Bald Knob flexed its muscle Friday night, rolling up 417 yards of total offense as the Bulldogs hammered the Lions 62-7 in 3A-3 senior high football action at Manila.
(Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)
Eleven different Bulldogs caught passes on the night, led by Terrell Woods and Steven Merrell, who both snared three receptions and scored a touchdown apiece.
Things started badly for Manila with the opening kickoff. The Lions attempted an onside kick, but the entire kicking unit ran past the football, allowing Bulldog Riley Mason to scoop up the short kick and ramble 40 yards into the end zone. The point after gave Bald Knob a quick 7-0 lead just seconds into the game.
Bald Knob's Jordan Johnston picked up a Brian Borden fumble on Manila's ensuing possession and rambled 25 yards for another quick score. The PAT was blocked, leaving the Bulldogs with a 20-0 lead just two minutes into the game.
A Manila three and out gave the Bulldogs possession again, and Bald Knob wasted little time, marching 59 yards in just four plays, scoring on a 25-yard touchdown run by Tyler Gilmore. The PAT made the score 27-0 with 7:42 left in the opening period.
The Bulldogs continued their scoring barrage when Tyler Wallace pounced on a Lion fumble in the Manila end zone, giving Bald Knob a 34-0 lead at the 2:31 mark of the first period.
The Lions defense finally held the Bulldogs on a fourth and six at the Bald Knob 32. A 24-yard pass from Burrow to Borden gave Manila a first and goal from the Bulldog eight, and Borden scored two plays later on a four yard touchdown scamper. Burrow's point after cut the deficit to 34-7 with 8:02 left in the second quarter.
Bald Knob answered immediately with a five play, 50-yard drive, capped off by Merrell's one yard touchdown blast. The PAT upped the score to 41-7 with 6:11 left in the half.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more second quarter scores, one on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Crisp to Johnston, and the second coming on a 43-yard strike from Crisp to Woods, leaving the halftime score 55-7.
Cody Seals scored Bald Knob's last touchdown of the night from one yard out late in the third quarter and the point after set the final score at 62-7.
Eight Bulldogs helped Bald Knob rack up 155 of rushing offense, led by Merrell, who carried four times for 53 yards and one touchdown.
Burrow finished the night completing four of 23 passes for 63 yards with a pair of interceptions. Borden led the Lions with three receptions for 48 yards while Shane Lee grabbed one pass for 16 yards. Burrow led the Lions in rushing, carrying 10 times for 61 yards and a touchdown. Shaun McCallie carried 10 times for 35 yards. Manila finished the night with 32 rushes for 93 yards and 157 yards of total offense.
The Lions were playing without Head Coach Toby Doke, who was suspended from the game after being ejected from last week's contest at Harrisburg. "We just shot ourselves in the foot, starting with the onside kick when we failed to cover the ball," said Doke. "We turned the ball over on our first play from scrimmage, and things just seemed to snowball on us. We made way too many mistakes. We have to eliminate those the rest of the season if we hope to make the playoffs. I thought Hunter Dickey played a good game tonight, intercepting two passes. Brian Borden plays hard every week. We also had a couple of lineman make some pancake blocks in Damon Clapp and Justin Barley."
"We knew this would be a tough game coming in, as will next week's game against number one Rivercrest. We just have to play better. We need to get healthy. We had four starters out for tonight's game. But I really believe if we play up to our capabilities we will have a good chance against Hoxie, Piggott and Corning down the stretch," added Doke.
The Lions dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in 3A-3 conference play.
Manila will return to action Friday night when they host the number one team in the state, Rivercrest, in a 7:30 kickoff.