Saturday, September 17th, 2011
Manning rushes St. Marys to victory
By Tom Montgomery
ST. MARYS - Another strong performance by running back D.J. Manning helped St. Marys stun Lima Bath 36-19 on Friday night in Western Buckeye League action.
Manning ran for 229 yards on 35 carries and scored three touchdowns to outshine Bath's star ball carrier Aaron Smith, who was limited to a season-low 74 yards on 23 carries.
Manning seemed to run at will against the Bath defense and scored on runs of 47, 27 and 7 yards.
The game proved to be a rough ride for the Wildcats, who came into the game with a record of 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the WBL. Following St. Marys' win, both teams now are now 2-2 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Manning led off the scoring with a 27-yard scamper at the 5:54 mark of the first quarter. The extra-point attempt was blocked and St. Marys led 6-0. St. Marys charged in front 12-0 at the 1:07 mark of the second quarter on a 53-yard pass from T.J. Powell to Jarett Taylor.
Bath got on the scoreboard just before halftime with 33 seconds on the clock when Smith scored on a two-yard run. Davey Briggs' PAT kick cut the Roughriders' lead to 12-7 at the half.
Both offenses kicked into gear in the second half. Manning ran for a seven-yard touchdown at the 10:21 mark of the third quarter, and his successful two-point conversion run upped the lead to 20-7.
Bath cut St. Marys' lead to 20-13 on a four-yard TD run by quarterback Brad Davis with 8:50 to go in the game. The Roughriders struck back on a 39-yard pass from Powell to Tre Sherman at the 7:13 mark and Manning's two-point conversion run made it 28-13.
The Wildcats refused to fold, however, and with 6:19 to play in the game, Davis' nine-yard touchdown run made it 28-19 with the hosts still out in front after the two-point conversion attempt failed.
Bath's hopes of rallying late ended at the 5:25 mark on a nifty reverse-field run by Manning that covered 47 yards for a touchdown. Steven Paulus' run for the two-point conversion made the final score 36-19.
"He (Manning) ran that just the way we coached it," joked St. Marys' coach Greg Phillips, referring to the final touchdown. "Good players just find a way to make plays.
"We played hard tonight. They earned it," Phillips continued. "I told them they needed to play for 48 minutes tonight and they responded."