thrown for 412 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions. Cape Coral is giving up on average nearly 32 points per game. It lost this game 34-23 last year. Lehigh: The Lightning dropped their last game 42-7 to Fort Myers in a District 6A-11 game. The Lightning are scoring 18 points against 22 points given up. Junior Chris Curry, who continued his hot stretch with 134 yards in the loss to the Green Wave, leads the team with 945 yards on 84 carries with eight touchdowns. Quarterback Delshawn Green is 14 of 21 for 207 yards in his past two games. Receivers Russell Brown and D’Marquise Collins are the Lightning’s top two receivers.
The News-Press’ pick: Lehigh 35, Cape Coral 31
Cypress Lake (3-3) at Lemon Bay (0-5)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — Cypress Lake: This is a non-district game. The Panthers have lost two out of their last three games. Senior Isaiah Thomas leads the team in rushing, while sophomore Kelsey Demps and Chris Joseph will also see carries. Quarterback Keyon Brawner is a dual-threat in the Panthers’ wing-T offense. Cypress Lake is giving up nearly 22 points per game and scoring on average just 13. The Panthers lost this game 28-20 last season. Lemon Bay: The Manta Rays are winless and giving up nearly 24 points per game. The team has scored 38 total points and has three games of one touchdown or less. Hayden Wolf leads the offense at quarterback, while Victor Meller, Brayden Curry and Hunter Weir will take carries at running back. This begins a stretch against teams with a combined 6-18 record over the last five games.
The News-Press’ pick: Cypress Lake 28, Lemon Bay 7
Golden Gate (1-5) at Estero (1-4)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — Golden Gate: This is a non-district game. The Titans are rebounding off a 57-26 loss to Naples last week. And while defensively the team hasn’t been good, giving up on average 37 points per game, the offense is getting better. The Titans have scored at least three touchdowns in their last three games. Senior Chris Nazaire and sophomore Jouvensly Bazile have combined for 487 rushing yards and averaged at least six yards per carry. Quarterback Jay Herard leads the offense, while Justenley Philippe leads the defense with 50 tackles. Senior Claudin Cherelus has been strong on the defensive side of the field. Estero: The Wildcats, who have regressed following a 4-win season in 2015, were dispatched by East Lee County 14-6 on Friday, which was their third straight loss. They’ve averaged just seven points per game against just 16 points given up. Estero has four games of scoring one touchdown or less. A year ago, the Wildcats won this game 21-20. Quarterback Philip Setterquist leads the offense, while Willie Neal, Victor Shelly and Max Bosi take carries. Neal has been the team’s most prolific offensive piece so far.
The News-Press’ pick: Estero 21, Golden Gate 20
Evangelical Christian (0-5, 0-2) at St. John Neumann (3-2, 2-1)
Time: 7 p.m.
What to watch for — ECS: This is a District 2A-7 matchup. The Sentinels are still seeking their first victory of the season and are coming off of a 35-6 defeat at the hands of Moore Haven. Jimmy Mera was limited a week ago, but Correy Massey stepped in with a strong performance at running back, going over 100 yards. Mera, Massey and Franco Joesph if all healthy can be a formidable running back trio this week. Neumann: The Celtics posted back-to-back district victories the past two weeks, but fell to Community School of Naples last week 47-21. The Celtics have their own trio with their running game that all ran for more than 65 yards last week in Jensen Jones, Ross Zepeda and Stanley Johnson. This matchup likely comes down to who can convert in the red zone as both teams move the ball well offensively.
The News-Press’ pick: St. John Neumann 34, Evangelical Christian 18
Riverdale (1-4) at Arcadia DeSoto County (1-3)
Time: 10 a.m., Saturday
What to watch for — Riverdale: This is a non-district game. The Raiders couldn’t keep up with high-powered Gulf Coast in a 39-21 district loss where the Sharks passed for 300 yards. This figures to be a bounce-back game against a team that’s managed to score just 28 points through four games. Riverdale will need more production from its running backs, who gained just 23 yards on 22 carries last week, and have problems securing the ball. DeSoto: The Bulldogs turned the ball over three times and were tackled 25 times for a loss in a 35-6 loss to Bradenton Southeast last week.
The News-Press’ pick: Riverdale 27, DeSoto County 6
Southwest Florida Christian Academy (2-3, 0-2) at Moore Haven (4-2, 2-1)
Time: Monday, 6 p.m.
What to watch for — SFCA: This is a District 2A-7 matchup. The Kings were off last week and have lost three straight games after a 2-0 start. It has been a struggle for the Kings to generate points, but Kobe Gee at quarterback has had good moments this year. Chase Reed has struggled to get involved offensively, but can turn it on any given week. Moore Haven: The Terriers are coming off of a 35-6 victory over Evangelical Christian last week and were led by another standout performance by dual-threat quarterback John Cox. Cox went 6-for-8 with 108 yards and two touchdowns through the air and ran for 132 yards on just six carries and two more touchdowns. He has 16 touchdowns on the season so far and will be a handful for the SFCA defense.
The News-Press’ pick: Moore Haven 37, Southwest Florida Christian 23
Canterbury (3-1) at Winter Haven All Saints Academy (3-2)
Time: Monday, 4 p.m.
What to watch for — Canterbury: The Cougars are riding a three game winning streak into this road contest. Canterbury dispatched St.John Lutheran 24-0 last week and are averaging a shade over 30 points a game during this three-game stretch. Jalen Ellis has been the Cougars’ big-play threat and will be looked upon again to deliver. All Saints: The Saints will rely on running back tandem Dale Booker and Fisher Williams. The duo ran for four touchdowns in a 34-13 victory over St. Petersburg Canterbury last week.
The News-Press’ pick: Canterbury 27, All Saints Academy 26
Lee County Fab 5
1. South Fort Myers (5-0): The high-powered Ida Baker offense poses an interesting test for the only undefeated team in Lee County.
2. Fort Myers (3-3): Darrian Felix is back. The Greenies, who are on a bye this week, could be a dangerous team moving forward.
3. Dunbar (2-2): Expect the Tigers to get back on track this week against Island Coast after two straight losses.
4. North Fort Myers (3-2): A bye week looms before next week’s crucial district matchup with undefeated Charlotte.
5. Bishop Verot (3-3): East Lee County isn’t a cupcake game this year.