The last time the Damonte and Manogue football teams met it was for the 4A Northern Championship and a running back was the key difference, Peyton Dixon. Friday night, at Manogue, the two schools faced off again, and a running back was the key difference, but this time it was Ashton Hayes.
Hayes is leading the state in rushing, and added to that total, Friday night, with more than 300 yards on the ground, unofficially, and four scores. Hayes has proven adept at running inside, picking up tough yards, and outside, where his speed enables him to pull away from defenders. But the Mustangs victory not only depended on the legs of Hayes, but also on their stout defense.
Damonte has faced Reno, Reed, and Manogue, three of the top offenses in the 4A North this season and has had success limiting their impact on the game. Friday night the Miners struggled to consistently move the ball through the air, or on the ground. “Shut ‘em down,” Carter Lewis intoned as the defense took the field after a blocked punt. It was the third quarter and the Manogue defense forced the Mustangs to punt, which went off the back of a Mustang blocker, giving the ball the Miners deep in Damonte territory. After three plays Manogue had lost yards and was forced to attempt a field goal. After the successful attempt the score was narrowed to 13-10, a touchdown and an extra point would have given Manogue the lead, but
Hayes scored on a 37-yard touchdown run on the next possession for Damonte, making the score 20-10. Then early in the fourth quarter lightning struck again for Hayes, he scored on a beautiful 67-yard run, making it a 27-10 game, which would be the final score.
Freshman Logan Howren started at quarterback for Manogue and had a good night filling in for the injured Drew Scolari. Zeke Lee set the pace for Manogue’s ground game and their touchdown came off a wildcat play that featured Vai Kaho.
Up Next – Damonte will travel to Wooster to take on the Colts, Friday night, 7:00 PM. The Colts offense is led by signal caller Jace Papke and their rushing leader is Angel Baldez.