Blake Keller and Anthony Lauro stood on the same football field last Saturday, but did so as opponents.
It was the first time the two former Manatee High teammates played against each other since their Pop Warner days when Keller suited up for Marshall and Lauro played for Akron during Saturday’s college football slate.
Keller and Lauro were key members of the Hurricanes’ last state championship team in 2011, and met for the first time in college.
Keller, a redshirt junior, tallied three tackles and two quarterback hits in the Thundering Herd’s 62-0 rout of Morgan State the previous week. That earned him a captain’s role in a 65-38 loss to Lauro’s Akron Zips on Saturday.
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Lauro featured mostly during Akron’s kick returns and received some offensive reps when the Zips went to a spread formation. Keller didn’t crack the defensive stat sheet for Marshall.
Those two aren’t the only Hometown Heroes this week.
Here’s how others fared:
Brian Poole: The Atlanta Falcons defensive back posted a season-high five tackles in a 35-28 victory over Oakland. Poole, a Southeast High and University of Florida alum, started the Week 1 loss against Tampa Bay and has eight tackles (six solos) in his rookie NFL season.
Jonathan Hernandez: A former Manatee High standout, Hernandez averaged 42.8 yards per punt for the University of South Florida in last week’s comeback victory over Syracuse University. Hernandez stuck five of his six punts inside the 20-yard line as USF earned a 45-20 victory after trailing 17-0 following the first quarter.
Danny Doyle: A defensive end, Doyle earned a scholarship last May after walking on at Duke University. The redshirt sophomore and Manatee High alum registered a sack and quarterback hit with his two tackles in Duke’s 24-13 loss to Northwestern.
Simon Williams: The wide receiver has appeared in three games for the Florida Institute of Technology football team so far. A former Palmetto High star, Williams has two catches for 26 yards.
Troy Gatling: Another FIT wide receiver, Gatling, who played at Braden River High and then the New Mexico Military Institute, hauled in two catches for 28 yards and a touchdown against Shorter University last weekend.
Dylan Tyson: One of Braden River’s starting defensive lineman on the 2015 team’s run to the Class 7A state semifinals, Tyson is a freshman at Shorter University and had a chance to compete against Gatling, a former Braden River standout. Tyson was credited with a tackle ( 1/2 for a loss) in the 41-0 loss to FIT.
Roman Grissett: The Braden River alum is a freshman at Minot State. The defensive back has racked up two tackles, all against Wayne State (Neb.), in three games this season.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: The Lakewood Ranch alum added two tackles in the New York Giants’ victory over New Orleans on Sunday. The 16-13 win kept DRC’s club unbeaten to start the 2016 NFL season.