Colts race past Junior Lions 39-22

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Lion quarterback Layne Sims looks for running room in second half action against Rivercrest.

Rivercrest showed off its blazing speed, highlighted by Alex Hinkle's 70-yard touchdown return on the game's opening kickoff, sparking the Colts to a 39-22 victory over Manila in 3A-3 junior high football action Thursday night at Wilson.

Hinkle stunned the Lions when he fielded the opening kick and sprinted up the left sidelines, outracing Lion defenders for the score. The point after gave Rivercrest a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game.

Manila bounced back with a touchdown of its own late in the period when freshman quarterback Layne Sims lofted a high floating pass that wide receiver Ethan Navarro grabbed with defenders in his face to complete a 35-yard touchdown play. The two point conversion run failed, leaving the Lions down 7-6 with 2:14 left in the first quarter.

Lion defender Lynn Hurley (15) attempts to chase down Rivercrest running back J.D. Winda during junior high football action Thursday night at Wilson.

Hinkle struck again early in the second period, scooting into the end zone on a 23-yard dash at the 7:34 mark. Quarterback Demilon Brown threw for the two point pass, upping the Colt lead to 15-6.

The Colt defense picked up a score on Manila's next possession, returning a Sims interception 41 yards at the 5:50 mark. The point after was blocked, but Rivercrest enjoyed a 21-6 advantage.

The Colts tacked on another score with 3:11 left before half on a 33-yard touchdown scamper by Tavarious Robinson. The two point conversion attempt failed, leaving Rivercrest with a 27-6 lead.

Michael Parker, Ethan Navarro, Dylan Clark and Lynn Hurley observe the coin toss prior to kickoff of the Manila-Rivercrest junior high football game Thursday night at Wilson. (Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

Manila received a huge break just before halftime when David Keys picked up a Colt fumble and rambled 70 yards for a Lion touchdown as time expired, ending the first half. Brett Carter bulled his way into the end zone for the two point conversion run to slice the Colt lead to 27-14 at intermission.

Members of the junior Lion cheer team perform at halftime of the Rivercrest-Manila football game.

Robinson's two yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter pushed the Rivercrest advantage to 33-14. The two teams swapped touchdowns in the fourth period, with the Colts scoring on a 30-yard run by J.D. Winda, while Manila picked up a score on Carter's three yard plunge with 1:25 left in the game. Sims tacked on the two point conversion.

The undefeated Colts finished with 279 yards total offense. Robinson led the way with 14 carries for 166 yards and two scores while Hinkle ran six times for 59 yards and a touchdown.

The Lions totaled 215 yards on the night with 122 coming on the ground and 93 through the air. Sims completed 8-12 passes with one touchdown and two interceptions. Navarro caught two passes for 54 yards and a score. Levi Stroud had three receptions for 20 yards while Michael Parker snared two passes for 20 yards. Carter led Manila rushers, carrying 11 times for 90 yards and a touchdown. Sims finished with 17 carries for 29 yards while Jacob McCullom had one rush for three yards.

"We didn't play well tonight," said Lion Coach Jerry Castor. "Rivercrest is a good team. They have tremendous speed. They showed tonight that they could outrun us. I thought we fought hard tonight but we had trouble protecting the quarterback. We just didn't have time to throw. We didn't do some things correctly tonight but we'll just keep trying to get better."

Manila returns to action Thursday night, facing off against 3A-3 conference rival Piggott. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Lion Field.

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