The football field at Tippecanoe Valley is known as Death Valley to many because of the odds of winning when you play there. The Manchester football team beat them this past Saturday as they used a balanced offensive attack and hard hitting defense to beat the Vikings 27-20, the same way these sports odds predicted.
Manchester would grab the lead on their first possession. After holding Valley four and out the Squire offense would go to work. On second and 9 from their own 6, an arrant snap that went into the endzone was picked up by quarterback Lucas Schilling, avoiding a safety and connecting with Bailey Ness for a 17yd gain. On 3rd and 10 Schilling would hook up with Kellan Norwood, who had broke loose down the left sideline for a 76yd scoring strike with 8:49 on the clock. A Zach Hill extra point made it 7-0. Valley would respond in the quarter, scoring twice and led the Squires 12-7 after one.
Valley was moving to start the second quarter when Kane Gable batted down a pass to end the drive. Manchester would take over on their own 10 and riding the backs of Jacob Casper and Evan Milam moved the ball quickly to Viking territory. With 3rd and 10 from the 30 Schilling found Norwood to the 10 and one play later hooked up with Casper for a scoring strike to lead 14-12 at the half.
After a Viking onside kick was recovered by Thad Miller to start the second half, the Squires offense went nowhere and after a sack were forced to punt. Valley blocked the punt and had the ball on the Manchester 14. The Squire defense rose to the occasion, shutting Valley down and taking over on the 7. On the third play of the series Schilling found Kane Gable to the 35. Aided by an offside the Squires kept the drive going, chipping away until Schilling found Milam on the Valley 18. On third down Schilling would scamper to the 4 and one play later Casper found the endzone with 1:26 left to give Manchester a 20-12 lead with a quarter to go.
Valley wasted no time in the fourth, scoring with 9:30 left, going for two and converting to tie the score at 20. Manchester’s response was a 18 play drive that took five minutes off the clock when Jacob Casper found the endzone for the third time with 4:34 left. The Zach Hill kick made it 27-20. The Bailey Ness kick off found the endzone, forcing the Vikings to go 80yds. Valley would mount a drive, marching down the field quickly and eventually had the ball on the Manchester 2yl with 40 seconds remaining. Manchester stuffed the middle to stop the Vikings with no gain, forcing Valley to take their last time out with 21.8 left. The result of the next play was a 4 yard loss with Valley scampering to ground the ball with 2.4 on the clock. Going nowhere on the ground, Valley elected for the last play of the game to be a pass, that tipped the fingers of the receiver in double coverage at the back of the endzone with Lucas Schilling and Jacob Casper giving the receiver no chance for the catch.
Lucas Schilling was 13 of 28 for 228yds, 2TD
Jacob Casper rushed 20 times for 102yds, 2TD. Lucas Schilling added 12 for 55yds, Evan Milam 7 for 53yds.
Keelan Norwood had 3 catches for 95yds, 1TD. Evan Milam added 3 for 34yds, Bailey Ness 2 for 23yds. Jacob Casper, Kane Gable and Daniel Griese each had 1 catch. Casper’s was a touchdown.
Thad Miller led the defense with 18 tackles. Clay Sellers added 8, Cole Isbell 7, Evan Milam 7, Jacob Casper 7, Quentin Moore 7.