Manning wins by forfeit

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The Manning Monarchs will finish the high school football regular season with a 7-3 overall record and a 1-3 mark in Region VII-3A, good enough to make the state playoffs as the region's No. 4 seed.

No, there isn't prognosticating going on here. Instead, MHS has won its final regular-season contest since Lake Marion announced on Wednesday it was forfeiting the game.

"I kind of had an idea that it might happen," said Manning head coach Keith West. "We were looking at film and saw they only had 16 or 17 players and got beat really bad (56-0 by Hanahan).

"The coach said they were down to 12 or 13 players and a lot of those were freshmen. They didn't feel like it would be safe for the kids to go out there."

The game was going to be for the region's final playoff spot since both teams were 0-3 in region play. The odds are that the Monarchs would have won since LM has allowed 383 points and scored just 68. However, West would have liked for his team to have played just to get the taste of a 3-game losing streak out of its mouth.

"We wanted to play because we needed to go out and get a win," West said. "We lost a tough one on Friday (45-36), losing two double-digit leads. We were up 28-13 at one point and 36-26 at another."

West said a 30-minute delay due to an injury and no ambulance was at the field really hurt his team.

He's looking on the bright side of things though. MHS already knows who its first-round opponent will be - Region VIII champion Wade Hampton. Manning will be traveling to Hampton for the second time this season. The Monarchs opened the year against Wade Hampton, winning 39-33 in triple overtime.

"We'll get a week off and get a chance to rest some," West said. "We've been banged up so we'll get a chance to let some of them heal up as well.

"We're happy to be getting the chance to go and play in the playoffs. We're playing Wade Hampton, and we know that we can beat them. We just have to do it again."