Mavericks finish regular season undefeated, host defending champs Friday

By TAYLOR HAWKINS,

Manchester Academy’s pursuit of regular season perfection reached its pinnacle on Friday night when they defeated DeSoto 30-12 to finish the regular season 10-0.

Manchester Academy head coach Bryan Dendy was thrilled with what his team accomplished this year in the regular season.

“I’m proud of our kids and what they accomplished in the regular season,” Dendy said. We played a good team in DeSoto. They were well-coached. I’m proud of our coaches for coaching the boys up. It’s a big accomplishment.”

Manchester jumped on DeSoto early in the contest, outscoring them 14-0 in the first quarter of play.

The Thunderbirds struck back in the second quarter of play with six points to cut the lead to 14-6.

In the third quarter, the Mavs bounced back with 16 points to extend their lead to 30-6.

DeSoto added another six points to their cause in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Manchester took the games 30-12, solidifying their undefeated regular season in the process.

Despite it being a three-score game, it was one of the closest contests the Mavericks have had this season.

Dendy applauded DeSoto for having a strong defensive plan.

“They played good football defensively,” Dendy said. “They tackled really well. We had to settle down and play out game. Again, they were just a really well-coached football team.”

The Mavericks rushed for 223 rushing yards in the victory.

Parks Poe had a big game on both sides of the ball, taking 11 carries 114 Yards with two touchdowns and racking up six tackles with an interception on defense.

Dylan Dendy took a team-high 14 carries 65 yards and scored a touchdown. He also led the Mavs with eight tackles and recovered a fumble.

Jon Riley Poe had five carries for 41 Yards and two catches for eight yards, while Michael Williams had five carries for 28 yards.

Upton Hitt went 5-for-10 through the air for 54 yards with a touchdown.

Blake Coghlan led the Mavs in receiving with one catch for 46 yards. He also chipped in six tackles to the winning effort.

Hayes Bardwell put up seven tackles in the victory.

The Mavericks hope to continue their goal for a perfect season on Friday when they playoffs begin.

Manchester kicks off its playoff run with a home contest against Briarfield Academy.

Briarfield, the defending 8-man state champion, is 8-2 on the year (3-2 in conference) after trouncing Riverdale Academy 34-12 in their regular season finale on Friday.

According to Dendy, there will be a battle in the first round.

“They’re the defending state champions,” Dendy said. “They have a lot of team speed. They’re playing in one of the toughest conferences in 8-man football. We hope to get everybody out to come watch us play. It should be a good football game.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.