Monday, November 21, 2011

Prep football: Manatee continues to climb national polls

Great news, folks: I'm back. After a week of honeymooning in the Caribbean with my lovely new bride, I have returned just in time for the second week of the high school football playoffs.
But enough about me...
Surging Manatee is still opening eyes at the national level, jumping to No. 27 in the RivalsHigh 100 following Friday's 55-2 win over Largo Pinellas Park in a Class 7A-Region 3 opener.
The Canes were 39th heading into the playoffs.
The Hurricanes (9-2) have won eight straight and are undefeated against Florida schools. Their two losses have come to Maryland's Our Lady of Good Counsel (No. 8) and New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep (No.3), both of whom are ranked by Rivals and are a combined 21-0.
Manatee also made a modest leap on ESPN'S Powerade Fab 50, jumping two spots to No. 23.
The Canes host rival Venice in a Region 3 semifinal 7:30 p.m. Friday.
While Manatee is the lone area team receiving national love, another local squad made an impact on the polls. Lakewood Ranch nearly scored an upset during last week's Class 6A-Region 3 opener before falling 35-31 to Seffner Armwood.
The Hawks entered the game ranked second in the nation by Rivals, but plummeted to 10th following their meeting with the Mustangs.
ESPN kept them at No. 2, however, in its latest poll.
Lakewood Ranch finished the season at 5-6.

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