It's playoff time for area Pop Warner football programs.
The East Manatee Bulldogs Mitey Mite squad kept its unbeaten season intact with a first round victory over the Wauchula Hardee Wildcats 14-0 last Saturday.
Josiah Lozada (touchdown) and Kevin Miller (TD, 2-point kick) provided the offense. Trevor Jackson (interception) joined Luke Labriola (fumble recovery) and Miller (fumble recovery) to lead the defense. The Bulldogs (9-0) faces the 7-1 Palm Harbor Panthers next week in the Don Clark Bowl to determine the conference champion.
Meanwhile, the North Manatee Storm Pee Wee's earned a 16-8 victory over the East Tampa Bandits in the Foundation for Youth Development Division-II semifinals at G.T. Bray park.
Rory Houston's 60-yard touchdown run in the second half gave the Storm an 8-0 lead. However, the Bandits tied the game before Jared Richardson connected with Dominec McNeal for a game-winning 40-yard TD pass with about two minutes remaining in the game. Vaughn Hayes accounted for both PATs in the victory, while the defense received con
tributions from Jett Gillum, Jakir Fordham, Mateus Urbanski and John Jones.
McNeal and Dajor Murrell each had an interception to propel the Storm's Pee Wee squad to their first championship game this Saturday against the Palm Harbor Panthers.
Middle school soccer
The Manatee County Middle School Soccer Championships is scheduled for Thursday at Palmetto High School.
The girls game between Haile and Nolan Middle is set to begin at 6 p.m., with the boys game Lincoln and Braden River Middle slated after the girls game finishes.
Admission is $2 for students and $3 for adults.
Haile fans are assigned to the north bleachers (Palmetto High home side), while Nolan fans are assigned to the south bleachers for the girls game.
Lincoln fans will sit in the north stands, with the Braden River fans sitting in the south stands for the boys game.
Doggie Bones 5K
The Doggie Bones 5K Run/Walk and Kids Monster Dashes attracted 672 participants last Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park.
Bradenton's Michael Lamb clocked in at 16 minutes, 59 seconds to win the overall male title.
Clearwater's Brianna Whaley ran the course in 17:53 to capture the overall female title.
Other men's winners included: Sarasota's Jose Angeles (Master, 17:40), Sarasota's Dennis Thompson (Grand Master, 20:29), Sarasota's Albert Bezilla (Senior Grand Master, 23:47) and Sarasota's S. Kent Morgan (Veteran, 27:38).
Other female winners included: Sarasota's Isobel Doberwiz (Master, 23:22), St. Lucie's Suzy Moore (Grand Master, 24:54), Venice's Tuula Pakula (Senior Grand Master, 29:48) and Sarasota's Jessie Fuller (Veteran, 36:42).
The event was unique in that it offered a special heat for participants to run with their dogs.
Bradenton's Megan Koester clocked in at 23 minutes, 21 seconds to win the female with dog division.
Sarasota's Jason Sharples (22:05) won the male with dog division.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at Jason__Dill