The Male Bulldogs defeated the Manual Crimsons in the one hundred and twenty-fifth Old Rivalry game last night, with a score of 27-20. While the Crimsons had a rough start, they came back strong in the end, only losing by one touchdown.
The First Quarter
The Crimsons did not start off the game strong. In the first eight minutes, Male managed to score a field goal after a period of steady back and forth. When Manual’s Nick Kopp (#9, 12) attempted to kick a field goal for the Crimsons, the kick came up short.
Soon after gaining possession of the ball, the Bulldogs pushed up to Manual’s first yard line. There, Male’s Cameron Chesher (#2, 12) managed to run the ball in for a Bulldogs touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 10-0, Male.
The Second Quarter
Male regained possession of the ball quickly in the second quarter, and soon it was first and goal for Male again. While the Crimsons were able to keep them from making a touchdown, the Bulldogs put more points on the board with another field goal, making the score 13-0, Male.
However, that did not deter the Crimsons. Advancing steadily like a band of fierce warriors, the Crimsons scored a touchdown. Not long after, Manual’s Marcis Floyd (#2, 12) caught a 23-yard pass to put the Crimsons on Male’s first yard line.
In the next play, the Crimsons scored, although they did not earn the extra point. Newly invigorated, the student section cheered on loud and proud as, the Crimsons’ Ian Long (#3, 12) sacked the Male quarterback, pushing the bulldogs back 13 yards.
This play only held the Bulldogs off until Male’s Rasean McCauley (#9, 12) managed to score another touchdown. After successfully earning the extra point, the Bulldogs had a score of 20 points, while the Crimsons only had six.
The Third Quarter
The Bulldogs started the third quarter with a series of runs from their fifth yard line all the way to the end zone, advancing slowly as our Crimsons played their best defense.
Male’s Henry Vestal (#6, 11) made another touchdown, and after another successful kick by the Bulldogs, the score was 27-6, Male.
Once they returned the ball to the Crimsons, however, the momentum of the game began to shift. After a series of rapid advances by the Crimson offense, helped along by flags and penalties towards Male, Floyd was able to run in another Manual touchdown. When it came time for Kopp to kick for the extra point, the ball hit the hand of a Male defender, but still managed to fly between the goalposts.
At the end of the quarter, the score was 27-13, Male.
The Fourth Quarter
The Crimsons started the fourth quarter with a newfound optimism and determination.
When Male attempted to punt the ball, Manual’s Kameron Kiesel (#30, 11) swatted it out of the air, letting the Crimsons start at the Bulldog’s seven yard line.
Shortly after, the Crimsons scored a touchdown about three minutes into the quarter. After a successful extra kick for the Crimsons, the score became 27-20, Male.
“The turning point of the game was when we got that punt blocked,” Floyd said.
However the remainder of the game was a race against time. In the end, Male was able to prevent Manual from making that score, and the game ended with a score of 27-20, Male.
After the game, The Great American Rivalry awarded Chesher the title of most valuable player.
“It’s a really cool honor, but it’s really a team game, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Chesher said.
Despite the loss, Floyd was proud of the way that he and his team played.
“I don’t feel like we could’ve done anything better, they were just a better team today,” he said. “It was a tough loss, we played great though.”
Manual’s head coach Scott Carmony felt similarly about the outcome of this game.
“Male’s just better than us right now, but i just love the way our kids just keep fighting and battling, especially in the second half of the game,” he said.
Even Male Head Coach Chris Wolfe agreed, saying, “I give credit to Manual. They never gave up and they fought hard in the fourth quarter, and almost had a chance to tie it or take the lead.”
Be sure to show up and cheer on the Crimsons at their away game at Eastern High School on Friday, Oct. 27.