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Protection lifts Preston to 1st win, 20-14 over RCB

KINGWOOD — The Preston Excessive Knights defeated Class AA facet Robert C. Byrd on Friday night led by sophomore quarterback Slaton Manko and a few hard-nosed defensive play.

The Eagles (0-3) set the tone early on their opening drive, marching straight down the sector for a landing when Latrell Jones scampered throughout the objective line from 10 yards out. Jones had 120 yards on the bottom within the first half alone and after the opening drive, it appeared the Preston (1-3) protection could also be in for one more lengthy night time dealing with a speedy floor recreation.

However a very good response by the offense tied the sport at six every with simply over 5 minutes to play within the opening body when Manko related with junior wideout Cody Smith for a 20-yard catch and run.

Manko, only a sophomore, was 9 for 11 with 110 yards and a landing within the first half.

“It was an excellent recreation and a dogfight tonight,” Preston coach Mark Deep stated. “It was about how we responded tonight as a staff. We left some performs on the market tonight however I advised the fellows to maintain taking part in arduous and good issues would occur.”

After tying the sport, the Preston protection got here again onto the sector needing to discover a technique to gradual the dashing assault of the Eagles, and it didn’t take lengthy for them to take action. A cease on fourth down round midfield gave the Knights the ball again on offense with good area place and a few momentum swinging of their favor.

It solely took two minutes this time for the Preston offense to search out the tip zone, as this time tailback Ethan Likens punched the ball in from three yards out giving his staff a 13-6 lead after a profitable additional level by Cole Turner.

RCB opened the second quarter in possession and drove the vast majority of the sector, trying as if they have been poised to pound the ball for a landing themselves. Nevertheless, as quarterback Junior Smith crossed the road of scrimmage on a sneak, the ball was punched free by a Preston defender and flew straight into the air. It was recovered in the long run zone by the Knights for a touchback giving the offense possession on their very own 20-yard line.

After an almost five-minute, 55-yard drive that included a number of conversions on third down, the Knights have been the staff to fumble this time with RCB recovering and flipping the sector, and momentum with it.

Dealing with a fourth and three on the Knights’ 16-yard line, the Eagles got here up two yards quick and gave possession proper again to the hosts with 1:56 left to play till the break. On the very subsequent play, a excessive snap went over the pinnacle of Manko and rolled into the tip zone. He had no selection however to fall on the ball to stop a landing by the RCB protection, awarding a security to RCB and slicing the PHS result in 13-8 going into the locker room.

The third quarter flew by with solely three whole offensive drives between the 2 groups. The Knights held sturdy on the Eagles opening drive of the second half, forcing a turnover-on-downs on a 4th and eight.

Nevertheless, RCB pressured the identical out of the hosts after Manko got here up quick on a go supposed for a wide-open receiver in the long run zone.

With 36 seconds left within the third, the Eagles took a deep shot to the tip zone from close to midfield, however the ball was tipped into the air and caught by a Preston defender swapping possession and momentum getting into the fourth quarter.

The Knights have been pressured to punt after a foul snap on a 3rd and two halted the drive and the guests took benefit needing just one minute on recreation time to attain and snatch the lead again at 14-13 with 9:08 remaining within the recreation.

As soon as once more, Manko stepped up large time for his staff with a 50-yard connection to Smith to the RCB 11-yard line. Manko ultimately punched the ball in himself and the Knights took a 20-14 lead after an additional level.

“We ran that play about six instances within the recreation and I missed it 4 instances out of the six,” Manko stated. “I simply noticed it early within the play and threw the ball up there to Cody. He made an excellent play for us.”

The Eagles refused to go away although and used the energy of Jones, who had over 200 yards on the bottom within the recreation. A holding name negated a giant run for a primary down and on the following play, Smith’s tried go was caught and fumbled after possession was established by the RCB receiver. Junior Cameron Newlin got here up with the ball for the Knights.

After failing to transform on third and eighth, Preston punted as soon as once more however intercepted the ball on the second play of the Eagles’ drive to seal the sport.

The Knights earned their first win of the season.

“We had an excellent week of follow, 4 good days, and now it interprets to the sport,” Deep stated. “We simply have to proceed to stack the nice days and let these feed into the sport on Friday.”

Preston 20, Robert C. Byrd 14
RCB 8 0 0 6 – 14
Preston 13 0 0 7 – 20

RCB Jones 10 run (attempt failed)
PHS Smith 20 go from Manko (kick miss)
PHS Likens 2 run (Turner kick)
RCB Security
RCB Jones 9 run (attempt failed)
PHS Manko 1 run (Turner kick)

RUSHING: RCB – Jones 25-204 2TD, Hatfield 12-57, Smith 8-76; Preston – Likens 19-74 TD, Turner 1-5, Manko 5-13 TD, Land 6-22. PASSING: RCB – 7-16 69; Preston – Manko 14-19 194 TD. RECEIVING: RCB – Jones 2-18, Duarte 2-45, McAtee 1-2; Preston – Taylor 4-55, Smith 4-95 TD, Land 4-30, Likens 3-15.