Predicting the score of The Old Rivalry


Design by Ian Johnson

Jack Grossman

RJ Radcliffe

Manual being the underdog in this matchup is nothing new. The Crimsons have consistently been underdogs in The Old Rivalry for the past four consecutive years, and has found a way to pull out a win each time, coming away with a win in six of their last seven matchups. Though the Manual offense has been a bit lackluster at times this season, the defense has more than made up for any offensive lapses, forcing a total of six safeties this season and allowing only 6.75 yards per possession on opposing teams. The offense, even when it struggles, shows glimpses of brilliance in quarterback Tim Comstock (11, #3), wide receiver Eric Niemann (11, #84), and running backs Trae Gordon (12, #22) and Reece West (11,#1). If Comstock can channel his all-star, 12-22, 191 yard and four touchdown performance against PRP, and the rest of the offense can fire on all cylinders, coupled with the #1 ranked defense in the state and the coaching of Lucas, it’s easy to see Manual coming out with the win.

However, this certainly does not rule Male out as a contender for the barrel. Currently a favorite to win the state title and headed by veteran quarterback David Mattingly (12, #12), who has shown during the Trinity game last week that he is cool under pressure by forcing a win in double overtime. The Bulldogs are also coming off of consecutive wins to top-tier 6A teams in Trinity and St. X. Combined with a defense ranked third in the state and a morale X-factor due to not seeing the barrel in four years, Male will undoubtedly provide a challenge for the Crimsons.

All things considered, the Old Rivalry is due for one of the greatest match-ups in its 122 years of play. With the clash of Manual’s hard-nosed defense with Male’s up-tempo and high-powered offense, it will definitely be a game for the ages. Provided that Manual’s defense continues to stay consistent and the offense can pull itself from their recent slump and play at the level they have shown they are capable of throughout the season, it’s not hard to see Manual coming out with the win. That is why I pick Manual to win the 122nd edition of The Old Rivalry, 20-14, and yet again no student at Male will have ever seen the barrel.

Reagan Roy

Male has been the best team in the state all year.  The Bulldogs’ offense is led by Davis Mattingly, who leads the state in completed passes.  However, even though Mattingly is good, the reason Male will win is because of Keion Wakefield (11, #11).  Wakefield is a 4 star receiver, who is being watched by Kentucky and Oregon. Male is better than Manual statistically, but since this is a rivalry game—and Manual has been the underdogs for the past 4 years and still won consecutive victories against Male— anything could happen.

Manual had back to back losses against Trinity and St. X, against both of which Manual’s offense started slowly. Tonight Manual’s defense will have to force several 3rd and long situations and prevent Mattingly from passing to Wakefield. That will be the deciding factor of this game.

Manual will have to rely on its defense for stops and a good performance from the offensive line to protect Comstock as he prepares to lead his team tonight.  The X-factor for this game will be Chris Roussell’s (11, #46) ability to kick field goals tonight.  Tonight this will be a very explosive game, and will be decided by which team most wants the barrel, whether it be Manual for fifth straight year in a row or Male for the first time in four years.

I predict Male will see the barrel for the first time in four years after a 28-24 victory.

Design by Ian Johnson

Jack Grossman

Male has consistently been the most complete team in the state all year. The Bulldogs’ offense is headlined by star quarterback Davis Mattingly (12, #12), and a strong defense. Male is coming off of back to back victories against St X and Trinity and are a favorite to win the state title. Male is much better than Manual statistically (see Tale of the Tape) on the offensive side of the ball, while Manual had the edge on the defensive side.

Manual, meanwhile, comes in as double digit underdogs against Male, but the Crimsons have been the underdog in each of the past four seasons in The Old Rivalry and have prevailed each time. Head Coach Oliver Lucas (Science) has had Male’s number the past four years, and made the difference in the game by simply out-coaching Male. Manual also has the number one defense in the state that will need to shut down the high-powered Male offense for the Crimsons to win.

Male has the quantitative edge on Manual statistically, but Manual has the qualitative edge. The game will be decided by Manual’s offense. If the Crimsons can consistently and effectively score against the Bulldog defense, Manual will win. However, the Manual offense has not yet proved that it can score consistently against a good defense, coming off of scoring just ten points in the past two games against Trinity and St X combined. That is why I unfortunately must pick Male to win the 122nd edition of The Old Rivalry, 17-13.

Design by Ian Johnson
Design by Ian Johnson

Manual plays Male tonight at 7:30 pm at Male.