by Matt Menard
Louisville Male and DuPont Manual High Schools met last Friday night to compete in high school’s longest running, uninterrupted rivalry. Friday, October 29, pitted these two foes against each other for the 128th meeting in the history of the rivalry. A crowd of greater than 6,000 packed the stands to witness the magic that is high school football. No. 11 Male came into the game having already wrapped up the top seed in the 6A Class, while No. 19 Manual was trying to knock off their foe for the 42nd time in school history. A loss for the Crimsons meant they would be on the road to begin the playoffs.
Manual jumped on the scoreboard first with just over three minutes left in the first quarter. Great American Rivalry Series MVP DarMonte Warr punched home a 4-yard run that capped off the drive and gave Manual an early 7-0 first quarter lead.
The second quarter saw the scoring pick up and got the fans excited going into halftime. Male responded immediately scoring on their next possession. After driving down the field, Male’s running back, Troy Denning, pushed the ball across the goal line for a 4-yard rushing touchdown of his own. This touchdown energized a Male sideline that had been rather silent throughout the first quarter.
Manual came right back to grab the lead. Luis Thompson capped a drive with a 3-yard rush to give the Crimsons a 14-7 lead late in the 2nd quarter. However, Male would strike back. Late in the quarter, Male would take the ball and drive down the field trying to knot the score at 14 heading into halftime. The Bulldogs would succeed as Male’s other standout running back, Ronjae Morris would break free on an 11-yard touchdown run that would tie the game heading into the break.
The second half of the ballgame was a defensive battle that stymied both offenses and showed that the game could come down to the last team with the football. Early in the 4th quarter, Manual’s drive to take the lead was stalled when quarterback Lorentez Barbour was intercepted by Trey Wells in the endzone to give Male the ball on the 20-yard line heading the other way.
After the interception, Male would turn the ball back over to Manual, but they would stall yet again. With 4:48 remaining in the game, Manual took possession of the ball at their own 33-yard line. MVP DarMonte Warr kept the drive alive with a 9-yard rush on 3rd down. Just two plays later, Warr would break off a 48-yard touchdown run that would give Manual a 21-14 lead with 2:03 remaining in the ball game.
On their final drive, Male still had a chance to win and drove the ball down to the 25 of Manual with :23 seconds remaining. But that would be as close as they would get as Manual’s Andrew Ledford forced Male to use their final timeout as he sacked the quarterback on second down. After a pass interference call, Male had the ball on the 17-yard line with eight seconds left. Manual’s defense stood tough, forcing an incomplete pass and a sack to end the game.
After the game the United States Air Force presented Warr with the MVP trophy and the Manual head coach with the Great American Rivalry Series Championship Trophy. Following those presentations, the players from Manual rushed to midfield to take the barrel and celebrate with their fans.
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- Manual vs. Male – 2010