Many says ‘bye Felicia-na’ in second round

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The Many Tigers continued their roll through the Class 2A state football playoffs Friday night, blowing open a close game in the final seven minutes to post a  convincing 51-22 road win over the East Feliciana Tigers.

The defending state champion and No. 1-seeded Tigers (11-1) have put up 100 combined points in their first two playoff games.

Starting with Jayvion Smart’s pick-six score with 6:47 remaining Friday night, Many scored 22 points in just under three minutes to turn a seven-point lead into a blowout victory.

It advanced the Tigers into the state quarterfinals and a home game next Friday night, the day after Thanksgiving, against nearby Rosepine. Kickoff will be 7 p.m. at John W. Curtis Stadium.

In Clinton, just outside of Baton Rouge, Many never trailed Friday night, but the outcome was not settled until the scoring flurry in the closing minutes. The Tigers had the upper hand but East Feliciana contained the damage until the middle of the final period.

Many started the game with an 11-play drive of 70 yards that took 5:56 off the clock. London Williams scored from 7 yards out and Deacon Lafollette added the extra point kick for an early 7-0 Tiger lead.

It didn’t take long for East Feliciana to respond. The home team needed just one play from 55 yards on a pass from Dawson Mills to Stanley Gilmore and tied it 7-7 with the kick. The touchdown was scored over Jayvion Smart in the secondary but he got more than his share of revenge.

Many responded with another time-consuming drive of 55 yards, this time on 10 plays. Jeremiah James capped the drive with a 3-yard plunge but Lafollette missed the kick, leaving the vistors ahead 13-7.

In the second quarter with East Feliciana in scoring range, Many standout Tylen Singleton picked off a Mills pass and returned it to his own 23-yard line. Many drove 77 yards in 5 plays with Williams scoring from 24 yards out. He also added the conversion, bringing the score to 21-7.

East Feliciana answered on the first play after the Tiger kickoff, scoring from 53 yards away on an option run by Mills when Many lost containment on the outside. The extra point drew EF within 21-14.

East Feliciana had one more chance to score before halftime, but a Smart interception ended that chance in the waning seconds.

Taking advantage of a short punt, Many scored on its first play of the third quarter, a 42-yard London Williams run around the right side. James added the conversion for a 29-14 Tiger lead.

Despite having a 59-yard touchdown run called back by a penalty, East Feliciana responded. The home team ran a fake punt to keep the drive going and scored on a 2-yard run, adding a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 29-22 with more than seven minutes left in the third quarter.

It didn’t change for a while, as more than 12 scoreless minutes grinded off the clock. Both teams took turns on the next four possessions stopping each other.

The final stymie in that series was the biggest play of the night. Smart picked off a Mills pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown, running through multiple tackles along the way. Williams added the conversion to make it 37-22 with 6:47 left to play.

East Feliciana refused to fold, moving down inside Tiger territory. Smart made another massive play when he picked off his third interception of the night on the Many 10-yard line and returned it 75 yards down to the EFHS 15-yard line.

Following a Tiger penalty, James scored on a 21-yard run. A James conversion run was stopped short but Many finally had breathing room, up 43-22 at the 4:28 mark. 

East Feliciana fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Many applied the dagger quickly. James scored on a 22-yard run and with the Williams conversion, the score read 51-22 with 3:55 left.

East Feliciana turned the ball over on downs and the Tigers ran out the clock to seal the triumph. With his three interceptions, Smart was named the recipient of the Foy’s Game Ball immediately afterwards.

Many totaled 358 offensive yards to 210 for East Feliciana. The Tigers accumulated 19 first downs to 10 for EF. EF turned the ball over five times, including four interceptions.

Three was a magic number for Many. James and Williams each accounted for three touchdowns, and Smart had a trio of interceptions.

Next Friday’s contest in Many will be Rosepine’s inaugural quarterfinal appearance. The Vernon Parish school was a 43-42 double overtime winner over Red River Friday night. The Eagles are led by quarterback Ethan Frey, an LSU baseball commit who scored five touchdowns and the decisive two-point conversion against Red River.

Scoring Summary:

First Quarter

6:04 M – London Williams 7-yard run, Deacon Lafollette kick, 7-0 Many

5:55 EF – 55-yard Mills pass to Gilmore, kick good, 7-7

Second Quarter

11:20 M – Jeremiah James 3-yard run, Lafollette kick no good, 13-7 Many

2:43 M – Williams 24-yard run, Williams conversion, 21-7

1:50 EF – Mills 53-yard run, kick good, 21-14

Third Quarter

10:54 M – Williams 42-yard run, James conversion, 29-14

7:03 EF – 2-yard run, conversion good, 29-22

Fourth Quarter

6:47 M – Jayvion Smart 32-yard interception return, Williams conversion, 37-22

4:28 M – James 21-yard run, conversion no good, 43-22

3:55 M – James 22-yard run, Williams conversion, 51-22 

Individual Statistics:

Passing – M – Curtis 2-3, 28 yards

          EF – 6-24, 141 yards, 1 TD, 4 interceptions

Rushing – M – Williams 24-167, 3 TD’s; James 21-161, 3 TD’s, Curtis 2-2

          EF – 18-69, 2 TD’s

Receiving – M – M. Leach 1-21, Singleton 1-7

           EF – 6-141, 1 TD

Tackles – M – Trent Williams 7, Curtis 5, K. Montgomery 4, G. Culverson 4

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