Lions downed by Cavemen 56-12
Cave City used a fake punt midway through the opening quarter to break open a close game, catapulting the Cavemen to a 56-12 romp over the Lions Friday night in 3A-3 senior high football action at Manila.
Leading just 7-6, the Cavemen faced a fourth and 12 from their own 38 yard line late in the first period. The center snap went to running back Chase Gorman, catching the Lion defense off guard which enabled Gorman to gallop 16 yards to the Manila 46 yard line for a critical first down. The trick play led to a Caveman touchdown when running back Tyler Engleman dove over from one yard out with 3:31 left in the first period. Quarterback Dalton Carpenter's 35 yard pass to Engleman set up the Caveman touchdown. William Boyd's point after gave Cave City a 14-6 lead.
The Cavemen scored three more touchdowns before halftime to go ahead 35-6 at intermission. Gorman stormed in from 12 yards out at the 1:10 mark of the first quarter. Engleman raced 66 yards down the right sidelines for another score with 7:41 remaining before half and Kenny Johnson capped off the first half scoring barrage with a two yard run at the 2:34 mark. Boyd added all three point after attempts following each score.
The Cavemen scored their first touchdown of the game on a 57 yard pass play from Carpenter to Gorman at the 9:33 mark of the first period.
Manila came roaring back on the very next possession. Lion quarterback Josh Miles hooked up with wide receiver Frankie Cowgill on a 71 yard pass play that took the ball to the Cave City 11 yard line. After Miles was sacked for a nine yard loss, the junior quarterback found Spencer Cain on a 20 yard fade pattern to pull the Lions to within 7-6 with 8:18 left in the first quarter. Cowgill's point after attempt was blocked.
Cave City continued to run up points in the second half, scoring on their first three possessions. Johnson scored from 11 yards out, running back Bevin Marlin scored on a two yard run and Nick Pierson finished off the scoring spree with a seven yard touchdown scamper. Boyd finished the night a perfect 8-8 on point after attempts.
Manila got on the board one last time as Miles found John Willbanks on a 67 yard pass and run play with 6:20 left in the game. Cowgill's point after attempt was once again blocked.
Cave City finished the night with a staggering 472 yards of total offense. The Cavemen rolled up 345 yards on the ground, including seven touchdowns, while passing for another 127 yards and a touchdown.
Engleman rambled for 145 yards on just nine carries and two touchdowns. Gorman carried eight times for 69 yards with one touchdown while Johnson rushed for 61 yards on six carries while scoring twice. Pierson finished the night with six carries for 28 yards and a score while Marlin had six rushes for 23 yards and a touchdown. Carpenter completed four of six passes for 127 yards and one touchdown with one interception. Gorman led all Cavemen receivers with two catches for 65 yards and one touchdown. Manila was held to minus three yards on 16 carries. The Lions picked up 205 yards through the air. Miles connected on seven of 20 passing attempts for two scores, but had two passes picked off. Cowgill led all receivers with three receptions for 76 yards. Willbanks had one catch for 67 yards and a score while Cain snared two passes for 23 yards and one touchdown. Brian Borden caught one pass for 39 yards.
"We got off to a slow start, but the fake punt really got us going," said Cave City Coach Jon Bradley. "We really got to clicking on offense. We are a run oriented team, but we got off to a slow start. Thankfully, Carpenter hit some early passes for big plays and that opened up our running game. I have been where Manila is and it's a tough place to be. They are doing a good job. Coach Doke has them going in the right direction."
"We bottled them up early, but we missed some tackles that allowed the big plays," said Manila Coach Toby Doke. "The fake punt really took the air out of us. We are playing with only two seniors. That's no excuse, but it's tough to play that young on Friday nights. It's frustrating for me and I know it is for the kids too. I knew it was going to be hard the first year, and it doesn't get any easier next week with Earle. They are the second ranked team in the state. What we are trying to get our kids to do is just play hard for four quarters. We have a lot of kids playing both ways and they are getting tired. That's just a mental thing that we have to get through."
Manila will return to action Friday night when they travel to Earle to take on undefeated and conference leading Earle. Kickoff is set for 7:30.