Venice Grabs District Title

Venice Grabs District Title

With the District Championship on the line, Venice put an end to Manatee's undefeated season with a 43-29 win at Hawkins Stadium. Venice moves to 8-1 on the year with the lone loss coming to nationally ranked Oscar Smith, the victory means the Indian's will be playing at home in the playoffs.

It did not take long for points in this one, Manatee scored on it's first possession when Brion Carnes hit Ace Sanders in stride, Ace beat two defenders for an electrifying 60 yard touchdown. Carnes finished 15-25 for 236 yards, most of it to Sanders(7-180).

Venice scored on a TD drive of their own when Trey Burton went in from the five. That drive was a precursor of things to come as the Hurricane defense had no answer for Burton most of the night. He finished 22-29 for 267 yards and 2 TD's and added 160 rushing.

Venice's defense stepped up and picked off Carnes for their first of two interceptions, then Burton found Beckett Wales for a 26 yard TD to take a 14-7 lead. The Burton to Wales combo hooked up a second time on a play Burton bought time and fired a strike on the run, 21-7 Indians. Manatee got things going again offensively, the big play was Carnes alluding several defenders and darting 29 yards to the one, he punched it in the next play, but Manatee missed the extra point, 21-13 Indians.

Manatee needed a stop at this point in the game to keep the momentum going, but once again Burton engineered another scoring drive, this one capped off by a Danny Dillard 5 yard TD run and Venice was up 28-13 at the half.

Manatee caught Venice sleeping to open the second half when they recovered an onside kick. Carnes went to work immediately, eventually slicing up the middle to score on a 9 yard run to cut the lead to 28-20. The Manatee defense stepped up and the 'Canes were once again on the move, but a fumble inside the 10 gave the ball back to Venice. Two plays later, after a costly penalty by the Indian's, the 'Cane defensive line, led by Drakkar Wilson put two on the board with a safety, 28-22 Venice. Capitalizing on the energy, Manatee struck quickly again as Carnes found Sanders in space, and Ace did the rest, Manatee had the lead 29-28.

Burton stepped up and delivered again, moving the team down into Manatee territory. However, they faced a 4th and 10 inside the Manatee 40. They elected to go for it and Burton threw a perfect strike to Josh Boyle for a 35 yard gain. Burton ran it in from the one, Dillard got the two point conversion, and Venice was up 36-29.

The 'Canes had some opportunities, but a 3rd rushing TD by Burton in the 4th put this game away, Venice 43, Manatee 29.

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