News Section: Sports
Manatee County High School Football Schedule: September 28, 2012
BRADENTON – On Friday night, the biggest football game of the year is back, as the deepest rivalry in Manatee County gets played out at John Kiker Memorial Stadium, when the Southeast Seminoles host the Manatee Hurricanes. Southeast nearly toppled Manatee when the 'Canes visited in 2010 and were able to hold on when a controversial penalty thwarted the 'Noles last drive. Manatee was ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time.
In 2011 the 'Canes had already suffered two losses in national showcases when Southeast came to Hawkins Stadium and were routed 47-6, giving Manatee a 16-14 lead in a series that dates back to 1974. Coach Maechtle and his team would surely love to get revenge by ending Manatee's march toward a first-ever High School National Championship. However, it will be a tall order this year, with the 'Canes having grown stronger since 2011, while Southeast has yet to demonstrate 2011 form, after losing blue-chip two-way threat Brian Poole to the University of Florida.
If Southeast couldn't hang last year, they've got their work cut out for them this week, much of which will rest on star RB Courtney Allen's ability to bounce outside the fearsome Manatee Defensive Line to snap big plays. The game has been named one of the 67 included in the 2012 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the United States Marine Corps. The winner will take the coveted Great American Rivalry Series Champion trophy, presented on field by a United States Marine. The game’s Most Valuable Player is also named, and the Series awards the top student-athlete from each school a college scholarship.
In other local action, Palmetto, the No. 1-ranked 5A team in the state, will host Lakewood Ranch in what should be a competitive match-up. Coming off their first win since 2010, St. Stephen's will look to build momentum, while struggling Bayshore and Braden River both look for their first wins of the season.
Football: Friday 7:30 p.m.
Manatee @ Southeast
Palmetto @ Lakewood Ranch
Port Charlotte @ Braden River
Bayshore @ Cypress Lake
St. Stephen's @ Shorecrest Prep
Canterbury @ Bradenton Christian (7:00)
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