Lions hold off Bearcats 33-26
Manila built a 21-6 halftime lead and then held off a furious second half Brookland rally before defeating the Bearcats 33-26 in senior high football action Friday night at Lion Field.
Manila clung to a seven point lead when Brookland took over at their own 32 with just 2:53 remaining in the game. Dalton Whiteside, who ran for a whopping 209 yards on the night, scampered 20 yards into Lion territory. Whiteside added a 13-yard run, giving Brookland a first down at the Manila 33. But the Lion defense stiffened, stuffing back to back Bearcat rushing attempts before forcing quarterback Weston Adams into two straight incompletions, giving the ball back to Manila. Lion quarterback Patrick Tanner took a knee as the clock ran down to zero, preserving the Lion victory.
"We had too many penalties and I think we got a little tired in the second half," said Lion Coach Jerry Castor. "We've got some players banged up but we stuck through it and did what we were supposed to do to get the win, and that's the main thing. Patrick Tanner played well and it really helped having Tyler Archer back. He made some big catches for us tonight. Our defense played really well. Brookland's big running back, Whiteside, was a load tonight. We have a good team and we're going to keep working and improving every game."
Manila got on the board first on a three-yard touchdown run by Logan Hamilton at the 6:27 mark of the opening period. D.J. Myers tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 Lion lead.
Quarterback Layne Sims squirted into the end zone from five yards out with 7:33 left in the first half, and following Myers' extra point, Manila upped its margin to 14-0.
Brookland linebacker Chris Pittman picked off a Sims pass and returned it to the Lion 23. Dallon O'Donohue scored two plays later on a nine-yard run, and suddenly the Lion lead was cut to 14-6 with 4:59 left in the half.
Hamilton intercepted an Adams pass with 57 seconds left before intermission, giving Manila possession at the Bearcat 44. Tanner took advantage, connecting with Archer on a 34-yard pass play, setting Manila up at the Brookland six yard line. Tanner found Archer once again, hitting the senior tight end on a four-yard touchdown pass with just nine ticks left in the half. Myers' point after pushed the Lion lead to 21-6 at the half.
Brookland took the second half kickoff and marched 68 yards in nine plays, capped off by Whiteside's 21- yard touchdown romp. Reid Lane added the two point conversion run, and the Bearcats closed to within 21-14 with 8:54 remaining in the third period.
Brookland struck again with just 51 seconds left in the third quarter on a 32-yard touchdown strike from Adams to Luke Hillis. The two point conversion run failed, leaving the Lions with a slim 21-20 edge.
Manila answered on its next drive on an eight- yard touchdown gallop by Hamilton with 11:12 left in the game. Myers' PAT was blocked.
Manila looked to have put the game away when Brett Sweatman picked off an Adams pass and lumbered 41 yards to pay dirt, giving the Lions a 33-20 lead with 8:10 remaining in the game.
A personal foul penalty wiped out another Lion interception, giving Brookland new life late in the contest. The Bearcats took advantage when Whiteside scored his second touchdown of the night on a seven yard run with 3:39 to go. The two point conversion attempt failed, leaving Manila with a seven point lead.
The two teams combined for 727 yards of total offense. Manila gained 391 yards, including 301 on the ground while the Bearcats had 338 total yards, 297 coming via the rush.
Timmy Smith led the Lions in rushing with 129 yards on 12 carries, including one run for 66 yards. Tanner also hit triple digits, rushing 21 times for 100 yards. The senior signal caller completed 5-8 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Hamilton carried 16 times for 68 yards and two scores. Sims had a five-yard touchdown run while Jacob McCollum carried one time for six yards. Archer led the Lions in receiving with four grabs for 74 yards and a score. Myers caught one pass for 16 yards.
Manila begins conference action Friday night with a road trip against league newcomer Walnut Ridge. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.