A week after leading Manatee (Fl.) over Riverview (Fl.), quarterback Cord Sandberg came up big again for his school. The Mississippi State commit threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns, leading his team over visiting Central Miami (Fl.) 44-34 in a clash of two of the nation’s top high school football programs. Manatee, considered by some, including MaxPreps and Sports Illustrated, to be the top school in the nation, hasn’t lost a regular-season game to a Florida school since 2009.
The 6-2, 200 pound Sandberg committed to Mississippi State in early June. He connected twice with receiver Marquel Hines for touchdowns, including a 49-yard touchdown score in the third quarter that took the wind out of Central’s comeback rally.
Manatee got a huge contribution from Junior running backTravon Walters. Walters totaled 227 yards of total offense for Manatee, including a 54-yard touchdown off a shovel pass from Sandberg. He put the final nail in Central’s coffin with an 85-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
Central Miami’s comeback efforts were led by junior running back and Florida State commit Joseph Yearby, who rushed for 102 yards and opened the second half with a 9-yard touchdown. The 5-9, 191 pound Yearby committed to Florida State in early May.
Central quarterback Keith Reed added 321 yards passing, while Sophomore Da’Vante Phillips had 9 catches for 113 yards on the night for the visiting Rockets.
The biggest recruiting news out of this game may have ultimately been the injury of Manatee defensive end and UCF commit Blake Keller. The 6-2, 220 pound Keller was taken to a nearby hostpital after taking a massive hit in the third quarter. Keller, who is noted for his physicality and motor, reportedly suffered bruised ribs and is not expected to miss playing time.