Quarterback Davis Mattingly connected on three touchdowns to Keion Wakefield
The Male High School football team had three turnovers in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs responded with three rapid-fire touchdowns in the second and surged past host Butler 43-7 on Friday night.
Quarterback Davis Mattingly connected on three touchdowns to Keion Wakefield, including two in the decisive second quarter, and had four TD passes in all as Male (2-0) rolled in a game that it started shakily.
“Our second quarter was way better than our first,” Mattingly said. “We were able to persevere and bounce back and get it out of the mind. Coach (Chris Wolfe) says the most important play is the next play, and that was our motto.”
Male lost two early fumbles, and Chris Ramsey’s 98-yard interception return for Butler tied the score at 7 before Male turned it on.
“We just knew we had to settle down,” said Wakefield, who lost one of those fumbles but finished with six catches for 138 yards. “We weren’t going anywhere. We just had to settle down, get our momentum, get our feet under us and we would be right back at it.”
Mattingly finished 17 of 27 for 288 yards and helped the Bulldogs (2-0) score three times in just more than six minutes in the second quarter.
Zackery Smith caught a 63-yard touchdown pass — Male’s first score — and added a 75-yard punt-return TD in the third quarter.
Male’s defense was stout throughout, allowing just 47 total yards and three first downs by the Bears (0-1).
The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
“The defense kept us in the game until the offense starting doing what they’re supposed to do,” Wolfe said. “If it wasn’t for the defense, we’d have been in a big hole. I’m really proud of how our defense played, and that’s why you have to hang your hat on your defense.”
After the early fumbles, Male finally broke through with Mattingly’s pass down the left side to Smith, who outran the defense to score.
Devin Gentry blocked Butler’s punt on the ensuing possession to give the Bulldogs great field position, but Davis’ pass over the middle bounced off a receiver and right to Ramsey, whose pick-six got the crowd roaring.
But that’s the only spark the Bears could manage, and Male made them pay, especially on fourth-down tries.
On fourth-and-8, Mattingly found Wakefield over the middle for a 24-yard TD with 7:16 left in the second quarter. Butler’s Will Johnson was intercepted on the next possession, and Wakefield came up big again, catching a 26-yard floater from Mattingly on fourth-and-11.
Gentry added a 29-yard touchdown run with 1:11 left in the half, and the rout was on.
“They’re a great team,” Butler coach Gary Wheeler said. “It’s hard to keep Keion Wakefield under wraps. Their coaches do a great job of putting him in situations to succeed. They play hard. They play well.”
Steve Jones can be reached at (502) 582-7176 and followed on Twitter @SteveJones_CJ.
M – Zackery Smith 63 pass from Davis White (Jonah White kick), B – Christion Ramsey 98 interception return (Zachary Adamec kick), M – Keion Wakefield 24 pass from Mattingly (White kick), M – Wakefield 26 pass from Mattingly (White kick), M – Devin Gentry 29 run (kick failed), M – Safety, intentional grounding in end zone, M – Wakefield 13 pass from Mattingly (White kick), M – Smith 75 punt return (White kick).