On Friday, Nov. 8, Manual’s football team went up against Ballard in their first round matchup in the 2013 Kentucky football state tournament. Manual had faced Ballard previously in the regular season at home. The Crimsons barely bested the Bruins in their first meeting on a muddy field by a score of 14-7. This time around the two teams would face off on a clear night at the Bruins’ home field.
Manual came out of the gates ready to play; forcing a punt by Ballard and scoring their first touchdown within the first 4 minutes of the game. As play continued, Manual kept the pressure on Ballard and forced yet another punt. This allowed quarterback Mason Motley (#10, 12) to move the ball down field to put Manual in a scoring position. The Crimsons would eventually punch in another touchdown to make the score 13-0.
This pattern would continue throughout the game as Manual was able to hold the Bruins to zero points the entire game. The strong defense lead to numerous Ballard turnovers which would give Manual countless opportunities to score. Manual would end up converting six of those opportunities which yields a final score of 41-0, Manual.
“We were just a really strong presence on the field, both on offense and defense. We came into that came with confidence and stuck with what we’ve been doing all year,” said Motley.
Manual’s next matchup in the state tournament is against Trinity High School. Trinity is one of the top teams in the state, with wins over St. Xavier and Manual. Trinity beat Manual by a score of 38-30 the last time the two teams played.
“Trinity will certainly be a tougher matchup than Ballard, but if we play with the intensity and confidence that we did against Ballard, i like our chances,” said Wesley Overstreet, (#44, 12).
There’s one aspect of Manual’s game that sticks out as needing improvement if they want to defeat Trinity; made field goal percentage. Manual missed multiple field goals against Ballard, which, against Trinity, could be costly if the game gets down to the wire and Manual is in need of a couple points.
“We have some young kickers this year without a lot of experience so they definitely have big shoes to fill, but i believe in our guys and I think they’ll step up against Trinity,” Overstreet said.