Town Crier Sports Staff
Freshman quarterback Dillon Burrow scored on a one yard keeper late in the fourth quarter to lift Manila to an 8-0 victory in junior high football action, spoiling Nettleton's homecoming celebration Thursday night at Raider Field.
The Lions began their winning touchdown drive late in the third period after holding Nettleton on downs at the Lion 25 yard line. A pair of penalties gave Manila the football at the Raider 48 yard line to begin the fourth quarter. Manila converted a critical fourth and two situation when Landon Spain bulled his way for a first down to keep the drive alive. Facing third and eight from the Raider 32, Burrow found Brian Borden on a 12-yard pass play for another key first down at the Nettleton 20 yard line. Burrow then skirted 17 yards, giving the Lions a first and goal from the Raider three. Burrow scored two plays later, putting Manila ahead 6-0. Burrow's two point conversion run moved the Lion advantage to 8-0 with 3:55 left in the game.
Manila's defense held the Raiders on downs, giving the Lions the ball back with under 2:00 to go. Manila was able to run the clock out, preserving their third win of the year against four losses.
"Our defense played exceptionally well," said Manila Coach Toby Doke. "Our passing defense was great. We held Nettleton to 4-27 through the air. They kept trying to throw and we kept batting the ball down. Brent Ray came up with a big interception for us. In the end, it was our offensive line that took over late in the game that helped us get in the end zone."
The Lion defense came up big on two separate occasions in the first half, keeping Nettleton out of the end zone after the Raiders gained two first and goals inside the Lion five yard line. Manila stopped Nettleton on a key fourth down play on the first goal line stand, and Arturo Gonzalez recovered a fumble inside the Lion five on Nettleton's second goal line threat.
The Raiders appeared to have taken the lead on the last play of the first half by breaking up a Manila hook and lateral attempt, running it in for an apparent touchdown. But the play was brought back when Nettleton was called for an illegal blocking penalty.
The Lions will return to action Thursday night for their regular season finale as they play host to Rector. Kickoff is set for 7:00.