Manchester Academy took a 14-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but they could not hold on, as the Rebels from Leake Academy rallied to take the game 21-14.
The loss dropped Manchester’s record to 6-2 on the season.
It all began about as well as Manchester could have hoped, however, as Will Fouche took the opening kickoff to the house to give the Mavericks and early 7-0 lead.
Leake fought back, and just a few minutes later, they tied things up at 7-7, a score that would stick until the half.
The Mavericks broke the deadlock in the third quarter when Will Fouche struck again with a 37-yard touchdown run to give them a 14-7 lead.
In the early portion of the fourth quarter, Leake took over at their own 17-yard-line and began driving. They made a number of big runs and found their way into the end zone to tie the game up at 14-14.
On Manchester’s ensuing drive, the Mavericks faced a 4th-and-2, and in an effort to try to regain the lead, they went for it.
Unfortunately for the Manchester faithful, they were unsuccessful, opening the door for Leake to make a play.
And that’s exactly what they did. A deep pass turned their fortunes and gave them a 21-14 lead that they would not lose.
Manchester Academy head football coach Bryan Dendy believes Leake lived up to their expectations.
“They were a very physical football team,” Dendy said. “They were definitely as good as I thought they would be. They were an old school, hard-nosed team that made you work for everything.”
While Manchester could not pull off the win, Dendy still believes there were things to gain from the game.
“I think our strength of schedule is very tough,” Dendy said. “I think it prepares you for the late season and playoff grind. Playing a team of that caliber in week eight makes you a tougher team. I wish we had won the game, but I think it did us still did us some good to play a team that good this late in the season.”
Will Fouche had another big game for the Mavericks in the losing effort. He rushed for a team-high 141 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, picked off a pass, and returned a kickoff for a score.
Upton Hitt went 9-for-19 for 96 yards.
Rainer Roberts caught four passes for 61 yards and racked up eight total tackles.
Taylor Porter had nine total tackles and a sack in the loss.
Warner Griffin rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries and made nine total tackles in the contest.
Hunter Sadler had eight tackles, while Blayke Dendy and John Regan each had seven total tackles in the defeat.
The Mavericks will attempt to right the ship on Friday night when they host Central Holmes Christian School.
The Trojans improved to 5-3 on the season after topping Oak Hill 16-7 on Friday.
According to Dendy, this will be a much better CHCS team than has been seen in recent years.
“Central Holmes is a better team this year than they were a year ago,” Dendy said. “They’re 5-3 now, and those losses were against some really good teams. They are going to be a challenge for us.”
Kickoff at Manchester is set for 7 p.m.