EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

November 17, 2012

Even in defeat, Manny proves he's a man

EXETER, N.H. — As a true follower of Pinkerton Academy football since the Mihalko days, it’s hard to gauge exactly where Manny Latimore stands after three varsity seasons.

The Astros halfback ended his junior campaign with a show-stopping performance here yesterday. Unfortunately, it came in defeat as Pinkerton fell just short in the state title bid, 31-21 to Exeter.

The 5-10, 180-pounder followed up last week’s 203-yard, 5-TD rushing performance with another 180 on the ground, including an 84-yard run for the opening score of the game.

For kicks, he punted four times — netting 36.3 yards on each — caught a 39-yard pass and nearly propelled his team back into it with an eye-popping 78-yard punt return for TD in the fourth quarter.

From this seat, Latimore made the shift in these last two playoff performances — from superstar to potential legend.

In my eyes, nobody in Astros history can touch the Big Three … Matt Jordan, Ryan Mihalko and Joe Segreti. But after the last eight days, isn’t Latimore knocking on their door, along with guys like Russ Massahos and Ralph Fast?

For the career, he’s got 2,295 rushing yards with three straight trips to the state championship game with one title, as a freshman.

“He’s fast, athletic, just a football player,” said Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly. “We’ll find out next year. The entire offense will be built around Manny. It wasn’t built around him this year, he just kind of emerged into it.

“He’s a threat to score on the run and has really nice hands. On the kick return, punt return, he’s dynamite. He’s always been dynamite.”

Latimore flashed that innate penchant for the dynamic midway through the fourth with the Astros on life support.

O’Reilly sent 10 men for a punt-block, leaving Latimore alone as his own 22.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Merloni: Transfer Rule 'ruining the game' Gomes: Ceremony showed healing is ongoing Pedroia: Game-winning play 'kind of a crazy deal' Babcock: 'An exercise in skating up and down the rink' Rask: Chara's become better at screening Miller: Flu 'a scary situation' Florek: 'It's a feeling I've never felt before' Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system