Saturday, December 17, 2011

Prep football: Odds and ends from Manatee's state final win

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

- Manatee's 40-0 win over Jacksonville First Coast during Friday's Class 7A state final marked the program's fifth state title, tied for fourth-most all-time with Monticello Jefferson County. Jacksonville Bolles (11) is first.

- The Hurricanes held First Coast to minus-71 yards of rushing, a new state finals record. The previous mark of minus-10 was set by Naples in a Class 3A state final against St. Augustine.

- Manatee was a combined 12 for 18 on third- and fourth-down conversions, while First Coast converted just one of seven third downs. The Canes also scored on all five trips inside the red zone.

- Including this year, Manatee has made 25 playoff appearances, tying Southeast for most in the area, and has won an area-best 53 playoff games. The Canes are 53-20 all-time in the playoffs, and haven't lost a playoff game at home since 2005.

- Head coach Joe Kinnan has guided Manatee to all five of its state titles, and has now won championships in three different decades - the 1980s ('83, '85, '89), the 90s ('92) and the 2010s ('11). This year marked the first time Manatee recorded a shutout in a state final.

- Manatee has won state titles in Miami (Tamiami Stadium, 1983), Bradenton (Hawkins Stadium, '85), Daytona Beach (Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, '89), Gainesville (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field, '92) and Orlando (Florida Citrus Bowl, 2011).

- Manatee went 13-0 this season against Florida schools, and has 20 straight regular-season wins against Florida schools. Its last four losses have come to state champions: Tampa Plant in the 2009 Class 5A state final, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas in last year's Class 5A state semifinals, and Maryland's Our Lady of Good Counsel and New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep this year. Manatee hasn't lost to a county team since 2006 (Southeast).

- Halfback/wide receiver Anthony Lauro has not received any scholarship offers yet, but said South Carolina and its head coach, Steve Spurrier, have showed him a lot interest.

- Kinnan on First Coast: "They're a lot better football than what the score indicated. We're not 40 points better - we were (Friday)."

- Manatee's rematch with Bosco next season will be Week 3 up in New Jersey. The Ironmen, who have won six straight state titles, beat the Canes 22-16 this season in Bradenton, but were trailing 10-9 midway through the fourth quarter.

"Don Bosco is the best team we've played. We made some mistakes that night," Kinnan said. "You've got to give them credit, they deserved that win. I'd like to play Bosco again right now, though."

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