His team 3-0 and averaging a whopping 58 points per game, Pleasure Ridge Park High School football coach Jason Hiser admits life is pretty good these days.
“There’s not too much to be disappointed with right now,” Hiser said.
But things figure to get tougher for the Panthers tonight as they will hit the road to face Manual (1-1). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
PRP, No. 12 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, has ripped through a dubious early-season schedule, beating a trio of Class 4-A opponents — Fairdale (57-7), Valley (61-0) and Doss (56-16).
The Panthers rank second in the state (tied with Williamsburg) in scoring average, behind only Franklin County (67.3 ppg).
But for the Class 6-A Panthers, Manual will be the first 6-A opponent of the season.
“This is one of those games when you’re lifting weights in the off-season, you talk about when you’re going to play Manual,” Hiser said. “This is one of those motivational games.”
Senior quarterback Spencer Sumpter keys the PRP offense, having passed for 678 yards and 11 touchdowns. Seniors Taywan Taylor and Jacob Clair are the top wide receivers.
“(Sumpter) really makes them go,” Manual coach Oliver Lucas said. “When he slings it, it’s coming pretty fast and it’s pretty accurate. He has everything — the height, the arm strength and good feet.”
Hiser has been most pleased with a running attack that has brought balance to the offense. Senior Davon Quisenberry and sophomore Delvon Dunn are the tailbacks, and fullback Chase Pierce returned from a hamstring injury last week.
“All three of them are doing a great job,” Hiser said. “They all know their roles, and they’re not being selfish about carries.”
While PRP has been piling up points, Manual has struggled on offense.
The Crimsons have averaged just 10.5 points in a 29-7 loss to Central and a 14-7 victory over Fern Creek.
“We knew our youth would be a nemesis, but that’s not an excuse,” Lucas said. “My teams normally get better as the season progresses, and we’ve gotten better. The (offensive) line is coming along. There’s nothing insurmountable there that we can’t fix.”
Senior running back Dishan Romine has been a bright spot, rushing for 225 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown in the Crimsons’ 27-14 victory at PRP last year.
“Manual lost a lot of talent off a great team last year, but I still think they’re pretty good,” Hiser said. “They were off last week, so they’ve had two weeks to prepare for us. We won’t have any trouble convincing our kids that Manual is a good football team.”