With a 4th and two at the opposing 2-yard line with 4:20 remaining in the game, Kinkead Dent lunged forward behind the full weight of his offensive line, giving the Mavericks their first score under the Bryan Dendy regime.
No, the touchdown did not give Manchester a win over Indianola Academy. The Mavericks fell 35-7 in the season-opener.
But the touchdown showed that even in the face of a massive defeat, they would not give up.
To get to that point, however, the Mavericks had to take some lumps.
After an unsuccessful onside kick attempt to start the game, the Colonels had a short field, and they took advantage of that with a 20-yard run for a score.
After a missed PAT, Indianola led 6-0.
Indianola added three points to their lead on a field goal a few possessions later, making it 9-0.
On the ensuing drive, a Kinkead Dent interception turned into a touchdown the other way, giving the Colonels a 16-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and marking a real turning point in the contest.
In the middle of the second quarter, Manchester threw another interception to give Indianola a short field to work with, and they made the most of the opportunity with a TD run, bringing the score to 23-0.
Near the end of the half, Indianola broke a long run for a touchdown, making the halftime score 29-0.
The third quarter brought out a stronger showing from the Mavericks, who held strong for almost the entire third quarter before giving up one final score with 1:50 remaining, pushing the Colonels’ lead to 35-0.
That took us to Dent’s QB sneak for a score.
In his first game as a head coach in 19 years, Bryan Dendy was anxious.
“I was excited about it,” Dendy said. “I have some good coaches around me, and I have some good players on our team.”
Indianola being a dominant team was not a new concept for Dendy.
He understood the challenges that awaited with the physical Colonels.
“I knew going into it that they had an awesome football team,” Dendy said. “We knew they would probably be the best team we played this year. They’re a really well-coached team. We were not physical enough to match them, especially up front.”
Taylor Porter had a team-high 10 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Will Fouche had an interception and two tackles in the loss.
Andrew Byrd averaged 40 yards on six punts and made his only PAT attempt.
Still, Dendy was happy with what he saw out of his team, and he thinks he will see better in the future.
“We really thought our team played hard, and we hope to see improvement each week,” Dendy said.
Manchester will attempt to rebound from their season-opening loss on Friday night against Lee Academy.
Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.