In a matchup that was billed as Northwest Louisiana’s high school football game of the week, Many High School’s visit to Red River turned out to be exactly that. Many came away a winner, 44-31 Friday night against a much-improved Red River squad.
There was plenty of rain before the game and plenty of fast-paced action during the game. The Tigers scored first after a methodical drive capped off by a London Williams 9-yard touchdown run. Tackett Curtis converted the two-point conversion for a 8-0 Tiger lead with 4:36 left in the first quarter.
Williams added a 66-yard touchdown run at the 2:50 mark in the first quarter and Jeremiah James’ two-point conversion run brought the score to 16-0.
On the Tigers’ next possession Williams exited the game with a sprained ankle and did not return. His night was finished very early after racking up 116 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns.
Red River got on the scoreboard at the 10:22 mark of the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tre Smith. The conversion was missed and the score stood at 16-6 Tigers.
Trent Williams replaced London Williams in the Many backfield and scored a 1-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds left in the half after another Tiger drive. The Tigers missed the conversion, leaving the score 22-6 in favor of Many. Red River tried to respond, but a 10-yard sack by Garret Culverson ended the Bulldogs’ drive and the half.
Red River scored first in the third quarter, on a 35-yard pass from Smith to Antron Williams down their sideline. After a missed conversion, the score was 22-12. The Tigers had to punt on their next possession. Red River now had the momentum and a 40-yard pass from Smith to Stanley Maxie only added to it. Maxie scored on a 2-yard run but the Bulldogs missed the conversion. At the 5:49 mark in the third quarter the Tigers’ lead was trimmed to a shaky 22-18.
With their backs against the wall and without London Williams, the Tigers turned to James, their sensational sophomore running back, and their powerful offensive line. James alone picked up 52 yards rushing on six carries in the drive. He finished the march with a 6-yard touchdown run and added a two-point conversion to put the Tigers ahead 30-18 with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
The final quarter started with a bang. On the first play Smith found D’evin McDonald on a 69-yard touchdown pass for the Bulldogs. With the extra point kick good, the margin closed again to one score, 30-25 Tigers.
On the very next play from scrimmage, James and Many answered in kind. The sophomore took the Tigers to the end zone on a very physical and hardnosed run through tacklers for 53 yards. Many missed the conversion, but reopened a double-digit lead, 36-25.
Trevor McLendon intercepted Smith to end the Bulldogs’ next possession but the Tigers soon returned the favor on a Tackett Curtis pass that was intercepted by Stanley Sibley. Red River made the Tigers pay for the turnover on their first play with a Smith to McDonald 75-yard touchdown pass. The Bulldogs missed the conversion, however, leaving them trailing 36-31 with 7:02 left in the game.
Starting at their own 40, the Tigers mounted a methodical drive consisting of James and Trent Williams carrying the ball downfield to a vital score, a 9-yard touchdown run by Williams. James succeeded on the two-point conversion to put the Tigers up 44-31 with 1:44 left to play. Red River didn’t throw in the towel, moving down to the Tigers 10-yard line before the Tiger defense and the final horn stopped them.
Tylen Singleton led the Tigers in tackles with 5. The Tigers ran 56 plays for a total of 447 yards. Red River ran 54 plays for 379 yards. Many had 18 first downs to Red River’s 15.
Some games don’t add up to the pregame hype. This one did. The No. 2-ranked Tigers moved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in district with their fourth straight win, and the first close game since the opener. The Bulldogs dropped to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in district.
Many will host Winnfield next Friday in another district game which will also be the Tigers’ homecoming.
4:36 M – London Williams 9 run, Tackett Curtis 2 pt. conversion – 8-0
2:50 M – L. Williams 66 run, Jeremiah James 2 pt. conversion -16-0
10:20 RR – Tre Smith 2 run – conversion failed – 16-6
:44 M – Trent Williams 1 run – conversion failed – 22-6
9:59 RR – Smith to Antron Williams 35 pass – conversion failed – 22-12
5:49 RR – Stanley Maxie 2 run – conversion failed – 22-18
:11 M – James 6 run – James conversion – 30-18
11:50 RR – Smith to D’evin McDonald 69 pass, kick good – 30-25
11:38 M – James 53 run, conversion failed – 36-25
7:02 RR – Smith to McDonald 75 pass, conversion failed – 36-31
1: 44 M – T. Williams 9 run, James conversion – 44-31
Passing: M – Curtis 1-3-1 , 25 yards
RR – Smith 13-29-1, 317 yards, 3 TD’s
Rushing: M – James 20-213, 2 TD’s
Williams 8-117, 2 TD’s
Williams 16-91, 2 TD’s
Curtis 2-minus 6
RR – Team 18-62
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