By Andrew Luberda
San Manuel Miner
The San Manuel football team defeated Ft. Thomas in its home-opening game of the season last Friday night, 42 – 12.
The Miners have won consecutive games by 30 points or more to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2012, and there is still remove for improvement.
“We had some mistakes that we are working on this week,” San Manuel head coach Ernie Ivy said after Friday’s victory. “We just need to work on catching the ball better; we had too many dropped balls.”
Freshman quarterback Nicolas Velasquez returned from injury to throw for 203 yards and a pair of touchdown passes, though completing less than half of his pass attempts as a result of the “mistakes” Ivy alluded to.
“Our young quarterback did well passing,” Ivy said.
The Miners totaled nearly 400 yards of offense, including 177 yards on the ground. Four of their six touchdowns were rushing scores – two each by sophomore Mathias Medina and junior Noah Huerta. Senior TJ Madrid rushed for a game-high 82 yards. Medina also caught two touchdowns, which accounted for two of his seven receptions for 101 yards. Sophomore Tony Guisa had two catches for 64 yards in the win.
The Miners’ defense has been stingy so far this season, allowing just 13 points per game. On Friday, it forced five turnovers – three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Huerta had two interceptions and senior Jason Del Rio the other. Junior Isaiah Lopez and Madrid each recovered a fumble. Medina finished with a team-high 10 tackles while Johnathan Rodriguez had nine, including a TFL.
“The defense is doing a good job, but (we) still have some work to do,” Ivy said. “They have been working hard in practice, got back to the fundamentals of tackling and good game plans.”
San Manuel can improve to 3-0 this week, which would mark it best start since 2011, when the Miners won five-straight games to start the season.
“We just need to start off strong [on Friday] and keep pushing forward,” Ivy said.
Up next: Friday, Oct. 23 at Valley Union (0-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.