Prep football | Total domination again as Manatee Hurricanes spank Southeast Seminoles

Canes rout rival Noles again for sixth straight win in series

adell@bradenton.comSeptember 29, 2012 

BRADENTON -- Webster's dictionary says a rivalry is a competitive state or a condition of competitiveness.

If fans still want to call the Manatee-Southeast series a rivalry, either Webster has to change its definition or Southeast has to change.

Manatee won its sixth straight in the series, pounding host Southeast 52-13 on Friday night. It was the second straight lopsided score in the series, which the Canes now lead 17-14.

Last year, Manatee showed total domination, winning 48-6, and this wasn't much different.

Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan wasn't surprised at the outcome as the unbeaten Canes rolled to their 16th straight victory and surely will maintain the top national ranking it has in several publications.

"There was a big crowd, and it was exciting," Kinnan said. "Obviously, we had the superior talent this year. We showed why we are a very good football team and ranked as high as we are. We tried to get all our playmakers involved. There is only one ball, and we tried to move it around to different people.

"Ja'Juan Pollock was injured, and it gave other people a chance."

Manatee showed its superiority on its first two drives when tailback Trevon Walters broke several tackles and quarterback Cord Sandberg kept the Southeast defense off stride with his pinpoint passing and running.

"We are a very physical team, and we are a very talented football team. This game should get us ready for what's ahead. Three of the next four weeks we have district opponents and that determines the postseason," Kinnan said.

Manatee rolled up 488 yards of offense from scrimmage with 278 yards rushing and 210 passing.

Southeast (3-2) had 188 total yards from scrimmage. Trevon Walters led the Canes with 105 yards on 14 carries, and Courtney Allen topped the Noles with 58 yards on 13 rushes.

Manatee scored on all five of its first-half possessions to take a 38-6 halftime lead. In the first quarter, Sandberg scored on runs of 5 and 1 yard, and Anthony Lauro bulled his way in from a yard out.

The only bright spot for Southeast came in the first quarter when Allen broke loose for a 57-yard touchdown run. But the Noles were stymied the rest of the first half and managed only two first downs while Manatee had 18.

"You are facing the No. 1 team in the nation and you can't make mistakes," Southeast defensive coordinator Brian McKnight said. "Their first two touchdowns we had guys in position and they missed the tackles. It comes down to weight room strength. You can tell they spend a little more time in the weight room than we did. Hopefully we can use this as a learning experience.

"But I am proud of the kids. They never stopped fighting. As the score was getting more lopsided they kept sticking their nose in there and balling and scratching and trying to get the ball out."

Manatee scored on its first possession of the second half when Southeast lost the ball on pitch. The Canes recovered on the Noles' 28 and two plays later Walters burst through the Southeast defense for a 21-yard touchdown.

Southeast responded with a two-yard touchdown run by Allen to cap a 63-yard, five-play drive that was highlighted by a 29-yard run by Frank Brice.

Manatee didn't have to punt until the last five minutes of the third quarter. The Canes put their final points on the board on a 1-yard run by Walters with 8:31 left in the game.

"Walters has great balance and explosion. He has excellent hands except for the one touchdown pass he should've caught," Kinnan said.

Sandberg was named the MVP of this Great American Rivalry Series. He ran for 71 yards on 11 carries, including two touchdowns, and completed 11 of 14 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns.

McKnight has been involved in this series going to back to 1985 as a player and came back coaching in 1992.

"This will always be a rivalry to me, but I think some of the kids are starting to lose it a little bit," McKnight said. "Back when Southeast was competitive against Manatee, Lakewood Ranch wasn't there and Braden River wasn't there. We parented two high schools and Manatee hasn't parented one."

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