Lions gain landmark victory over Earle
Manila picked up what may be the program's biggest win to date, posting a 46-36 shoot-out victory over perennial power Earle Thursday night on the Bulldog's home field in junior high football action.
There were plenty of stars for Manila, but freshman running back Jordan Brewer's shone the brightest. Brewer scored four touchdowns on the night as the Lions knocked off one of the area's most heralded football programs.
Brewer rushed for 176 yards and two scores, caught a six yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Hubbard and came up with the biggest play of the night when he stripped Earle's Autry Allen of the football and scampered 30 yards for the game clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The two teams battled back and forth all night on a rain-drenched field, with the lead changing hands on four different occasions.
Manila took the opening kickoff and put together a methodical 17-play, 84-yard scoring drive that ate up all but 15 seconds of the first quarter. The Lion's touchdown came on fourth and goal when Hubbard hooked up with Brewer on a five-yard scoring pass. Brewer ran in the two point conversion attempt, giving the Lions an 8-0 lead.
Earle answered with a 64-yard scoring drive of its own, capped off by Richard Johnson's six yard touchdown strike to Allen with 6:17 left in the second quarter. Allen's two-point conversion run tied the game at 8-8. Ty'Quareus Hinton's 37-yard run highlighted the Bullpup drive.
Manila wasted little time in reclaiming the lead when Brewer scampered 17 yards, giving the Lions a 14-8 lead with 3:49 left in the first half. Brewer gobbled up 44 of the Lion's 56 yards on the drive. Manila's two point conversion attempt failed.
Earle took over at its own 28 yard line after the ensuing kickoff. Allen shocked the Lion's on the first play from scrimmage with a spectacular 72-yard touchdown run, weaving back and forth across the field into the end zone. Terrell Jackson gave the Bull- pups the lead with the two-point conversion run, 16-14, with 3:21 left in the half.
The lead was short lived when freshman Dylan Bogle took the Bullpup kickoff and darted 73 yards untouched into the end zone, putting Manila back on top at the 3:08 mark. Bogle's two point conversion run upped the Lion lead to 22-16.
Earle regained the lead in the waning seconds of the first half following a Manila turnover. Richard Johnson's one-yard touchdown plunge, followed by a two-point conversion run by Allen gave Earle a 24-22 halftime advantage.
The score remained the same until Earle punched in a three yard touchdown run by Hinton with only five seconds remaining in the third quarter, giving the Bullpups a 30-22 lead and setting up an exciting fourth quarter finish.
Trailing by eight with only 5:46 left in the game, the Lions chose to go for a fourth and six at their own 33 yard line, but Bogle was stopped short on the fourth down play and the Bullpups took over with excellent field position and a chance to put the game away.
Allen scampered 18 yards, giving Earle a first down at the Manila 20, but on the Bullpup's next play, Manila's Chad Lisk pounced on a loose ball, stopping the drive at the Lion 15.
On Manila's first play from scrimmage, Brewer bolted 47 yards, giving the Lions a first down at the Earle 38 yard line. The freshman running back gained 11 and 26 yards on his next two carries, setting up a first and goal at the Earle one. Hubbard scored on a quarterback sneak with 3:36 left, pulling the Lion's within two points. Zach Reinhart's two point conversion run tied the score at 30-30.
Reinhart struck again on Earle's next possession with a sensational diving interception of a Johnson pass at the Bullpup 27 yard line. Brewer scored on the next play, rambling the 27 yards, and ran in the two-point conversion for good measure as Manila took a 38-30 lead with 2:28 left in the game.
Brewer salted the game away on the ensuing kickoff, stripping Allen of the ball and rambling 30 yards for the touchdown. Brewer's two point conversion run made the score 46-30 with 2:17 left in the game.
Allen atoned for the previous fumble, racing 77 yards with the Manila kickoff, but it was too little, too late, as the Lions had their monumental 46-36 victory.
Brewer, who finished with four touchdowns on the night, accumulated 181 yards of total offense. The Lions had 266 yards of total offense on the evening. Bogle finished with 49 yards on 11 carries, Jay Kulin rushed five times for 26 yards while Hubbard had seven carries for 10 yards and a score while throwing a touchdown pass.
Allen carried 10 times for 156 yards, a whopping15.6 yards per carry average. Hinton rushed seven times for 97 yards and a score. The Bullpups had 284 yards of total offense.
"We did what we had to do tonight," said Brewer. "My teammates held Allen up on the kickoff return and I was able to strip the ball. I first thought it was out of bounds, but when I didn't hear a whistle I just kept running and scored the touchdown."
"Words can't explain how big this win is for our program," said Manila Coach Jason Durham. "Beating a team with the tradition of Earle on their home field is a great feeling. I thought Zach Reinhart's diving interception turned the game for us. It was a great play. Jordan Brewer is just a workhorse. I've said it a thousand times. He came through for us again tonight. We just kept feeding him the ball and he just kept powering and powering. He had that big run late in the fourth quarter and was injured on the play, but he came back in after Hubbard scored and made the strip on the kickoff return, which cinched the game for us. Everyone but Jordan and the officials thought the play was stopped, and he just ran it in. But that's what he does, he's a ball hawk. This is just a big win for our program and will really help us in the future."
The Lions will play host to Corning Thursday night in another 3A-3 conference game.