Junior Lions explode past Cedar Ridge 46-22
Layne Sims fired three touchdown passes, David Keys intercepted a lateral for a touchdown and Jacob McCullum raced 70 yards into the end zone with a kickoff return, helping Manila dominate Cedar Ridge 46-22 in junior high football action Thursday night at Lion Field.
Sims completed just three passes on the night, but all went for touchdowns. The freshman quarterback hooked up with Ethan Navarro on a 30-yard strike with 5:22 left in the opening quarter to put the Lions on the board. Brett Carter's two point conversion run gave Manila an 8-0 lead.
The Lions received a bit of luck on Sims' next touchdown toss when wide receiver Michael Parker reached out and grabbed a tipped pass before scampering into the end zone, completing a 45-yard scoring play. Carter's two point conversion pushed the Lion lead to 16-0 with 7:43 left in the first half.
Keys gave Manila their third touchdown of the night when he stole the handoff from quarterback Chase Driver and rumbled 25 yards to pay dirt. Carter's third consecutive two point conversion upped the Lion lead to 24-0 with 5:44 before intermission.
Dylan Clark picked off a Driver pass on the Timberwolves' next possession, giving Manila excellent field position at the Cedar Ridge 38. Sims wasted little time, completing his third touchdown pass of the first half, a 43-yard bomb to Navarro with 3:08 before halftime. Carter again plowed in with the two point conversion for a 32-0 Lion lead.
Cedar Ridge finally got its offense untracked on the ensuing possession. Running back Jarrod Ramos, who finished the night with 191 yards and three touchdowns, ripped off a 48-yard run to the Lion 32. Ramos scored on the next play, galloping into the end zone to slice the Manila lead to 32-6.
The Lions roared back, getting an eight yard touchdown run from Carter with 1:01 left before halftime. The two point conversion attempt failed, but the Lions headed into the dressing room with a commanding 40-6 halftime advantage.
Cedar Ridge scored a touchdown on Ramos' 29-yard run with 2:47 left in the third period. Bradley Cullum's two point conversion cut the Lion lead to 40-14.
McCullom fielded the ensuing kickoff, found a crease and sprinted up the right sideline 70 yards, putting an exclamation mark on the Manila victory.
Ramos darted 27 yards for the final score of the game late in the fourth quarter against the Manila second team.
The victory upped Manila's record to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in 3A-3 conference play.
Sims finished the night three for four through the air for 118 yards and three touchdowns. Navarro caught two passes for 73 yards and a pair of scores while Parker had one reception for a 45-yard touchdown. Carter led Manila in rushing with six carries for 53 yards while McCullom rushed twice for 26 yards. The Lions finished the night with 170 yards total offense on just 19 plays. Manila's defense came up big, forcing a pair of turnovers, while the kicking game also produced a touchdown.
Cedar Ridge had 223 yards total offense, all on the ground, with the majority coming in the second half after the game was out of reach.
"Our first unit really played well tonight," said Lion Coach Jerry Castor. "Layne (Sims) threw the ball extremely well. Jacob McCullom showed off his speed. David Keys made a big defensive play for us. He goes full bore all the time and is a heck of a player. Brett Carter played well and Navarro (Ethan) caught a couple of touchdown passes. Parker (Michael) caught the deflection, kept his eyes on the ball. Our offensive and defensive lines played well. Everybody had a good game. They worked hard this week and it paid off tonight."
Manila will travel to Osceola Thursday night to take on the Seminoles in a 3A-3 conference clash.