Rivercrest takes advantage of opportunities to defeat Junior Lions 12-0
Manila and Rivercrest battled on even terms throughout most of Thursday night's 3A-3 conference matchup at Lion Field. But in the end, the Colts came up with three game turning plays to escape with a hard fought 12-0 victory over the Junior Lions.
Manila seemed destined to pick up its fourth victory in its last five outings, moving the ball into Colt territory on all of its first half possessions. Unfortunately, the Lions failed to capitalize on its opportunities, allowing the game to remain scoreless midway through the second quarter.
The Lion defense forced a Rivercrest punt late in the first half, but D.J. Myers lost the handle when attempting the field the kick and the Colts pounced on the ball at the Manila 46 yard line with 3:09 left before intermission.
Rivercrest reached the Lion 10 yard line on a 26-yard scamper by Thomas Johnson, giving the Colts a first and goal. A holding penalty pushed Rivercrest back to the Manila 20 yard line, and three plays later the Colts faced a fourth and goal at the Lion 12. Colt quarterback Kesler Pierce found Cam Wilson alone in the flat, and the freshman fullback rambled into the end zone, breaking tackles along the way to put Rivercrest in front. The two point conversion pass failed, leaving the Colts up 6-0.
Manila took the ensuing kickoff and reached the Colt 32 yard line on back to back completions by Logan Hamilton and Patrick Tanner. Hamilton's 23-yard halfback pass to Josh Waddell was followed by a 10-yarder from Tanner to Tyler Johnson. The Lions had time for one last play before the half, but Hamilton's pass fell incomplete leaving Rivercrest ahead 6-0 at the half.
The Colts took the opening kickoff in the second half and marched down the field, gaining a first and goal at the Lion four yard line. Two lost yardage plays and a holding penalty pushed the Colts back to the Manila 19. But Pierce and Wilson hooked up again on another catch and run for a 19-yard touchdown, and a 12-0 Rivercrest lead. The two point conversion play failed.
Manila put together a 10-play, 48-yard drive on its next possession, behind the strong running of Hamilton and Johnson, but on fourth and three, the Colt defense stiffened and stuffed Johnson for a one yard pickup to thwart the Lion scoring threat.
The Lions appeared to receive the break they were looking for when Johnson stripped the ball away from Wilson and ran into the end zone for an apparent Manila touchdown with 3:30 left in the game, but the officials ruled forward progress had been stopped, giving the Lions possession at the Colt 26. Hamilton was picked off two plays later by Carl Coleman, who returned the interception to the Manila 41 yard line, dashing Lion hopes.
Manila finished the night with 152 total yards, including 119 on the ground. The Lions reached Colt territory on six of its seven possessions, but came up empty on the scoreboard. Manila turned the ball over four times on the night.
Hamilton led the Lions with 14 carries for 86 yards while Johnson and Waddell both rushed for 24 yards apiece. Hamilton finished one for three for 23 yards passing while Tanner was one for three for 10 yards.
The Colts accumulated 207 total yards, including 175 on the ground. Wilson rushed 21 times for 111 yards while Johnson had four carries for 45. Pierce connected on three of eight passes for 32 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Wilson caught two passes for 31 yards and two scores.
Manila (3-4, 3-2 3A-3) will travel to Osceola to take on the Seminoles Thursday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Senior Lions fall to Hoxie
Hoxie remained unbeaten with a 55-0 victory over Manila in senior high football action Friday night at Mustang Field. The Mustangs scored twice in the first minute and held a 41-0 lead entering the second quarter. Hoxie led 48-0 at the half and closed out the scoring with a touchdown in the third period.
Manila will travel to Rivercrest Friday night to take on the Colts. Kickoff is 7 p.m.