Business as usual for Manchester AcademyBy JASON PATTERSON,
It may have been the playoffs, and they may have been facing the defending state champs, but Manchester Academy followed a familiar formula on the way to an eleventh straight win Friday.
The Mavericks put up a lot points early and showed restraint offensively in the second half. That could describe most of this team’s games so far this season, and the round one game vs. Briarfield was no exception.
Parks Poe scored his first touchdown of the night before many fans had even found their seats.
Michael Williams was in the endzone soon after.
Upton Hitt connected with Blake Coghlan for a 30-yard touchdown pass, and Dylan Dendy added the two-point conversion to give the Mavericks a 22-0 lead with 4:41 still left on the clock in the first quarter.
Dylan Dendy soon added a touchdown of his own for a 28-0 lead with 1:15 to go in the first quarter.
With 56 seconds to go before the half, Coghlan grabbed a beautiful interception, grabbing a ball while running at full speed that had bounced off of a receiver’s hands.
Briarfield’s defense responded with the team’s only score of the first half when TJ Baker snagged an interception and carried it 51 yards for the score.
Manchester held a 36-6 lead at halftime.
Michael Williams added his second touchdown of the night to give Manchester a 42-6 lead.
Briarfield managed to score another touchdown in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough to get back in the game.
Williams finished the night with nine carries for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Parks Poe had seven carries for 70 yards and a touchdown, and one 66-yard receiving touchdown.
Dylan Dendy had five carries for 23 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 43 yards.
Coghlan made his only catch of the night count with the 39-yard touchdown, and Ty Kilpatrick had a catch for 31 yards.
Hitt completed 6-of-7 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
Hayes Bardwell had four tackles and two sacks to help lead the defense.
Coghlan had four tackles and the interception, while Dylan Dendy and Kilpatrick also had four tackles each.
Parks Poe had six tackles, and Jon Riley Poe had three. Matt Carroll had three tackles, and Luke Ragland had a fumble recovery.
This week the Mavericks face a familiar opponent when Humphreys Academy comes to Buster Crawford Stadium for the second round of the playoffs.
HA enters the contest with only one loss on the season, and that loss came to Manchester in week three. The Mavericks prevailed by a score of of 40-14 in that game, but it was actually one of the strongest challenges MA faced this season.
“The final score didn’t indicate the type of game it was,” MA head coach Bryan Dendy said after the game. “It was a battle the whole game. They’re a very fast team, a very physical team. It took a total team effort to come out on top.”
Going into the season Coach Dendy predicted that HA would be the team to beat. That will certainly be the case when the Rebels come to town this week.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.