MANATEE -- For the first time since 2011, Palmetto will play in a state semifinal game this Friday, when the Tigers host Miami Central.

“We are the only game in town, and last time that happened it was a great atmosphere when we played Miami Norland,” Dave Marino said.

At one point, Palmetto was ranked the number one team in the entire state, and as we sit here the day before Thanksgiving the Tigers are the talk of the town.

“People were lined up this morning at 8 o’clock for their tickets,” Marino said.

“It is very exciting, there is going to be a lot of hype behind this game, it is always good to have a game at home. Especially a big time game like this, where your family members can come out and watch you play a big time game,” Lajohntay Wester said.

Palmetto annihilated Charlotte 62-15 last week in the regional finals.

“When everyone does their job and we are on the same page we are unstoppable, we all just have to do our assignments and we can’t be beat on defense,” Matt Wyatt said.

“They turned it on, and they turned it on right at the right time,” Marino said.

Eight years ago, Palmetto came up one yard short in this exact game, as quarterback Trent Miller was stopped at the one, with the Tigers down a score.

“They are not going to leave it a yard short this time, they are focused and determined,” Marino said.