October 12th, 2019

Manual Stuns St. X 20-19 in District Opener

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 

Manual Stuns St. X 20-19 in District Opener
Tigers lose 20-19 / photo by Jeff Woods

Manual running back Ja'Wuan Northington scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Crimsons past St. Xavier in a come from behind 20-19 victory Friday night. The win is Manual's first against the Tigers since 1993.

"We don't get wrapped up in that stuff," said Manual head coach Scott Carmony. "This is the 2019 team, not some 1990's team or whatever. All we care about is what we're doing now, and where we're headed now.


"I loved our guys' fight in the second half. These games against these opponents in 6A, you have to win them in the fourth quarter. You can't bust through a sign and win it in the first quarter. You really have to be solid in the second half, and we were. We played really hard and limited their big plays."


St. X began the second half with a 13-7 lead and dominated time of possession in the third quarter. However, the Tigers settled for two Jeff Sexton field goals to extend their lead to 19-7. The game turned when Manual's DeAaron Robinson connected on a halfback pass to Braxton Cannon for 47 yards on the final play of the third quarter, setting up the Crimsons inside the St. X 10-yard line. Northington scored two plays later to make it 19-14 with 11:14 remaining.


"They dominated the fourth quarter and scored touchdowns, we dominated the third quarter and scored field goals. I think that's the difference in the game," said Tigers head coach Kevin Wallace. "Not sure we could be any more dominant than we were in the third quarter but only outscore them 6-0. That pretty much solidified the fact that they still had a chance to get back in the game."


The Tigers' first drive of the fourth quarter led to a punt. The Crimsons responded with a 13-play, 73-yard drive capped by Northington's second touchdown to give Manual a 20-19 lead with 2:53 to play.


On the ensuing Tigers possession, quarterback Doug Bodhaine threw his only interception of the game to Eli Blakey with 1:57 to play. The Crimsons picked up a first down and ran out the clock.


"I just think we have to grow comfortable being uncomfortable during the week," said Wallace. "We have to develop some energy and toughness at practice that doesn't allow things like this to happen when momentum goes the other way in a game."


Sexton finished a perfect four-for-four on field goals Friday night, drilling kicks of 33, 31, 38, and 32 yards. Senior running back Logan Davis accounted for the Tigers' lone touchdown, a 19-yard scamper in the second quarter to put St. X ahead 13-7. Davis rushed 22 times for 114 yards.


Quarterback Doug Bodhaine completed just two passes for nine yards on ten attempts. He rushed for 119 yards but committed two turnovers, including a fumble that resulted in a 34-yard scoop and score by Malachi Lawrence to put Manual on the board 7-3 late in the first quarter.


St. X (4-3, 0-1) returns home for the first time since early September when it faces Butler next Friday at 7:30 p.m.




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