Manatee prepares for playoff game against Venice

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BRFADENTON - The Manatee High School Hurricanes have won 5 state titles, with the latest being last season. They are ranked #1 in the nation, and this Friday night they will again take on their district rival, the Venice Indians.

The Hurricanes (11-0) beat the Indians (8-3) in Venice 56-27 earlier this season, but the 27 points were the 2nd-most scored on the ‘Canes vaunted defense this season.

Manatee is on a 23-game winning streak, and they have not lost a home playoff game since 2005. They have faith in themselves but they respect their opponents.

“You’ve got to throw out what happened previously. It's a one game season. They're certainly capable of beating us, and we need to bring our A-game with us,” says Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan.

“Down at their place it was kind of back and forth, scoring on each other. I think this week both defenses will be a little bit better prepared, so it probably won't be as high scoring as it was down there. But we will see,” says Manatee quarterback Cord Sandberg.

The high school football playoffs continue next Friday night -- the night after Thanksgiving.

Manatee is coming off a 65-point performance in their victory against Northeast, and will host the Venice Indians in the Regional Semifinals at 7:30pm.

In other area high school football playoff action, the Palmetto Tigers (9-2) will travel to face the Lake Wales Highlanders (7-4).

ABC 7 will be at both games and will have a report Friday night at 11:15pm.