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Commentary | North Manatee Storm unleash offense in Pop Warner football victories

The North Manatee Storm were on fire this past weekend, collecting five victories in six Pop Warner football games against the Valrico Rams at Buffalo Creek Park.

In the Mitey Mite division, the Storm won their third straight game with a 19-13 triumph. Demarius Smith scored from 12 and 44 yards out, while Tommy Mercado added a 71-yard touchdown run.

Calin Heath recorded an interception for a third straight game, and it was a pivotal one that halted a potential Rams scoring drive. Dalton Ausborn, Jayden Dunbar, Dirk Hernandez, Anthony Mack, Kobe Murrell, Troy Perales, Landon Pizano, J'Derian Roe, Jesse Rupert and T.J. Thomas excelled in shutting out the Rams on defense for the second half. Asa Watkins' fourth-and-goal stop in the final minute preserved the victory for the Storm.

In the Pee Wee division, Stanley Collins threw a touchdown to Josh Siplin and one to Duane Fobbs as the Storm peeled off a 25-0 shutout. Siplin added a rushing touchdown as did Jordan Alexis.

Kolin Rogers tallied three sacks and a touchdown-saving solo tackle. Zack Sampley had an extra point, while the linebacking crew of Isaiah Pe

titfrere, Rohan Smith and Robert Gavin led the defense in tackles.

The Storm's Junior Midget club also whitewashed the Rams. They did so by a 34-0 blowout to improve to 5-0 on the year. Dillon McNally, Kavion Williams, Gabriel McDuffie, Carter Wompey, Jahiem Evans, Tyler Wells, Justin Squires and Jamal Barnes were credited with blocking on the line to lead the offensive display.

And in the Unlimited division, the Storm edged the Rams 20-13 behind Johnny Jones (120 rushing yards), Clyde Townsend (110 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards, three total touchdowns) and Ryan Overstreet (125 passing yards) on offense. The defense of Brandon Waiters (15 tackles, two sacks), Jackson Dietz (six tackles), Alex Wowack (six tackles) and Jones (six tackles) churned out a solid effort. The Storm came back from two deficits in the game to earn the victory.

The lone loss came in the Junior Pee division, where the Rams won 25-6.

Meanwhile, the East Manatee Bulldogs had their games against the Tampa PAL Patriots postponed until Oct. 25 at Lakewood Ranch Park due to poor field conditions.

The Manatee Mustangs and Manatee Wildcats, however, were in action. The Mustangs swept the East Tampa Bandits with wins in the Mitey Mites (21-0), Junior Pee Wees (19-0), Junior Midgets (21-12) and Unlimited (24-7) divisions on the road.

The Wildcats had to travel, too. They collected wins against the Fishhawk Wolfpack in the Mitey Mites (25-0), Pee Wees (31-28), Junior Midgets (21-0) and Unlimited (34-22) divisions. The lone defeat came in the Junior Pee Wee (38-12) division.

Among those that played this past Saturday, the following teams remain unbeaten with 6-0 marks unless otherwise specified: Wildcats (Mitey Mites), Mustangs (Junior Pee Wees and Unlimited) and Storm (Junior Midgets, 5-0 record).

Spooky race looms

The 11th annual Lakewood Ranch Boo Run is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. The 5K race is a family-oriented one with a costume contest highlighting things for the non-competitive runners. Awards for best couple, most creative, most funny and best male/female children under the age of 10 are scheduled.

The race fee is $30 ($10 for children 12-and-younger), and online registration can be accessed through until the end of Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Packet pickup and late registration can be accomplished at Fit2Run (downtown Sarasota location Oct. 19-20; University Center location Oct. 21-23 and Lakewood Ranch Main Street location Oct. 25).

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill.