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Football: Bradenton Manatee 35, Northeast 13

The Herald

BRADENTON — It took two plays and less than two minutes for Mike Blakely to show everyone he was okay. Or more accurately, better than okay.

Bradenton Manatee's Florida-bound running back, hampered during the second half of the season with ankle injuries, sprinted 29 yards on his first carry during Friday's Class 5A, Region 3 quarterfinal against Northeast.

A moment later, he took a screen pass and sliced through arm tackles, not stopping until he reached the end zone to cap a 37-yard catch-and-run.

The healthiest their offense has been all season, the Hurricanes cruised past the Vikings 35-13 and next will host Venice, a 13-10 winner over previously undefeated St. Petersburg, in a regional semifinal.

Blakely totaled 120 yards rushing and receiving and scored a pair of touchdowns.

"I was being hit all week in practice," Blakely said, adding he wasn't worried about playing in a game for the first time in nearly a month.

Receiver Quenton Bundrage, out the last two weeks with a knee injury, appeared healthy, too, grabbing two receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown.

But Manatee's medical maladies continued. Defensive linemen Drakkar Wilson and Quinton Pompey, both of whom are Division I prospects, suffered first-quarter knee injuries.

"You've got to win the first win to move on — that's the object," Manatee coach Joe Kinnan said.

Quarterback Cord Sandberg threw for 134 yards and rushed for 56, including a touchdown.

Playing without their two best lineman, Manatee limited the Vikings to 171 yards of offense.

Football: Bradenton Manatee 35, Northeast 13 11/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 20, 2010 5:12pm]
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