Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
October 26, 2013
Doug Pugh is the senior columnist for FlaVarsity and Brighthouse Networks. He covers the state of Florida and beyond and was present on the sidelines for Manatee's 28-24 come-from-behind win over University School. Here are his thoughts.
BRADENTON FL - Losing sucks; winning trumps everything.
That sounds about right, doesn't it? What was shaping up to be the biggest "upset" in the nation on Friday Night, (if you want to call it that) ended up finishing as an even bigger upset in the eyes and hearts of some.
There may be some clear evidence towards justifying that feeling of negativity if you're a University School supporter, given the ends nowhere near justifies the means to Friday's result and there may be evidence (just as clear perhaps) that there's some weaknesses in the chain if you're a 'Canes Fan.
Quarterback Josh Meyer was playing junior varsity this time last year and there were moments this evening (especially when asked to throw) he appeared as if he had somehow gotten confused what year this was.
Immediately following the Gilman game, it appeared too easy. Friday, it appeared so difficult that it may take him a while to fully process that he (along with Trevon Walters) essentially put his team on his back and did what he had to do. The junior didn't make it look pretty by any means, but 16 carries for 99 very tough yards and a TD in the second half along with countless third and fourth down conversions in short yardage proved his worth to this Manatee program in spades moving forward.
Sean White is a stud. His arm should be considered a viable option in times that RPG's are not available for use. He got some big help from Jordan Scarlett making a play on the screen on the opening play of the game. He also has the services of some phenomenal WR's (Chris Taylor and Sam Bruce) and an extremely under-appreciated (outside of U-School's campus and HSFB circles in South Fla. of course) in Lajuan Hunt. He also found six different WR's with at least two catches.
What he'll be needed for on the Plains up at Auburn the most in the coming seasons is to make sure he recreates the 1st and 4th Quarters where he went 16-for-22, 298yds and 2 TD's instead of stringing that together with a 6-for-15, and 61yd performance during the 2nd and 3rd while battling with some legitimate adversity.
I'm sure there's a few defensive staffs in the SEC West that have a beat on making in-game schematic adjustments quicker than their wives spend their bowl bonuses and will see that on film beforehand. ALL OF THAT SAID, his leadership abilities in general, his football IQ and his passion for this game were unquestionable in his postgame address to the team and he will learn to channel these experiences to even greater heights in his career down the line I'm sure.
In-game adjustments are always discussed as being one of the keys to victory. Manatee's "NASCAR" package was certainly an issue for the Suns Defense in the 2nd Half, but not in the manner you'd interpret that on the surface. It wasn't necessarily U-School's Defense per se, they only gave up an average of 4.1 yards a play to the 'Canes while their own offense was literally doubling that at 8.1 yards per on Manatee's Defense.
The biggest issue was that by game's end, Manatee had run 80 plays on offense including four of their five drives in the second half equaling forty-one of those. That's enough to wear anybody out, and when the time of possession in the game is nearly 29 minutes to 17, it's going to take a toll. The Suns ran seven more plays in the second half than the first, yet somehow managed to accumulate 90 less yards and score only 3 points to the 21 they tallied in the first 24 minutes. The asterisk placed by the last drive since before that drive began on their own 14yd-line, they had a total of 17 plays and the ball for less than 5 minutes.
Finally; let's talk about the 2-ton Elephant in the room. I'll be honest, if I was to carry out the wish of one of the staff members requests from the losing team with regards to the officiating, this article would be considered NSFW, I'd be blacklisted on every sideline, and there would be, how should I put this? A lot of people would be butt-hurt and would need a tissue 'cause they're crying in the car in the parking lot like they just got dumped.
Was it bad? Yeah, it was. Not worse than what I personally witnessed when Central went to Don Bosco or even Booker T.-Gorman to a certain degree though. Others can talk their conspiracy theories, but here's what I DO KNOW. Nine penalties for 90 yards called on the Suns to Manatee's 33yds on just five called. Those are unofficial of course, but I stood on the sidelines and watched teenagers act like men, play like men, and shake hands like men, while the men seemed to react with the same cognitive functioning I've watched toddlers trying to use while potty-training. It's a shame too, because the kids stole the show this evening in my viewpoint, not the adults; even though they tried.