Manassas Park downs Skyline
FRONT ROYAL – Sometimes every button a coach pushes works.
Manassas Park first-year head coach Mike Kelly started a new quarterback and tailback for the Cougars on Friday night and both young men ran around and through the Skyline defense, enabling a 55-35 victory.
The win for the Group 3A East Conference 28 team was the first for the visitors since 2014.
That represented a streak of 22 defeats which ended on the Skyline High School field. The Hawks (1-3 overall, 0-2 Conference 28) did score the game’s final two touchdowns.
“Their quarterback and their running back were good. But we’ve got to take this bye week off and decided what to do with our run defense,” said Skyline coach Heath Gilbert.
Hawk quarterback Ryan Scott was solid. He had 15 of 18 passes for 232 completed yards.
But Cougar signal-collar Clinton Boxley and running back Marcus Pitts were that much better.
Boxley completed 9 of 18 passes for 97 yards and two scores. Pitts rushed for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns.
“Clinton had played for us before but he is just getting back to us. Marcus has been playing in the slot for us, but we moved him to running back,” said Kelly, whose team improved to 1-3 overall, 1-1 in the conference.
Skyline spotted Manassas Park with a 9-0 lead for the Hawks.
The Cougars led 49-21 with 8:17 left in the game.
The home team started the game with a Scott 28-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 8:50 remaining in the first quarter. He ran for 18 yards on the drive.
“Ryan is doing a good job for us,” said Gilbert.
The Hawks drew second blood on a Tucker Fortney 3-yard touchdown run. The kick failed. A 26-yard Quentin Diggs scamper put the ball on the 3 for his teammate to score the 6 points.
It was a 9-0 Skyline lead with 3:09 showing in the first half.
Manassas Park got on the board as the second period began.
It took the ball at its own 35 with about 3:08 left in the first quarter and drove it in from there.
Key plays were a 24-yard run by Boxley, a dash of 10 by Pitts and a tackle-breaking jaunt by Boxley of 28, which moved the ball to the 16.
Pitts carried over from the 3 for the 6 points, but the kick failed.
It was 9-6 with 10:56 left in the second quarter.
Manassas Park continued its scoring in the same frame with its beefy line and big backs.
It got the ball at its own 46 and rushed seven times into the end zone. It had a double-fumble along the way which it recovered. When Boxley went over from the 4 and Pitts scored the 2 points, the Cougars had taken their first advantage 14-9, with 3:27 left in the half.
The Hawks were not to be denied as they came back quickly and scored in three plays.
Louie Garcia returned a Manassas Park kickoff to the 30 and Scott carried over from the 4 for the touchdown. The extra point failed. The score was 15-14 Hawks with 2:02 left in the first half.
Just as quickly, the Cougars returned the favor. With a late-quarter running clock, Manassas Park used a healthy kickoff return to begin things.
Manassas Park coach Mike Kelly called timeout with 1:05 showing.
Pitts hit a key 16-yard run to the 32. From there Boxley hit Deonti Solano with the 32-yard scoring toss. The point-after failed, but it was 20-15 with 39.6 seconds to go in the half.
Skyline came out of its intermission locker room looking to score.
First Scott found sophomore Caleb Reedy to get into Manassas Park territory. Then he went 40 yards to Garcia, who hauled the deep pass in at the 4.
Diggs scooted from there. The 2-point conversion failed, but the Hawks were ahead again 21-20 with 10:23 remaining in the third quarter.
Nothing to it, Manassas Park thought. After a pooch kick by Skyline, the ball was on the Hawk 43. Pitts blasted up the middle for the score just 22 seconds after the Hawk score. The lead had changed again with the visitors in the 28-21 lead.
But the winless Cougars would not let up.
Skyline was moving well when Scott rolled to his right and threw the ball into the gut of A.J. Simon. The Cougar defender scurried 69 yards for the touchdown and the team added the 2-point extra point for a 36-21 lead with 7:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Pitts, a 175-pound junior, figured he would do it again. On a fourth-and-10, he got the ball and blasted 48 yards for the score. The 2-point conversion failed but it was 42-21 with 4:02 showing.
After shutting down one drive, the Manassas Park defense seemed up to another task. This time a Hawk carried the ball at the Cougar 7, but fumbled with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
Pitts scored again – this run of 16 – around left end and the extra-point kick was good. The Cougars led 49-21 with 8:17 left in the game.
They had possession of the ball since the 2:49 mark of the third quarter.
Skyline still had life. Scott hit Garcia twice for a total of 56 yards. The second reception of 11 yards went for the touchdown and the Skyline kick was good. The score was 49-28 with 7:14 left in the game.
The Cougars decided to go to the air for their last score. Boxley hit A.J. Simon for the 6-yard touchdown. The kick was no good. It was 55-28 with 3:08 to go.
Sophomore Ty Clingerman scored the game’s final touchdown. His 25-yard reception from Scott and an extra point put thefinal spread at 20.
Cougars 55, Hawks 35
Skyline 9 6 6 14–35
Manassas Park 0 20 22 13–7
S-Scott 28 field goal
S-Fortney 3 run, kick failed
MP-Pitts 3 run, kick failed
MP-Boxley 4 run, 2-point extra point good
S-Scott 4 run. Extra-point failed
MP-Solano 32 pass from Boxley, extra-point failed.
S-Diggs 3 run, extra-point failed.
MP-Pitts 43 run, 2-point conversion good.
P-Simon, 69 interception return, 2-point good
MP-Pitts 48 run, 2-point conversion failed.
MP-Pitts 16 run, kick good
S-Garcia 11 pass from Scott, kick good
MP-Simon 6 pass from Boxley, kick no good
S-Clingerman 25 pass from Scott, kick good
Skyline Manassas Park
First downs 13 16
Rushes-yards 35-328 21-136
Passing yards 232 97
Passing 15-18-1-1 9-18-1-2
Penalties-yards 51 75
Fumbles-lost 4-3 3-1
Punts-Avg. 1-36 1-32
S-Scott 8-81, Diggs 6-40, Fortney 4-7
MP-Boxley 17-136, Pitts 17-190
S-Scott 15-18-1-1, 222
S-Garcia 6-115, King 4-58