By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter
The Section High football coaches are the only ones who slowed Chris Manning on Friday, as they kept him on the sideline during the fourth quarter.
West End’s defense had no answer for Manning in the first three periods, as he rushed for 203 yards and five touchdowns to power the Lions to a 33-14 triumph.
Section improved to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the Class 2A, Region 7 standings. The Patriots dropped to 0-7, 0-5.
Manning dashed 15 yards to the end zone just over a minute into the contest to put the Lions in front. Alex Hernandez’s extra point made it 7-0.
West End’s Timothy Parker intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 21 yards to stop Section’s second drive.
The Patriots were forced to punt, and Section took over at the West End 43-yard line.
Manning capped the six-play drive with a 1-yard TD plunge with 17.7 seconds left in the first period. Hernandez’s PAT was wide left.
A holding penalty wiped out an 88-yard TD sprint by Manning at the 8:49 mark of the second period.
The Patriots’ special teams produced their first touchdown when Rhett Lister blocked a punt, scooped it up and returned it eight yards to the end zone with 3:07 remaining.
The two-point conversion run failed, but the Pats had pulled within 13-6.
Section took the kickoff and marched 80 yards in seven plays.
Manning finished the drive with a 35-yard touchdown run during which he escaped from several Patriot defenders who appeared to have him stopped behind the line of scrimmage.
Hernandez’s PAT made it 20-6 with 52.7 seconds on the clock in the second period.
Manning touched the football twice in the third quarter, and both carries went for touchdowns.
He broke loose for a 70-yard run on Section’s first snap of the second half. Hernandez booted the PAT, extending the Lions’ margin to 27-6 with 8:10 left.
Manning dashed 65 yards to the end zone at the 3:55 mark. The two-point conversion failed but Section led 33-6.
Chase Blanton recovered a Section fumble at his 48-yard line to set up West End’s second scoring drive.
The Pats moved 52 yards in seven plays, highlighted by Epperson’s zig-zagging 18-yard touchdown run.
West End continues region play on Friday at Sand Rock.