Manson NW flies past Gaels
MANSON — Keegan Pritchard scored touchdowns three different ways, Derek Girard was almost perfect passing, and the Manson Northwest Webster defense stifled St. Edmond here Friday night.
That all added up to a convincing 36-14 victory for the Cougars, their second in three seasons over the Gaels.
Pritchard caught two touchdown passes from Girard, scored on a six-yard reverse and returned an interception 70 yards for another TD as Manson Northwest Webster (1-1 overall) won for just the third time in 15 meeting with St. Edmond (0-2).
“This feels good,” MNW head coach Jeff Anliker said. “We didn’t play well last week (a loss to Sioux Central), but these kids came out and had a great week of practice. It always helps to get prepared for a rivalry game like this one and I thought we executed well on both sides of the ball.”
Girard, a junior quarterback who was tossed into duty last season after an injury to Ben Wignall, completed 9 of 11 passes for 151 yards including his first five. All five of those went to Pritchard, who finished with seven grabs for 125 yards.
“Derek is just a heady, heady kid,” Anliker said. “He understands what we are trying to do on offense and he came out and had one heck of a ballgame.
“And Keegan, if the ball is anywhere in his vicinity, he is going to catch it. He has developed into a tremendous playmaker for us.”
Following a 22-8 setback in Week 1, the Cougars made sure they would enter Class 1A, District 6 play next week with momentum by scoring on their first drive.
Girard marched MNW right down the field, putting together an 11-play, 72-yard series that resulted in a quick pass to Pritchard in the end zone. The Cougars took advantage of a fumble recovery by Pritchard, as Girard once again found his favorite target, this time covering 52 yards.
“I thought our offensive line made the most improvement over the past week,” Anliker said. “They gave Derek plenty of time to throw and they really controlled things up front.”
St. Edmond answered back with a 12-play drive, as Andrew Gibb found the end zone. A week after passing for a career-high 197 yards, though, Gibb was held to just 20 through the air.
“We had a few chances to make a big play and we weren’t able to,” SEHS head coach Jon Borer said. “I’m still proud of the kids for all that they have done to get this far and I continue to see the potential, we just have to execute.”
Pritchard scored the next two Cougar touchdowns, first on a reverse from six yards out and then on an interception return.
Mark Condon balanced out Girard’s big night with 67 yards rushing, while Reid Steinberg added 48 and a 6-yard TD run. Steinberg also caught two passes for 26 yards.
Charlie Shelly rushed for a game-high 70 yards and scored on a 15-yard run in the fourth. Cade Naughton chipped in 39 yards and Sean Newell recorded a sack on defense.
“We’ve got to put it together,” Borer said. “We have to sustain drives on offense and we need to make stops on defense. I thought after a slow start, our defense played well (Friday night). They rallied to the ball; we just have to put a full game together.”
The Gaels will open A, District 2 action back at home next Friday against MMCRU. Manson NW travels to South Hamilton as part of three district road games over the first four weeks.
First Downs 12 15
Rushes-Yards 32-150 40-152
Passing 20 151
Comp-Att-Int 8-21-1 9-11-0
Total Offense 170 303
Punts-Avg. 3-37.3 3-32.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-40 7-55
St. Edmond 0 7 6 7– 14
Manson NW 16 6 8 6–36
Manson NW — Keegan Pritchard (2-yard pass from Derek Girard), 5:43 left in first. Girard-to-Pearson conversion.
Manson NW — Pritchard (52-yard pass from Girard), 4:21 left in first. Girard conversion.
St. Edmond — Andrew Gibb (3-yard run), 11:58 left in second. Isaac Lursen kick.
Manson NW — Pritchard (6-yard run), 6:37 left in second. Conversion failed.
Manson NW — Pritchard (70-yard interception return), 2:59 left in third. Reid Steinberg conversion.
St. Edmond — Charlie Shelly (15-yard run), 10:36 left in fourth. Lursen kick.
Manson NW — Steinberg (6-yard run), 4:13 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
Rushing — Manson NW: Mark Condon 19-67, Reid Steinberg 9-48, Blake Larsen 9-39, Keegan Pritchard 1-6, Derek Girard 2-(minus-8). St. Edmond: Charlie Shelly 14-70, Cade Naughton 7-39, Isaac Lursen 1-23, Andrew Gibb 10-18.
Passing — Manson NW: Derek Girard 9-11-0-151. St. Edmond: Andrew Gibb 8-21-1-20.
Receiving — Manson NW: Keegan Pritchard 7-125, Reid Steinberg 2-26. St. Edmond: Isaac Lursen 4-12, Jake Rossow 1-7, Elijah Litwiller 1-5, Charlie Shelly 2-(minus-4).