‘Com­plete’ Lancers smash Skyhawks

All phases click as un­beaten Manch­ester adds Bird to vic­tims list

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - 804VARSITY - BY TIM PEARRELL tpear­rell@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6965 @tim­pear­relltd

Manch­ester High foot­ball coach Tom Hall had to watch his team play Fri­day night on YouTube af­ter un­der­go­ing emer­gency surgery for an in­fec­tion in his leg this week.

Like the pre­vi­ous six games, he must have liked what he saw.

The No. 2 Lancers didn’t miss a beat while de­stroy­ing No. 5 and pre­vi­ously un­beaten L.C. Bird 55-7 with a com­plete game.

Manch­ester (7-0) pre­vi­ously pounded River­bend 75-0, Cosby 49-6, Monacan 62-9, Mid­loth­ian 47-3, James River 79-0 and Huguenot 51-0.

“It’s def­i­nitely the most com­plete team — I’ve been here 11 years at Manch­ester — in all three phases,” said of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Sid­ney Chap­pell, who took over for Hall. “We saw it tonight.”

The Lancers have plenty of weapons. They got 196 yards pass­ing and three touch­downs from quar­ter­back Bren­don Clark, in­clud­ing a next-level throw and next-level catch for a 24-yard TD to Al­ston Robin­son. They got 115 yards rush­ing from Isa­iah Todd and 103 from Roemell Gar­cia while rack­ing up 490 yards of of­fense and scor­ing the most points on a Bird team since at least 2008, when the Skyhawks (6-1) beat Clover Hill 55-53.

“Very ex­plo­sive,” said Clark, who spread the ball to six re­ceivers. “We’re re­ally strong up front. They opened up huge holes for Isa­iah, and I don’t think I got touched in the back­field once. It def­i­nitely re­volves around the of­fen­sive line. And we’ve got 10 or 12 guys we can throw the ball to who can make plays with it.”

The de­fense was equally im­pres­sive. It bot­tled up Bird run­ning back Tre Ma­son, who came in av­er­ag­ing 211.2 yards. He had 72. The Lancers had sev­eral sacks, bat­ted down passes and in­ter­cepted two.

They got a 94-yard punt re­turn for a touch­down from

Tre Clark, who tracked the ball down af­ter it sailed over his head, shook off a tack­ler and weaved his way to the end zone. He also had an in­ter­cep­tion.

“Both sides of the ball are great,” said de­fen­sive line­man An­dre Crawley Jr., who along with fel­low line­men Ha­keem Bea­mon, An­thony Gary and Chris­tian Wil­liams made life mis­er­able for the Skyhawks.

“Our de­fen­sive line, we’re just hec­tic. The lineback­ers, we all come to­gether as one unit. … I like our chem­istry a lot.”

With Clark (Notre Dame) and Bea­mon (Penn State) headed to big-time col­lege pro­grams, plus sev­eral other play­ers who prob­a­bly will play in Di­vi­sion I, Manch­ester has its best shot at a state cham­pi­onship. Class 6, though, has plenty of heavy­weights, in­clud­ing three-time de­fend­ing champ West­field.

Con­ven­tional think­ing is that a team needs to be chal­lenged at some point in or­der to know how to re­act when it finds it­self in a tight play­off game. On the un­con­ven­tional hand, there’s noth­ing say­ing you can’t win ev­ery game by com­fort­able mar­gins and never have to find out.

The Lancers know that most likely won’t be the case, es­pe­cially with neme­sis Colo­nial Forge po­ten­tially wait­ing in the Class 6, Re­gion B play­offs. Colo­nial Forge has ended the Lancers’ sea­son each of the past two years: 27-19 in 2016 and 48-27 last sea­son.

“We’re go­ing to [find] our­selves in [a close game] at some point,” Chap­pell said, “but I’m not go­ing to ask for one.”

The game had a somber mo­ment late in the first half when Bird’s Ma­lik Ran­dall was in­jured. He was im­mo­bi­lized and taken by am­bu­lance to a hospi­tal.


Manch­ester’s Isa­iah Todd rushed 14 times for 115 yards in the Lancers’ 55-7 romp over vis­it­ing L.C. Bird.


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