Manchester capitalized on three Kendrick Cherokee turnovers as the Blue Devils defeated Kendrick, 37-8, in a region 5-AA game Thursday night at Kinnett Stadium.
"I just finished telling our players that we made too many mistakes with the turnovers and missed tackles," said Kendrick coach Jerry Dukes. "They took advantage of every mistake and that is what a good team does."
"We turned the ball over too many times and missed too many tackles out there," he added.
In the first half, each team traded offensive touchdowns, but Manchester was ahead at halftime, 23-8, and turnovers were the reason.
Kendrick matched Manchester's Anthony Bell's touchdown and Jermaine Williams's two-point conversion with a Brandon Wade TD and Jonathan Hines two-point run.
But Hines fumbled the ball on the 21 and Darius Alford scooped up the ball in the second quarter and rambled 65 yards for a touchdown. Later in the second quarter Demien Turner stepped in front of a Hines pass on the 24 and raced in for another touchdown before halftime.
In the second half, the Blue Devils turned to a ball control offense. The Blue Devils did not throw a pass in the second half, running all 34 plays from scrimmage with the longest play being 13 yards.
That was enough as they scored two more times to put the game away, once on a 7-play 42-yard drive and the second touchdown on yet another Kendrick fumble on their own 11 that resulted in a two-play TD.
In the game, Kendrick fumbled the ball four timers, losing three and had two interceptions, the second coming on the final play of the game.
And the Manchester defense did the job in the second half and held the Cherokees to two first downs, both coming in the final minute and a half.
Kendrick will now play Jordan next Thursday night in a key 5-AA game.
"We will have to win out to make it into the playoffs," said Dukes.
Thursday at KinnettManchester 8 15 0 14--37
Kendrick 0 8 0 0--8First Quarter
M-Anthony Bell 27 run (Jermaine Williams run), 9:49
M-Darius Alford 65 fumble recovery (Williams pass to Denzel Clements), 10:08
K-Brandon Wade 11 run (Jonathan Hines run), 7:51
M-Demien Turner 24 interception return (Alford kick), 5:47
M-Tavaris Almon 1 run (Alford kick), 9:56
M-Michael McGregor 9 run (Alford kick), 1:30.
Records: Manchester 6-2, 5-1 Region 5-AA; Kendrick 3-5, 3-3. Next: Manchester, home vs. Chattahoochee County, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Kendrick, vs. Jordan, Thursday, Kinnett, 7 p.m.