It was opening night on Aug. 27 for the junior high version of Manchester Greyhounds football as they entertained the Fayetteville Rockets in the season opener for both sides. Things didn’t go as planned for the home team as a dominant performance by Fayetteville’s Hunter Jester led the visiting Rockets to a convincing 30-8 victory.
It didn’t take long for the Rockets to eastablish a theme for the game as their first offensive play from scrimmage resulted in a 65-yard touchdown run by Jester, the first of his four in the game. The Fayetteville running back followed that up with another long scoring run in the second period to give the Rockets a 14-0 halftime advantage.
In the third period, the Rockets struck again after blocking a Manchester punt to give them the ball at the Greyhound 17. Again, it was Jester bulling over from three yards out and then for good measure, running in the two-point try to put Fayetteville up 22-0. The junior high Hounds, who were playing without head coach Larry Heller who was sidelined by illness, moved the ball but had nothing to show for it until late in the game.
Late in the third quarter, the Manchester offense faced a fourth and 10 and a pass by quarterback D.J.Polley was picked off by Jester who ran it all the way back for six, but the play was nullified by a penalty, but starting at the Manchester 45, the Rockets got a 45-yard scoring burst from Jester plus another two-point run to lead 30-0 after three.
The home team finally got on the board with 3:21 left in the game on a four-yard TD run by Polley, who also took across the two-point conversion but it was too little, too late as the Rockets left Greyhound Stadium with the 30-8 triumph, opening their season on the plus side of the W-L ledger.
The 0-1 Greyhounds were back in action on Sept. 3 with a trip to Sciotoville East while the 1-0 junior high Rockets will be on the road on Sept. 12 with a game in West Union.