Manual recorded its second shutout of the season in a 51-0 blowout against Seneca.
The Crimson defense only allowed 46 yards on about 50 plays, according to head coach Oliver Lucas (Science).
“Defensively, again, we were stellar,” Lucas said. “You look at any great team–like Seattle when they won the Super Bowl–you got to have a great defense to win. Our defense is ranked number one in the state, as they should be.”
The Crimson defense forced five turnovers by recovering a fumble, recording one interception and three safeties. Manual now has six safeties on the season. Manual also has still only given up 21 points this year. Both of these stats are the best in the state of Kentucky according to the Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA).
“We know that we have the best defense in the state, so we know that they will pitch a shutout almost every game,” said receiver Eric Niemann (11, #84).
Niemann recorded one of the most unusual plays seen in the game. Off of a botched snap on an extra point attempt, Niemann threw a touchdown to Chase Gavin, which increased the Manual lead to 31-0 in the third quarter.
“There was a bad snap so I just took the ball. We have a play called fire so I just called it and turned out,” Niemann said. “We have our tight end Chase Gavin (11, #44); he ran a post, and I just stepped up and I gave him a chance and he came down with it.”
After only putting up 13 points against Ballard last week, the Seneca game was a bounce back for the Crimson offense.
“[The offensive line] took another step forward, and we are going to get better,” Lucas said. “We’re just really young there. As the line gets better we are going to get better.”
“It was a big difference,” said Trae Gordon (12, #22). “Last week we were kind of slow and lethargic. This week we were more up-tempo and we had a better pace for ourselves.”
Manual did struggle in the red zone on Friday night, only converting on one out of three chances.
“We need to continue to execute in the red zone to where the line’s pushing, the running backs are running as hard as they can and the receivers are blocking when they have to,” Niemann said.
Late in the fourth quarter, running back Andre Teague (10, #26) broke several tackles on way to a 34 yard touchdown. Lucas said that Teague took full advantage of his opportunities in the game.
“He just needs to keep playing,” Lucas said. “As more opportunities come, he just needs to maximize them.”
Teague is just one of the full stable of young running backs that the Crimsons are grooming for the future.
The win improves Manual’s record to a perfect 5-0, as the Crimsons sit atop of the 6A region standings. Manual travels to Butler High School on Oct. 3, before facing off against its biggest rivals–Trinity, St. Xavier and Male.
“This game is going to be like a benchmark. I expect every game to be like this. St. X, Trinity, Male–they should all be blowouts,” Gordon said.