Prep football | Promising players emerge during spring season

jlembo@bradenton.comMay 28, 2014 

Manatee quarterback Kavious Price hands off to Johnnie Lang during Friday's 29-14 victory over Haines City in a spring game at Hawkins Stadium. TOM HUBBARD/Special to the Herald

The spring season, a temporary cure for anyone thirsting for some prep football, is behind us, with nine games and countless practices in the books.

So let's take a look back at some of the more memorable moments of the past few weeks.

And in case you were wondering, the regular season begins Aug. 29.

Top performers

• Palmetto linebacker Ty'Ron Sumpter, a junior varsity player a year ago, made a strong pitch for a promotion Friday when he scored a pair of sacks during the Tigers' 36-26 win over Booker.

• Rising senior linebacker Nashon Smith forced a fumble and recovered a fumble, both of which led to points, to help Manatee knock off Haines City, 29-14.

• Smith's teammate, running back Johnnie Lang, scored a pair of touchdowns while running behind a brand new offensive line and taking handoffs from his cousin, quarterback Kavious Price.

• Fred Billy, a quarterback who won't be a freshman until next year, ran for 53 yards and a touchdown to help Saint Stephen's go 1-1 during

its jamboree against Southwest Florida Christian and Bradenton Christian.

• As for the Panthers, they swept both games thanks in part to rising senior Peyton Spencer, who returned a kickoff 99 yards to help BCS defeat the rival Falcons in the final quarter of the night.

• A rising freshman whose versatility has earned him the title of "joker" from coach Brett Timmons, ODA's Dakota Dickerson scored two touchdowns against St. Petersburg Northside Christian, with one coming on an interception return. Dickerson also lined up at running back and caught a touchdown pass.

• Despite the circumstances surrounding Manatee's football team, the Hurricanes didn't look distracted during their win over Haines City. Credit that to interim head coach Jim Phelan and Manatee's seasoned coaching staff.

They said it

• "(H)e doesn't realize the effect he can have on a football game. And he did." -- BCS coach Allen Gerber, on Spencer.

• "We just didn't worry about the outside world -- we just played football." -- Manatee WR Kelvin McKnight, who caught a touchdown.

• "I told my guys we are here to have fun and give our best effort. We kept fighting until the end." -- new Southeast coach John Warren after the Seminoles' rally came up a little short in a 13-12 loss to Riverview.

"If you just do what you're taught, plays will come to you." -- Palmetto assistant coach Matt Braselton.

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