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LMA stays unbeaten with 20-9 win over Cardinal Newman

By J. SCOTT SEWELL
jscott@theitem.com
Posted 10/13/19

MANNING - The Swampcat Revenge Tour continued on Friday with Laurence Manning Academy football team defeating Cardinal Newman 20-9 on Friday at Billy Chitwood Field.

The Swampcats improved their record to a perfect 7-0 on the season and 6-0 SCISA …

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LMA stays unbeaten with 20-9 win over Cardinal Newman

Posted

MANNING - The Swampcat Revenge Tour continued on Friday with the Laurence Manning Academy football team defeating Cardinal Newman 20-9 on Friday at Billy Chitwood Field.

The Swampcats improved their record to a perfect 7-0 on the season and 6-0 in SCISA 3A games.

"It's awesome," said LMA head coach Austin Floyd. "You want to be optimistic coming into the season. I don't think even myself would've thought 7-0, being realistic. Our whole mantra has been take one week at a time, and that's what we've done."

The Cardinals are the third team the Swampcats have defeated this season that had beaten them at this point last season. Cardinal Newman beat LMA 14-7 in Columbia last year.

LMA plays at 2-time defending state champion Hammond on Friday.

This time around the LMA offensive line set the tone for the rushing attack as the Swampcats racked up 277 yards rushing on 37 carries. Wyatt Rowland led the way with nine carries for 117 yards, while Trey Sharpe notched nine carries for 93 yards and the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter. Nolan Osteen added 11 carries for 41 yards.

"We take pride in being able to line up and give it to different backs, and not focus on one guy," said Floyd. "It's on the offensive line to make their blocks, and they did. They were physical all night long. Our guys up front have played exceptional this year."

The Swampcats opened the scoring early in the second quarter when quarterback Burgess Jordan found receiver Gabe Harris for a touchdown to give LMA a 7-0 lead.

Cardinal Newman answered with a field goal with 2:45 remaining in the half to cut the deficit to 7-3.

It appeared the score would remain that way as the teams headed into halftime until Jordan rolled out of the pocket and found Harris in the back of the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown pass and catch with just 22 seconds remaining in the half to stretch the lead to 14-3.

"It was a great play," said Floyd. "It swayed the game. They were kinda deflated, and we knew that coming out in the second half."

Harris finished with five catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cardinals answered late in the third quarter with a 57-yard touchdown run after the Swampcats turned the ball over on downs at the 22-yard line. Cardinal Newman missed the extra point, however, and LMA held on to a 14-9 lead.

Sharpe gave the Swampcats the breathing room they'd need with a 10-yard scamper into the end zone with 7:39 to play, stretching the lead to 20-9.

The Cardinals threatened late, but the LMA defense held strong on a fourth-and-four attempt deep in their territory to force a turnover on downs, and effectively end the game.

"We're giddy," said Floyd. "Our fans are excited, and they should be. Our kids have played well all year. I think we've exceeded the community's expectations. We know we want to win games in November. That's still our goal. We want to be healthy going into November and have a chance in the playoffs."