Town Crier Sports Staff
After over 30 years without football, the Manila Lions finally picked up their first victory Monday night when the first year program posted a 22-0 shutout win on the road over the Hoxie Mustangs.
The Lion offense, led by freshman quarterback Blake Wheeler, scored touchdowns in the second, third, and fourth quarters, while a stingy Manila defense kept the Mustangs at bay the entire game.
Wheeler got the Lions on the board in the second quarter when he fired a 35-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Dustin Hill. Wheeler then ran a quarterback keeper around left end to tack on the two point conversion, giving Manila an 8-0 halftime lead.
Wheeler, who rushed for 85 yards and accounted for 16 of Manila's 22 points, put the Lions up 14-0 with a 23-yard dash midway through the third quarter.
Manila scored their final touchdown of the night when linebacker Chris Adamson caused a Mustang fumble which he recovered himself, setting up Andrew Fleeman's nine yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Wheeler's second two point conversion run of the night set the final score at 22-0.
"We are very excited and proud of our team," said Manila Coach Toby Doke. "This is a big win for our program and for our fans. We played well on both sides of the ball. We really played great defensively. We ran to the ball better than we have all year and we were a lot more physical tonight. We knocked them (Hoxie) off the line of scrimmage. It was really neat to watch and we had lots of fun. Our entire defense played extremely well. Chris Adamson had a big sack, which caused the fumble, to set up one of our touchdowns. The kids are really excited about the win and this gives us something to build on for the rest of the year."
Manila will return to action Thursday when they travel to Paragould to face the Rams.