High school football is back. The regular season opened Friday with various Manatee County teams in action.
Manatee, Palmetto and Southeast were on the road, while Bayshore, Braden River and Parrish Community highlighted the public school teams at home.
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At Sarasota Riverview, the Southeast Seminoles were outmatched from the outset. The Rams scored on their first seven possessions, added an interception return for a touchdown, and controlled Friday’s regular-season opener from start to finish en route to a 54-0 victory.
Southeast’s opening possession ended with the first of three first-half interceptions. Riverview senior defensive back Jermaine Mitchell intercepted Southeast quarterback Tarqez Thomas less than a minute into the game. The Rams, who used three quarterbacks, scored on the first play after the turnover with Anthony Campbell’s 35-yard touchdown reception.
The lead ballooned from there with Southeast’s subsequent first quarter possessions ending in a punt, missed field goal and second turnover via an interception.
The Rams were ahead 21-0 and on their way to another another score when the first quarter ended.
“We had a pretty good game last week, and that was kind of my fear that we kind of started thinking that we arrived a little bit,” Southeast head coach Brett Timmons said.
Timmons said his team made mistakes they normally don’t make.
Those mistakes turned into points for Riverview (1-0), which was unrelenting in its defensive pressure.
“It just became one thing after another,” Timmons said. “Snowball, snowball, snowball.”
However, one bright spot for the Noles (0-1) was their kick return game. One return allowed Southeast a short field, which resulted in its best drive. While it ended in a missed field goal, it was the best movement the team had against Riverview’s defensive front that prevented the Noles from having success on the ground to open up the passing attack.
“It was just more or less we couldn’t run the ball,” Timmons said. “And a lot of the things that we do are predicated off the run and then try to throw the ball, take a couple shots deep. And threw some picks here, threw some picks there. But at the end of the day man, we’ll go back and watch the tape and we’ll see things that were there that we didn’t execute.”
Here’s a look at the rest of the Week 1 games:
Palmetto 32, St. Pete Gibbs 26
Manatee 46, Lake Minneola 27
Braden River 34, Gainesville 20
Parrish Community 43, North Port 0
Bayshore 56, St. Petersburg Catholic 38 (fourth quarter)
Bradenton Christian 35, St. Petersburg Keswick Christian 0
IMG Academy White 41, Tallahassee St. John Paul II 18
Englewood Lemon Bay 20, Lakewood Ranch 13 (Thursday)
Tampa Cambridge Christian 31, IMG Academy Blue 9 (Thursday)
IMG Academy National at St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia, Pa.) Prep (Saturday)
Swipe below for scores involving Bradenton area programs: