Sunday’s big game lived up to the hype, while ending the football season for Manatee County’s Brian Poole and Sharrod Neasman short of a Super Bowl ring.
New England’s epic comeback behind quarterback Tom Brady, a look at some winter high school sports and a glance at spring training looming in the distance top this week’s Numbers Game.
So sit back, relax and chew on the key digits from the above topics. Here we go:
Super Bowl championships Manatee County players have won. The list includes Bill Anderson (1967 Packers), Henry Lawrence (1977, 1981 and 1984 Raiders), Alvoid Mays (1992 Redskins), Tyrone Williams (1997 Packers) and Rod Harper (2010 Saints) earned titles, while more recent county players, such as Peter Warrick (2006 Seahawks), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2009 Cardinals) and Poole and Neasman of this year’s Falcons, saw their teams lose in the Super Bowl.
Amount of points the Buffalo Bills trailed before defeating the Houston Oilers in a 1993 wild-card game. Atlanta’s Super Bowl collapse ranks third in the NFL’s biggest blown lead category for the playoffs. Buffalo’s comeback is the greatest in playoff history, while Indianapolis ranks second with its 28-point comeback against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.
Winning percentage for the Carolina Panthers this season, their first following last year’s Super Bowl defeat. Will the same fate fall to Poole, Neasman and the rest of the Falcons? Time will tell. The last time Atlanta reached the Super Bowl, the Falcons followed up the loss to the John Elway-led Broncos with a 5-11 season in 2000.
Days until the Pittsburgh Pirates have their first workout at Pirate City. Major League Baseball spring training is upon us, and the Buccos have called Bradenton their spring home since 1969. Next week’s workout is for pitchers and catchers, while position players join for the team’s first full squad workout on Friday, Feb. 17.
Minute that Ricky Yanez scored a winning goal on Saturday to push Lakewood Ranch High’s boys soccer program into Tuesday’s Class 5A-Region 2 final against Plant City. It was the second straight match-winning goal for the Mustangs last week. First, Connor Bezet scored the golden goal four minutes into extra time in a region quarterfinal. Then, Yanez slotted his match-winner six minutes from time in Saturday’s region semifinal. He’s got 15 goals this season, and the Mustangs are aiming for their first final four appearance since 2014 when they lost in the 4A state semifinals.
A girls basketball digit for two teams: Bayshore and Lakewood Ranch. Both programs made a little history last week. The Bruins reached their first regional quarterfinal after knocking off three-time defending district champion Southeast, which won a state title in 2014, in the Class 6A-District 11 semifinals. The Mustangs won the Class 8A-District 11 championship last Friday, which was the first for the program since 2013. It was the first time in prized college basketball prospect LaDazhia Williams, who is signed with South Carolina, won a district title. She poured in 21 points in the title-clincher, which nets the team a home game in the regional quarterfinals this week. Last year, Lakewood Ranch reached the Class 7A championship game with four consecutive road victories, before falling 44-28 to Winter Haven in the finals.