In the heavy mist of a cool, dreary October night, the Game of the Week match-up could not have been any better as it was a nail-biter to the end between L.C. Bird and Manchester.
As both teams came into the game at 5-1, this was more than just a game for the better record, it was a game for bragging rights in Chesterfield County.
But the Lancers proved superior on this night and dispatched the Skyhawks 24-21 to improve to 6-1 on the season.
Manchester started the game slow. The Lancers had a couple three-and-outs early on and L.C. Bird managed to draw first blood. Quarterback Brendon Clark and the offense put up a good drive after L.C. Bird’s first score and Clark ran it in from a yard out for the score.
As the game progessed, both teams created scoring drives to make this game interesting.
As Manchester scored in the fourth to go up 21-14, Bird answered with a 64-yard touchdown run by running back CJ Donaldson to tie the game at 21. The Lancers had a good drive late in the fourth that put them in field goal range. Kicker Jake Lero answered with a 37-yard field goal to put the Lancers up 24-21 with 3:24 to go.
L.C. Bird had one last shot. Throughout the final drive, Bird had missed opportunities to score a touchdown. When it came down to it, L.C. Bird had a 4th-and-17 play it needed to convert in order to score. The long pass was dropped, and the game ended with a kneel-down for Manchester, winning 24-21.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Manchester coach Tom Hall. “We played a really good football team and we had a couple of times where we could’ve jumped on them. We kept on fighting, and like I told them, I don’t think we played our best football. I saw a lot of inconsistencies out there tonight, but we found a way to just keep on clawing and fighting and found a way to win at the end. Kudos to my kids, and hats off to Bird.
“What a great football team. Tony is doing a good job. They’ve gotten better every week. Glad to be a Lancer tonight.”
Hall was impressed with his team’s resiliency against L.C. Bird.
“I wasn’t surprised by our guys’ resiliency at all. We preach it every day. What do we have to do to get better? They threw the challenges out to each other every day at practice and it’s fun to watch. This group is an awesome one to work with and I love every one of them.”
Manchester has a funny mantra for games like these, “Bring your big boy pants.” At the end of the game, Lancer players were seen holding up size 58 jeans from Goodwill. Laughingly, when asked about it, coach Hall just looked at his players, and all of them yelled out “BIG BOY PANTS!”
With the win, Manchester will play conference rival Clover Hill on the road next Friday at 7 p.m. L.C. Bird drops to 5-2 on the season. It will play conference rival Monacan on the road next week at 7:30 p.m.