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Manzanola football routs Walsh

David High
Fowler Tribune

A few hearty souls attended the six-man Southeast League match-up between Manzanola (2-4) and Walsh (1-4) on Friday.

Manzanola defeated Walsh 53-24 to cap the 2020 truncated regular season.

Cold and dry conditions didn’t keep the two teams’ offenses from marching up and down the length of the field in the first half of play. The host Bobcats crossed the goalline six times in the half to top the Walsh Eagles two scores to take an impressive lead at 34-16 going into the break. 

“We switched some people around this week and were pretty healthy for the first time since the first game,” said Bobcats coach Scott Egan. "Blake Williams went to quarterback and Daniel Escareno went to tailback. We also went unbalanced and I think it caught Walsh off guard because we had been running the spread offense.” 

The opening of the third quarter saw Manzanola score first on a running play, and after sophomore Ezra Leiweke kicked the ball through the uprights for the conversion the Bobcats had a dominant lead at 41-14.

Manzanola Bobcats logo

The Eagles answered to make it 47-24, but Daniel Escareno came right back at the five-minute mark with a nifty 15-yard run of his own extending the hosts lead to 47-24. JJ Horn finished out the scoring adding another Bobcat score in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run.

The final, a 53-24 satisfying league win for the Bobcats.     

Key plays early on in the victory according to the Bobcats coach were: Blake Williams hitting Dalton Carroll on a swing pass that went 38 yards for a touchdown. The Bobcats stopping the Eagles on their first possession and Escareno taking a pitch sweep 55 yards for a touchdown. 

“The momentum just stayed with us and we were able to stay on top of things for the rest of the game,” Egan said. “I let Blake call the offensive plays and the boys mixed things up defensively. We went from man-to-man to a 5-1 to a 4-2 and ended up in our 3-3. They were comfortable for the first time this year in all defenses and it showed. It was a good last game for our seniors.” 

Individual stats for Manzanola in the game: Daniel Escareno - 3-6 for 56 yards passing, 11-159 rushing, 3 rushing touchdowns; Dalton Carroll 7-66 yards rushing, 3 receptions for 94 yards, 1 rushing, 2 receiving touchdowns; Blake Williams 4-7 passing, 2-16 yards receiving, 6-27, 1 interception return touchdown; JJ Horn 8-60 receiving, 1 rushing touchdown; Alex Ramirez 8-60 yards rushing. Tackles: Daniel Escareno 4 solo, 1 assist; Dalton Carroll 8 solo 1 assist, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries; Blake Williams 6 solo 3 assist, 1 interception; JJ Horn 6 solo 4 assists Ezra Leiweke 4 solos 2 assists, 1 fumble recovery.

Season ending individual stats for Manzanola: Passing – Daniel Escareno 50 completions in 84 attempts for 666 yards - Rushing Escareno 52 carries for 425 yards; Dalton Carroll 59 carries 351 yards; Blake Williams 30 carries for 128 yards – Receiving Carroll 18 receptions -367; Williams 18 rec., for 160 yards; Tackles Carroll 44 total; Williams 43 total.

Walsh        16    0    8   0  -24

Manzanola 14  20  13   6  -53