MAN — The Man High School football team picked up its first win of the season with Friday night’s 20-13 victory over Mount View at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Stadium.
Man (1-1) handed Mount View its state-longest 29th straight loss. The Golden Knights, which haven’t won a game since 2009, have endured back-to-back 0-10 seasons.
The Hillbillies were led by running back Braden Griffin, who rushed for 104 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns on runs of 27 and 7 yards.
Freshman quarterback John Thomas Keffer accounted for the other Man score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.
Man jumped out to a 20-0 lead and held on for the 20-12 win.
The game was ugly as it was marred by 31 penalties and nine turnovers. Mount View was flagged 19 times for 101 yards and gave up six turnovers. Man was thrown 12 yellow hankies for 80 yards and committed three turnovers in a game that lasted nearly three hours.
It was also a muggy, sweltering night with temperatures in the 80s, causing players to cramp up.
But a win is a win and Man coach Harvey Arms will gladly take it. Man was coming off last week’s 33-0 loss at Class AAA Logan in last week’s season opener.
“Our kids played hard,” Arms said. “We saw a lot of good things and saw some bad things as well. We had too many penalties. We cut down our turnovers from a week ago when we had seven as we had three tonight. We are going to have to run, run, run next week to get better in shape. We had a lot of people playing two or three positions and they did a good job for us. We got to take this win and build on it and get ready for Westside next week. The guys did a heck of a job.”
The Billies took the opening kickoff and drove down to the Mount View 31-yard line before fumbling the ball away to the Knights.
Man then forced MVHS to punt on its first possession as senior David Belcher got a good return on the punt of 23 yards, giving the Hillbillies good field position all the way down to the Golden Knights’ 31-yard stripe.
Man then struck pay dirt just two plays later on a nice 27-yard jaunt by Griffin to give the Billies an early 6-0 lead with 8:32 to go in the opening quarter of play. The PAT conversion run by Griffin failed.
Belcher then helped set up the the Billies’ second score of the night as he intercepted a pass at the Man 21-yard line.
Man then marched 79 yards on just nine plays with the key play of the drive a nice tipped ball and catch by senior Tracy Jones for a 31-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Griffin later rushed in from 7 yards out to give Man a 12-0 lead. Belcher then ran in the two-point conversion to push the lead to 14-0 with 10:34 to go in the second stanza.
That’s the way the game stayed until the 3:46 mark of the third quarter as Keffer ran in for a 1-yard TD run to make it 20-0 Man. The score capped off a 14-play, 80-yard drive, chewing up much of the third quarter clock. Justin Cantrell’s extra point kick sailed far right.
Mount View, however, didn’t quit.
The Knights cut the Man lead to 20-6 with 9:22 left in the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Andrew Hazzard. The conversion failed but Mount View was on the board.
The Golden Knights then cut the deficit to 20-12 on a 5-yard TD catch by Andrew Hazzard from quarterback Teddy Hazzard with just 1:20 to play in the game.
The Knights then tried an on-side kick but Man freshman Richie Nelson fell on the ball as the Knights were out of timeouts and Man was able to run out the clock to come away with a hard fought 20-12 win.
Man is scheduled to host Westside next week in its annual Hall of Fame Game.
The Billies finished with 188 yards rushing and 44 more yards in the air for 232 yards of total offense.
Neil Mullins added 67 yards rushing on 11 carries for the Billies.
Keffer was 3-for-10 passing for 44 yards and one pick.
Jones had two catches for 37 yards.
Mount View was led by Juwan Diggs who had 39 yards rushing on eight carries. Andrew Hazzard had 10 tries for 34 yards.