The Takeway: Sept. 14-15
Inspiring, unusual or otherwise noteworthy stories from the world of high school football.
Super 25 No. 1 Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.) held off former top dog Central (Miami) on Friday night, 44-34, thanks in large part to Hurricanes quarterback Cord Sandberg. Recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg sees a little Tebow in quarterback Sandberg. Back before that was a dubious distinction meaning "backup to Mark Sanchez," you'll remember, Tim Tebow was a state-title winning All-American at Nease (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) and a Heisman-winning, two-time national champ at Florida. In this case, Newberg is referencing Sandberg's versatility and athleticism. Last year Sandberg threw for 2,187 yards and 19 touchdowns for the state champion Canes and added another 813 yards and 10 scores on the ground. Also a standout baseball player, Sandberg has committed to Mississippi State.
MORE: High School Football Central
Game called on account of skin infection
The Asbury Park Press reports that a skin infection contracted by at least half a dozen football players for Ocean Township (N.J.) has forced the school to cancel today's scheduled tilt with Neptune. Superintendent John Lysko told the Press that Ocean would forfeit rather than risk spreading the infection, called impetigo, any further. The team hasn't practiced since Tuesday and won't resume until all 48 of its varsity and JV players can be examined. According to WebMD, impetigo is a common but extremely contagious bacterial skin infection. While this is an unusual case, it's far from the first time an easily spreadable skin disease has canceled a high school sporting event. Herpes gladiatorum has actually earned the nickname "mat herpes" because of its commonality among wrestlers, although some debate persists about whether the disease can be spread via wrestling mats or only through direct skin-to-skin contact.
Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.) running back Thomas Tyner had a monster game Friday night, rushing for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns in an 84-63 win over Lakeridge. OregonLive reports that both marks are state records. It's a promising start for the Oregon-bound Tyner, who led Aloha to a state title two years ago but saw his 2011 campaign was derailed by injuries. Ducks fans should get familiar with Tyner, who is also one of the nation's top sprinters. Not a bad way to celebrate your 18th birthday.
Looks like Minnesota Vikings teammates Kyle Rudolph and Christian Ponder took in the Eden Prairie-Centennial game in their adopted state on Friday night. Prairie, the top team in 'Sota, won 49-12.
Glades Day (Belle Glade, Fla.) senior running back Kelvin Taylor was already Florida's all-time leading rusher in terms of both yards (10,038) and touchdowns (155) entering Friday night's matchup with Clewiston. But those totals include his monster eighth-grade stats (1,584 yards, 28 TDs), so we're not talking apples to apples with records that only include numbers from grades 9-12. Even dismissing his pre-frosh stats, however, Taylor — a Florida commit and the son of former Jaguars star Fred Taylor — is on pace to challenge both the state and national four-year rushing yardage records. He's not the only one.
Right behind Taylor is Yulee (Fla.) back Derrick Henry, who entered Friday's contest against South Lake at No. 3 on Florida's all-time list with more than 8,400 yards — about 400 behind Emmitt Smith, who put up 8,804 yards for Escambia (Pensacola, Fla.). The two Sunshine State backs are a lesson in contrast, with Taylor standing 5-foot-10 and Henry (who is expected to choose between Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee) more closely resembling a linebacker at 6-3.