Manatee Hurricanes Endure a Challenging Defeat against Venice Indians
VENICE, FL — On a crisp Friday evening, the Manatee Hurricanes went head-to-head against the formidable Venice Indians in an away non-district matchup. Despite a commendable effort from the Hurricanes, the game ended in a decisive 56-24 victory for the Indians.
The match kicked off with the Indians swiftly marking their presence on the scoreboard with a touchdown and subsequent extra point, taking the lead at 7-0.
In response, the Hurricanes showcased their offensive prowess, with quarterback Andrew Heidel linking up with Bon Bean Jr. for a 15-yard gain. Capitalizing on this momentum, Joey Colonneso narrowed the gap with a successful 40-yard field goal, making the score 7-3.
However, the second quarter brought challenges for the Hurricanes as the Indians secured another touchdown, extending their lead to 14-3. Yet, Manatee's spirits were lifted when Ty’Ron Jackson executed an exhilarating 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, trimming the Indians' lead to a mere 4 points, 14-10.
As the game progressed, Venice solidified their offensive dominance, scoring twice and taking a significant 28-10 lead. But the resilient Hurricanes weren't to be subdued. A pivotal 17-yard gain from Heidel to Bean Jr. paved the way for a 2-yard touchdown pass to Damontez McDowell. Manatee ended the first half at a 28-17 deficit.
The defense also had their moments, with Ean Johnson-Kelley making a notable contribution by sacking the Venice quarterback for a 1-yard loss.
However, the third quarter proved challenging for Manatee as Venice managed to add two touchdowns to their tally, taking a commanding 42-17 lead. And despite the Indians further stretching the lead to 49-17 in the fourth quarter's onset, the Hurricanes weren't done fighting.
A key turning point came when Tristan Titus secured a fumble recovery for Manatee, following a Venice mishap. This set the stage for a 29-yard connection between Heidel and AJ Causey, culminating in a 7-yard rushing touchdown by Trayvon Pinder. This cut the Indians' lead to 49-24.
Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, Venice countered swiftly with another touchdown, ending the game at 56-24.
The loss marks Manatee's first defeat of the season. With a bye week ahead, the Hurricanes will use this time to regroup and refocus as they prepare to face the Riverview Sarasota Rams on Friday, October 20. Fans remain optimistic that their beloved Hurricanes will bounce back stronger and continue their campaign with renewed vigor.