Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Hurricanes Leave Tigers in the Dust

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Hurricanes Leave Tigers in the Dust

Article excerpt

BRADENTON

NO CONTEST: Manatee proves they are force to be reckoned with

The Manatee Hurricanes made a definitive statement Friday night at Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium.

The No. 1-ranked team in the nation, as well as the top dog in the state in Class 7A, removed any and all doubt as to who rules the roost in high school football in these parts and well beyond.

The previously unbeaten Palmetto Tigers (7-1), the No. 1 team in the state in Class 5A, were on the wrong end of Manatee's message in a big way.

Spurred on by comments made by Palmetto coach Dave Marino that appeared in Friday's editions of the Herald-Tribune, Manatee showed no mercy as it buried the Tigers, 62-0, in a non-district football game.

"We thought they would be competitive, but they weren't even competitive," veteran Manatee coach Joe Kinnan said of the Tigers. "We express what kind of football team we are on the field, not in the newspaper. We felt that we had been disrespected.

"I told them not to play down to Palmetto's level. We just needed to play up to our level. It was a convincing victory.

"I think we exposed a lot of their weaknesses. When you come to play, you better bring your lunch bucket against us. Our kids came to play football."

The Hurricanes (8-0) scored eight of their nine touchdowns on the ground. The other was a 36-yard interception return by Willie Smith.

Kinnan played three different quarterbacks, four different tailbacks, nine different wide receivers and 10 different offensive linemen, but Manatee continued to punch it in possession after possession.

"My philosophy is, if you can't stop the run, we ain't throwing it," Kinnan said.

Manatee junior Trevon Walters took game-high honors with 160 yards rushing. He only ran once in the second half, a 79-yard scoring run on Manatee's first offensive play in the third quarter before he took the rest of the night off. …

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