Manila 39, Rivercrest 21!
Manila sent shockwaves through the 3A-3 conference Friday night when the Lions pulled off the upset of the year, knocking off league leader Rivercrest 39-21 before a packed house at Lion Field.
The Lions (4-3, 2-2 3A-3) won the battle at the line of scrimmage in handing the Colts their first conference loss of the year.
Cecil Langston, who scored three touchdowns in the game, gave Rivercrest a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter, but the Lions answered when Aaron Carter bulled his way into the end zone from five yards out. D.J. Myers tacked on the extra point, giving Manila a 7-6 edge.
Senior quarterback Jake Helton threw a 20-yard touchdown strike to Timmy Smith midway through the second period, and Myers added the point after to up the Lion lead to 14-6.
Carter and Langston traded touchdown runs in the latter stages of the first half as Manila took a 20-14 advantage into the dressing room at intermission.
Helton increased Manila's margin to 27-14 on an 18-yard touchdown scamper midway through the third quarter. Myers booted the extra point.
Langston's third touchdown of the game closed the gap to 27-21 with under four minutes left in the game. The Colts attempted an onside kick, but Lion sophomore Logan Hamilton scooped up the ball and raced 50 yards untouched into the end zone to put the game out of reach.
Helton added an insurance touchdown in the waning seconds, as Lion fans celebrated the biggest victory in school history.
"I am very proud of the kids," said Lion Coach Jerry Castor. "We had great practices, put together a good game plan and really executed it well. We are thrilled. We beat a very good football team that was ranked number nine in the state. This is a huge win for our football team."
The Lions return to conference play Friday night on the road at Piggott. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.