BY MATT VINES, Journal Sports
MANY – For the fourth time since 2014, Many can call themselves perfect.
At least in the regular season.
Many clocked Lakeview in a 56-0 rout Thursday to finish its regular season 9-0 and officially secure its ninth straight district title.
Coach Jess Curtis is always looking to that ultimate goal of being a state champion, and Thursday’s effort allows Many to hold on to its No. 1 seed in Division III Non-Select with its accompanying bye in the first round of the playoffs next week.
“We played hard, and we saw what needed to see (heading into a bye week,” Curtis said. “Our defense was sharp, and our offense was very productive.”
Just as in their last two games, Many forced the clock to run before halftime.
The Tigers snatched a 42-0 halftime lead and sped through the second half in a game that took less than two hours.
Quarterback Tackett Curtis and running back Jamarlyn Garner each accounted for two touchdowns in the first half.
Curtis ran one touchdown in and returned an interception for another as the Many defense outscored its opponent.
Garner’s two scores comes one week after he rushed for four touchdowns against Red River, totaling six TDs in the last two weeks.
Jeremiah James, Sylvonte Aldredge, Sean Mitcham and Duce Woods accounted for the other rushing touchdowns.
On a night when Many honored 15 seniors, Curtis, Garner, Mitcham represented in their final home regular season contest with five total touchdowns.
The defense was just as good, pitching its third straight shutout as they suffocated Lakeview on Thursday. Many hasn’t shut out three straight opponents since 2018.
Other streaks extended include Many’s district winning streak (34) and regular season winning streak (18).
The Gators (4-6, 0-5 District 2-3A) end their season on a five-game losing streak with a rash of injuries after stringing together four straight wins in healthier times.
Lakeview’s four wins still outnumber the last two seasons combined (three) as the Gators continue to move in the right direction.
CREDIT: Kevin Shannahan
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