Know the foe: Venice
Know the foe: Venice (11-0)
Up next: Hosts East Lake (9-1) in a Class 7A region final Friday.
Road to the state semifinals: D. South Fort Myers 56-0; d. Braden River 64-42
Season in a snap: The Indians have four shutouts this season, and held opponents to a touchdown or less in three other games. Venice is averaging 50 points a game. … Senior Matthew Laroche more than earns the nickname “Speedy,” outrunning defenses to the tune of 2,473 yards and 33 touchdowns. He hasn’t been held under 100 yards all season, and in two games against Braden River had 634 yards and eight touchdowns. In the region semifinal, junior dual-threat quarterback Bryce Carpenter ran for 264 yards and a school-record six touchdowns. In addition to his 16 passing scores, Carpenter has 14 TDs via the ground this year. … According to the Bradenton Herald, Venice converted on 12-of-16 third downs last week against Braden River, while converting three fourth downs.
Playoff history: The Indians’ lone state title (Class 5A) came in 2000. Venice reached the region semifinals a year ago before getting dispatched by district rival Braden River. The Indians got revenge in the same round this season.
East Lake says: “This will be our toughest game of the season. Venice has a running back who is fast, a quarterback who has been there a while and an offensive line that is sound. They do a lot of things really well.” -- East Lake coach Bob Hudson
Rodney Page: Venice, 26-14
Bob Putnam: Venice 28-27