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Five Super 25 Games to Watch: Manatee Hosts Miami Central

A look at five of the biggest games featuring at least one Super 25 team this week

5:16 PM, Sep. 13, 2012 EDT

No. 23 Miami Central visits No. 1 Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.) in one of the more intriguing Super 25 matchups this week.

We'll be following every Super 25 game throughout the season, but USA TODAY High School Sports reporter Jim Halley will help you prioritize your time -- and your attention -- by highlighting five of the best games featuring at least one ranked team each week.

1. No. 1 Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.) vs. No. 23 Miami Central, Friday

The new boss (Manatee) plays host to the old boss (Miami Central was the preseason No. 1). Manatee is coming off an easy 49-7 defeat of Riverview (Sarasota, Fla.) while Miami Central upset then-No. 7 Booker T. Washington (Miami) 37-26 last week. To have a chance, Central will have to slow Hurricanes quarterback Cord Sandberg, who has thrown for 476 yards over two games while sitting out parts of both games. Central utilized running back Preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection Joseph Yearby at quarterback in its comeback defeat of Booker T. Washington and will likely do so again part of the time this week.

Manatee coach Joe Kinnan says his team is better prepared to deal with being No. 1 than the last time it was in 1991, when former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier played for the Hurricanes.

"We have a lot of good people who are not too full of themselves," Kinnan said."We realize there is some responsibility to be ranked that high. The last time we were ranked No. 1, we didn't handle it well and lost in the playoffs."

MORE: Super 25 Rankings
MORE: Five Other Games to Watch
2. No. 9 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) vs. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), Friday

The Gaels are looking for their third win in as many efforts against an out-of-state opponent. With Don Bosco Prep's loss last week to Gilman (Baltimore), Bergen Catholic is looking to establish itself as the top team in the Garden State. Quarterback Joe Germano passed for 318 yards and four touchdowns in the Crusaders' opener last week against St. Anthony (Mellville, N.Y.) while Gorman quarterback Anu Solomon threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in a 52-40 win at St. Louis (Honolulu).
3. No. 17 DeSoto (Texas) vs. Trinity (Euless), Saturday

Both are ranked in the top 10 in the state. DeSoto just joined the Super 25 after a 46-27 defeat of Jenks, Okla. Trinity bounced back from a season-opening loss at No. 7 Bellevue, Wash., by defeating then-No. 14 Union (Tulsa) 21-18. DeSoto and Trinity each had a chance to scout the other last week as they played on the same field as part of a Texas vs. Oklahoma doubleheader. Trinity's stout defense will look to slow down DeSoto quarterback Desmon White.
4. No. 11 Trinity (Louisville) vs. St. Xavier (Cincinnati), Friday

This is a big rivalry. Trinity knocked St. Xavier out of the rankings last season with a 17-7 victory. Trinity (2-0) is coming off a bye week while St. Xavier (2-1) suffered a 31-28 loss to Colerain (Cincinnati).
5. No. 5 John Curtis (River Ridge, La.) vs. East St. John (Reserve), Friday

John Curtis had a hard time last season with East St. John, needing a big game from running back Sherman Badie to escape with a 27-18 win. East St. John is looking to right itself after a season-opening 24-20 loss last week to St.  Louis (Lake Charles) and is still reeling from equipment and field destruction wrought by Hurricane Issac. John Curtis (2-0) has to guard against a letdown after a 33-3 defeat of then-No. 7 Plant (Tampa) last week in the Superdome.

Follow @USATODAYhss for daily high school sports coverage and Super 25 score updates.



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