Male defeats Manual in Old Rivalry game


Jack Grossman

Male defeated Manual 28-21 and claimed the barrel in the Old Rivalry game on Friday night. This marked Male’s first victory in the rivalry game in four years.

“It feels real good to get the barrel back because I know that we worked hard for it with our attitude and toughness,” Male left guard Jarren Thomas (12, #77) said. “In the offseason and the preseason we put in the work needed to get the job done.”

Manual had won four straight and six of the last seven games against Male coming into Friday night.

“It feels terrible to lose. We gave it our all; we just didn’t end up with the win,” receiver William Blackford (12, #6) said. “We fought hard, and they fought hard. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Manual battled back from a 14-0 deficit late in the first half with a 45 yard touchdown pass from Tim Comstock (11, #3) to Jalien Carter (10, #11). After Comstock threw an 85 yard touchdown pass to Blackford, Manual was back in the game only down 21-14 early in the third quarter.

After playing inconsistently for most of the year, Comstock showed up when it mattered most.

“Comstock played the best game of his life,” Damien Smith (12, #14) said. “There is no reason that we should not have won that game with the way he played.

On the game, Comstock completed 31 of 52 pass attempts for a career high 465 yards and three touchdowns. Blackford finished the game with ten receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown while Jake Rist (12, #7) finished with nine receptions for 109 yards, according to the Courier-Journal.

“I was just hitting the open receivers,” Comstock said. “We studied film to see what the defense does and we exploited that.”

After a slow start, Manual’s offense played much better in the second half.

“We finally got some rhythm in the passing game; unfortunately we just had too many turnovers in the first half, I think that it really costs us the game, assistant head coach Russell Rigdon said. “We started to get some rhythm and some belief in the second half, and hopefully we can carry that over for the rest of the season.”

“The first half we didn’t play as good,” Comstock said. “We had some turnovers that brought us down, but we came back and played great in the second half. We can’t start off down, and thats what we have done the last three games and we need to work on that.”

Manual struggled to run the ball against Male, as the Crimsons rushed for -27 yards.

“Male was doing some things that really wasn’t giving us a whole lot in the running game, but they were letting us throw the ball,” Rigdon said. “We just took what they gave us but we were able to throw the ball a little bit and sometimes that’s just the game.”

“We need to continue what we’re doing; we passed the ball great, but our running game needs to sync on all cylinders,” Comstock said. “We just need to run through the holes. We aren’t running hard.”

After Comstock found Eric Niemann (11, #84) for a three yard touchdown on a fourth and goal play, the Crimsons tied the game at 21 with 4:16 left in the game.

Male responded with a three play touchdown drive to retake the lead on a 44 yard touchdown run by Ellis Cain (12, #2).

“Our defense just had a couple of mind errors that let them (Male) score,” Daylen Eichenberger (12, #54) said.

The defense struggled in the first half and gave up 21 points to Male, before stiffening up in the second half before the final drive. In the game, Male quarterback Davis Mattingly had an abundance of success against the stout Crimson defense. Mattingly threw for 250 and three touchdowns.

“The DBs (defensive backs) have to pick it up and cover their men, in man on man coverage,” Eichenberger said.

After the Male touchdown, Manual had a chance to win the game; however, Comstock’s pass landed incomplete on a fourth and one play inside of the Male 35.

“Manual played well because they capitalized on some stuff that we did, they did things we should have done, they were catching the ball well, but in the end we came out victorious so that is all that matters,” Thomas said.

“We had a great game, just a few mistakes and that is what ended up killing us,” Blackford said.

Manual will wrap up the regular season with senior night against Eastern on Halloween before the start of the playoffs. Manual will then travel for their first round game against McCracken County. If the Crimsons defeat McCracken County on Nov. 7, then they will get a rematch with Male on Nov. 14.

“We’re going to know what to do,” Smith said. “We’re going to minimize mistakes and do what we didn’t do this game: win.”

Head coach Oliver Lucas declined to be interviewed for this article.