By Frank Smith
The San Manuel Miners varsity football team welcomed the visiting Benson Bobcats to Littau Field on Fri. night only to have the Bobcats take a bite out of the Miners 4 – 1 record as San Manuel fell to Benson 52 – 6.
Benson scored 52 unanswered points until San Manuel scored their only touchdown late in the fourth quarter to finally get on the scoreboard.
The Bobcats got the scoring going early with a 44 yard touchdown run by Dylan Layton with 8:32 showing on the clock in the first quarter, the two point conversion failed for a 6 – 0 lead.
San Manuel was forced to punt after five plays giving the ball back to the Bobcats at their own 25 yard line.
Benson fumbled the ball on the seventh play of the drive that was recovered by safety Adrian Torres.
The Miners lined up at their own 44 yard, on the first play of the drive the pass was intercepted and returned down to the Miners 28 yard line that led to another Layton touchdown run five plays later with a 13 yard scamper into the end zone, the two point conversion was no good for a 12 – 0 score with 11:23 on the clock in the second quarter.
The Miners were forced to punt again which led to a third touchdown for Layton on the fourth play of the drive coming on an eight yard pass from quarterback Travis Barney, the two point conversion was no good for an 18 – 0 lead with 7:02 in the second quarter.
San Manuel took the ensuing kickoff to start the drive from their own 24 yard line, on the third play of the drive San Manuel fumbled the ball and Mike Greer from Benson picked up the loose ball a ran it in from 34 yards out for the touchdown, the point after touchdown kick was no good for a 24 – 0 Bobcat lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Benson kept on scoring after another Miner punt, this time Greer scored on the offensive side of the ball on a 24 yard touchdown run with Layton scoring on the two point conversion for a 32 – 0 lead with 8:06 in the third quarter.
On the next possession for the Miners from their own 20 yard, San Manuel threw a lateral pass to the right side of the field where the pass was incomplete but a heads up Austin Avila from Benson picked up the loose ball a ran it in from 18 yards out for the touchdown, the two point conversion failed for 38 – 0 lead with 7:54 in the third.
The Miners punted the ball back to the Bobcats where Benson would keep on rolling as Jordan Roller punched the ball in from 12 yards out on the second play of the drive marching from the Miners 42 yard line, the PAT kick by Blake Rhodes was good for a 45 – 0 score with 3:38 in the third quarter.
The AIA imposed Mercy Rule was now in effect with the running clock only stopping for injuries and time outs.
San Manuel started out their next drive deep in their own territory at 15 yard line, after a penalty and three plays later – the Miners lined up to punt on fourth down from the eight yard line. The San Manuel punter took the fumbled snap, throwing the ball back towards the line of scrimmage where lineman David Daniels intercepted the errant pass and rumbled into the end zone from 10 yards out for the touchdown, the kick by Rhodes was good for the 52 – 6 score.
The Miners would finally find their way onto the scoreboard when San Manuel lined up at their own 36 yard line, running back John Ruiz took the handoff on the first play of the drive and sprinted down field 64 yards for the touchdown, the two point pass went incomplete for a 6 – 52 final.
Head Coach Steve Elmore said, “It was a tough game all around. The one positive to come out of the game was that no one gave up and we fought till the end.”
This week is Homecoming and the Miners will host the Globe Tigers. Globe is coming off a 27 – 6 loss to Morenci and posts an identical record as the Miners at 4 – 2 on the season.
The Homecoming Parade starts at 4pm uptown and the traditional Burning of the ‘M’ will be at half time along with the crowing of the King and Queen royalty.
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