(Ed. note: You'll be seeing increased content on Skordle in the coming weeks and months thanks to a couple of new interns, like Mr. Osmus below. They'll cover games, compile lists and deliver a variety of other content, both on our website and on social media.)
By Jayce Osmus
Sperry downed Mannford 40-15 at home last Friday night at home to open the 2021 campaign.
In a battle of Pirates, Sperry dominated both sides of the ball, especially in the run game.
The home Pirates’ Carson Hendrix and Brady Benham did much of the damage as they combined to score five touchdowns.
After a quick three-and-out for the Mannford offense, Sperry capitalized with a big punt return and later score its first points on a 7-yard QB keeper by Carson Hendrix for a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Mannford took up the next seven-plus minutes and punched it in for a touchdown on the last play of the first quarter, a 2-yard touchdown run by Trestin Thurman.
On the next Sperry drive, the Pirates drove down the field and faced a 4th-and-7 from the Mannford 32. A great play design found Benham on a screen play, which he took in for a touchdown with over eight minutes left in the second quarter.
Mannford was set to punt under four minutes in the half and the Sperry returner muffed the punt, shifting momentum when Mannford’s Caleb Hale recovered the ball at the Sperry 10.
Sperry’s stout defense held and denied the Mannford Pirates a touchdown and took over at its own 4 with under two minutes left.
Sperry’s drive was highlighted by a Hendrix run of 56 yards to flip field position. Then, with three seconds left in the half, Hendrix scrambled for a 12-yard touchdown to extend his team’s lead to 21-7 going into halftime.
Benham quickly extended the lead by returning the second-half kickoff for a touchdown.
In a span of 25 seconds of game time, the lead blossomed to 27-7, after being a one-score game late in the first half.
Mannford drove down the field, led by QB Jake Moore and penalties by Sperry’s defense,
However, on second-and-goal, Moore was picked off by Hendrix to end the threat.
Later in the third, Sperry continued to pile it on with a 15-yard rushing TD by Walker McCause to push the lead to 33-7.
Thurman scored his second TD of the night on an 8-yard run in the fourth, but Mannford’s rally was short-lived.
Benham adds some insurance for Sperry with a 2-yard touchdown run, his third of the night.
The game was capped off by an interception by Sperry’s Grant Goodell.