After suffering one of the most gut-wrenching losses a team can suffer the previous weekend in a 55-54 defeat to Notre Dame, the Manchester Greyhounds football squad fired up the bus and hit the road last Saturday afternoon for their first road trip of the season. The bus took them to Western Hills High School where they opened up play in the Ohio Valley Athletic League,matching up with the host Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy Lions.
The trip did not prove to be a successful one for the Hounds as they saw CCPA score 26 unanswered points to turn a Manchester lead into a double digit deficit as the Lions dropped the Greyhounds to 1-2 on the season, tagging their guests with a 34-18 defeat.
The opening kickoff may have been an omen of things to come for the Hounds as they muffed the kick and the Lions recovered in great field position at the Manchester 42. Six plays later, CCPA’s Salih Williams drug a herd of tacklers into the end zone on an eight-yard touchdown run and with the two-point conversion, the Lions led quickly 8-0.
After some regrouping, the Hounds took over on their own 43 and using the no-huddle offense, drove the ball 57 yards in seven plays to get their first points of the day. Those points came on an eight-yard scamper by quarterback Jordan Freeman with 5:08 left in the first quarter. The two-point try was stopped but the visitors had drawn to within 8-6.
On the next CCPA possession the Manchester defense stepped up and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Hounds’ James Arias at the Lions’ 44. One play later the Greyhounds had the lead as Bryan Young took a hand off, found a hole, and rambled 44 yards for the score. Again, the two-point attempt was denied but Manchester now had a 12-8 advantage, still in the opening period.
From that point forward, though, all the momentum went the way of the home team. Midway through the second quarter, the Lions took the lead back for good on a 66-yard touchdown gallop by D’aris Dean. That two-point try was stuffed by the Hounds but CCPA was now on top 14-12. Neither team could muster any offense for the rest of the half and the two teams went to the intermission withe the Greyhound still trailing by just two points.
On the opening possession of the third quarter, the Hounds suffered a loss that no football team wants when quarterback Jordan Freeman was kicked in the leg at the bottom of the pile and was forced to leave the game and he did not return, which meant the Hounds had to rearrange their game plan on the fly. A quarterback sack by Jared Stricklett on the first CCPA possession kept the Hounds close, but the offense with Nick Woolard getting one series at the helm, went three and out and was forced to punt.
CCPA got a big punt return from senior Teddy Freeman and it took them just one play to find pay dirt when Williams ran it in from 28 yards away. Freeman ran home the two-point conversion, giving the Lions a 22-12 lead with 4:49 left in the third period. Bryan Young was behind center on the next Greyhound possession and his first play didn’t go well as a fumbled exchange on a hand off saw CCPA recover at the Manchester 40.
On a fourth down play, the Lions struck again as the athletic Freeman raced around left end for a 3-yard score that put the home team in front 28-12 as the rain began to fall heavily for the second time in the game. The third quarter closed with a Manchester drive ending in a turnover on downs and the two teams headed to the final 12 minutes with the Hounds desperate to find a new rhythm on offense as they were still within striking distance.
That changed with 5:58 to play when the Lions’ big bruising back, Troy Smythe, scored on a one-yard run and even with the two point try failing, the Lions now were in the driver’s seat, leading 34-12. Give credit to the Greyhounds, though, as they answered back with a score of their own.
After a pass interference call took them to the CCPA 12, Young hit receiver Chase Darnell with a pass in the flat and Darnell snuck into the corner of the end zone for the touchdown with 2:55 to play, but that was the last points of the afternoon as the Lions sent the Greyhounds back home smarting from a 34-18 defeat.
With the loss the Greyhounds dropped to 1-2 on the season and the road gets no easier this weekend as they face along road trip to face a very athletic squad of South Gallia Rebels. Kick off time is 7:30 p.m. at South Gallis High School.
MANCHESTER 12 0 0 6 —18
CCPA 8 6 14 6 —34
CCPA- Williams 8 yd. run (O’Neal run)
MHS- J. Freeman 8 yd. run (conversion failed)
MHS- Young 44 yd. run (conversion failed)
CCPA- Dean 66 yd. run (conversion failed)
CCPA- Williams 28 yd. run (T. Freeman run)
CCPA- T. Freeman 30 yd. run (conversion failed)
CCPA- Smythe 1 yd. run (conversion failed)
MHS- Darnell 12 yd. pass from Young (conversion failed)