However, the host Crimsons’ offense made one Thursday night in their 28-0 victory over Butler. Manual (6-0, 1-0 Class 6-A, District Three) ran 55 plays. The first 50 were running plays as the Crimsons dominated the Bears (3-4, 0-2) throughout the first half.
“We just felt like we needed to really emphasize being physical in the first half,” said Carmony, whose team ran for 244 yards on 54 carries.
Manual racked up 194 yards of offense in the first half, scoring all of its touchdown in the first 24 minutes. No play went for more than 22 yards, and the Crimsons did not lose yardage on a play until their final drive of the first half. That drive ended in a missed field goal at the horn.
It was the type of play “that can beat you up,” Butler coach Gary Wheeler Jr. said.
“One thing about Scott Carmony, he’s probably the best run-game coach in the state of Kentucky,” Wheeler said. “He does a good job with his o-linemen and orchestrating his running game.”
Initially, it looked like Butler would be the first to score. On its opening drive, quarterback Blake Showalter connected with Frank Bentley on a 47-yard reception that put the Bears on the Crimsons’ 15. However, just two plays later, Crimsons defensive back Bryce Cosby picked off a Showalter pass on the goal line and brought the ball out to the Manual 12.
The Crimsons set the tone from there, pounding out an 11-play, 88-yard drive capped by an Andre Teague 1-yard plunge. Manual took 6:08 off the clock in taking the lead with 3:41 left in the opening period.
After a Bears three-and-out on the next series, Jaelin Carter returned the punt 56 yards for a score with 1:52 left in the opening quarter, and the rout was on.
Manual’s defense was just as stout. After giving up a first down on the long pass in Butler’s opening series, the Crimsons defense only allowed Butler one more first down until the start of the fourth quarter.
This marks the fourth straight season the Crimsons have jumped out to a 6-0 record, but once again the Crimsons find themselves facing a three-week stretch of tough opponents. This year it will be district foes St. Xavier, Pleasure Ridge Park and Male – all of whom are also currently ranked in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings.
In the past three seasons, the Crimsons have not fared better than 1-2 in those stretches, something Carmony, in his first year at Manual, hopes the team can improve upon this season.
“We just want to stay focused on what we have to do to get to the point where we are really competing for championships, and the first championship that’s available to you is the district championship,” he said. “So that’s what we’re all about right now.”