By the second round of the playoffs, only the best teams remain standing.
But on Friday night it was clear that Manchester Academy continues to stand alone as the elite team as the Mavericks racked up 52 points in the first half on the way to a 60-0 win over Kemper.
Parks Poe caught a touchdown pass from Upton Hitt on the first play of the game to set the stage for an explosive first half.
Tres Paul caught the two-point conversion pass to give the Mavericks an instant 8-0 lead.
Jon Riley Poe scored next on a rushing touchdown, following a big block from his brother Parks and then breaking a pair of tackles to force his way into the end zone.
Dylan Dendy punched in the two-point conversion for a 16-0 lead.
Ty Kilpatrick caught a 45-yard pass to set up a Dylan Dendy rushing touchdown.
Manchester’s defense continued to dominate the field, and Cade Potter came through with a fumble recovery that set up another Parks Poe touchdown.
The Mavericks held a 29-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Hitt connected with Jon Riley Poe on the run for a touchdown pass to give the Mavericks a 37-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Parks Poe added the next touchdown with a run up the middle where he met three defenders who couldn’t keep him from crossing the goal line.
Parks Poe would finish the night with four carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns and two catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns, accounting for four touchdowns in the win. He also added five tackles on defense.
Jon Riley Poe had three carries for 36 yards and a touchdown, and two catches for 30 yards and two touchdowns. He also had four tackles.
Hitt completed 4-of-6 passes for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"Upton did a good job of getting the football to our guys and was very accurate with his passing,” said Mavericks head coach Bryan Dendy.
Dylan Dendy had four carries for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Staten Greenlee had four carries for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Michael Williams had five carries for 23 years, Connor Stevens had three carries for 47 yards, and Greyson Winstead had two carries for 15.
Tyler Johnson led the defense with six tackles.
Hayes Kyle had a pair of tackles and a fumble recovery.
Tres Paul had five tackles. He also had a 26-yard reception on offense.
Winstead, Cade Potter, Dylan Dendy and Matt Carroll each had a pair of tackles.
Coach Dendy said he was pleased to see his team perform so well after a period of inactivity. The Mavericks had an opponent forfeit a game, had a game cancelled due to inclement weather and then had a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
"We were proud of the way our kids came out and played after a long layoff,” Dendy said.
This week the Mavericks (10-0) welcome nearby rival Humphreys Academy (11-1) in what could be Manchester’s toughest challenge to date.
Manchester gave the Rebels their only loss of the season in a 53-14 win at HA in October. Humphreys has earned solid victories over every other opponent, and Dendy said he expects a challenge this week.
“We have a tough game this week vs. Humphreys,” he said. “They have a really good football team, and they are well-coached."
The stakes are high this week as the winner will advance to the state championship game on Nov. 22 at Jackson Academy. The winner between MA and Humphreys will take on the winner of Marvell Academy vs. Columbus Christian for the state title.