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ports Manatee County High School Football Results: 9/14/12

Manatee safety Willie Smith

BRADENTON -- Manatee managed to fend off a strong Miami Central squad in what was the toughest test for the 'Canes so far this season. Palmetto's high-powered offense continued to gel, as they routed Braden River. Southeast finally got things together in a big win over Booker and Bayshore continued to struggle against an improving Lakewood Ranch, who won team in overtime.

The Hurricanes defended their No. 1 national ranking by beating Miami Central by 10 points. The Rockets refused to go down quietly, clawing their way back into a game they trailed 23-7 at half, twice narrowing that gap to less than 10 points. Manatee had no answer for Central's impressive corps of receivers, including 6'1 sophomore Da'Vante Phillips who had 9 catches for 113 yards and will definitely be a player to watch. Junior speedster Tavius Brown added 5 catches for 111 yards, exposing a chinc in Manatee's armor that will no doubt be tested when they meet Palmetto and their deep threat trio of burners.

Trevon Walters had a breakout game that included an 85-yard TD run that sealed the win for Manatee. Wide Receiver Marquel Hines was also impressive, taking two receptions in for blazing TD runs totaling 72 yards. Southeast finally got it in gear, routing Booker 42-6. Star RB Courtney Allen had his first breakout game of the season, stomping the Tornadoes for 174 yards on 15 carries, including three TD's.

The silver lining in Palmetto losing star RB Josh Hicks to a week 1 injury is that coach Dave Marino has discovered that senior WR Cory Crawford is one of the most explosive RB's Manatee County has ever seen. Crawford split time at both positions again Friday, taking 9 carries for over 150 yards, while snapping three TD's of 65, 35 and 26 yards. When Hicks returns next week against DeSoto, Palmetto will have an almost unthinkable arsenal of offensive weapons, buoyed by a defense that has improved each week.

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Friday's Results

Manatee 44

Miami Central 34

Palmetto 40
Braden River 0

Southeast 42

Booker 6

Lakewood Ranch 21

Bayshore 14



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