MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee scored a season high 65 points as they continue their march toward the high school national championship, while Southeast's season was derailed by a shocking first-round upset at home. Meanwhile, the Palmetto Tigers put together a solid win on the road to keep their state championship hopes alive.
The Hurricanes made easy work of St. Pete Northeast, cruising to a 65-12 victory and setting up another game with the Venice Indians, who the 'Canes have dominated over the past five meetings between the teams, including a 56-27 victory earlier this season. Northeast came into the game at 7-3 and only received the bottom-seat spot when Countryside had to forfeit games for using ineligible players.
The Vikings were no match for a Manatee offense that has dominated Florida teams all season long. QB Cord Sandberg went 11-11 for 204 yards and 3 TD passes, while also running one in – all in the first half! Coach Kinnan was afforded the luxury of resting his star player for the last two quarters, as promising backup Josh Meyer filled in, adding two passing and one rushing TD himself.
Star RB Trevon Walters left the game with an injured ankle, but is expected to play next week. Freshman Johnny Lang filled in nicely, adding another TD to the mix. The defense got to Northeast's QB an incredible seven times, helping Manatee dominate the time of possession, while setting up chances to score.
Southeast never got things going in their 20-17 loss to Lake Wales that included some questionable calls. Despite not playing their best football, Southeast was never out of the game. Two unsportsmanlike conduct calls capped a late Lake Wales Drive, taking the ball from the 25-3 before they scored. Near the end of the game, Southeast had a chance to get the ball back for one more shot, needing only a field goal to tie, when a nearly blocked Lake Wales punt resulted in a highly debatable roughing the kicker call that allowed them to instead run out the clock.
Palmetto's sophomore QB Chris Tuten had a breakout game as the Tigers easily moved past a 6-5 Auburndale team, 27-9 on the road. The young QB ran for two TD's and threw for another (12 yards to Shaq Harris), while also hitting Cory Crawford on a 65-yard pass that set up a score. Palmetto's fourth TD was a 57-yard TD pass from running back Josh Hicks to Harris on the halfback pass. Hicks was held to 49 yards on the ground. The Tigers will face Southeast conquerers Lake Wales next Friday night.
High School Football
Friday: 7:30 p.m.
Manatee 65 St. Petersburg Northeast 12
Palmetto 29 Auburndale 9
Lake Wales 20 Southeast 17
Manatee's fearsome front four (from left): Demarcus Christmas, Derrick Calloway, Marquis Dawsey and Blake Keller
Photo by Dennis Maley
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