It didn’t take much.
A good play call. Block. Open field. Touchdown.
Manitou Springs' football team clinched its fourth straight rivalry win over St. Mary’s using that simple formula, earning a 46-0 win over the Pirates for their third shutout in four years.
The Mustangs had 312 yards of scoring plays in the first half alone as seniors Jayden Omi and Jake Haas racked up yardage on big scoring plays. Omi ran for a 45-yarder to start the game, followed by a pair of 60-yard touchdowns by Haas.
Prior to Friday’s game St. Mary’s had allowed no more than 14 points to be scored in a game this season, but that changed just nine seconds into the second quarter thanks to a 68-yard run by Haas.
“I know Archie has a pretty good defensive team and I know they’re a little depleted maybe by injuries but our offensive coordinator Brandon DeMatto called a great game,” Manitou Springs coach Cory Archuleta said. “We prepared well for St. Mary’s but Brandon called a heckuva game all game long.”
Omi had two touchdowns for a combined 81 yards, Haas ran for 168 yards on his scoring plays.
“My offensive line did really well today and blocked everyone. I had an easy path to the end zone all night,” Haas said.
Quarterback Hunter Zentz, who returned last week after a suspension, found Matt Vanderwerff for a 55-yard touchdown pass and ran for a short TD.
“Getting Hunter back was huge for us more than anything,” Archuleta said. “I think with Jake and Hunter in the backfield we are a totally different team. When Jayden gets in with any kind of space he’s hard to catch. I think he’s one of the fastest kids in the state in 2A.”
Zentz also had an impressive catch in the second half on a trick play designed by the players.
It was called the Pony Express, but looked a lot like a Philly Special.
“I’ve been trying to get that trick play done for three years, and we finally got it done on homecoming,” Haas said. “We did a jet and it was pitched to me on another jet around the corner and I threw it to our quarterback (Zentz) on the sideline.”
“Hunter and Jake wrote that up and asked me about it today before the game and it was just something we wanted to try. It’s good for those kids to have a little bit of ownership in what we’re doing and have some fun,” Archuleta said. “It wasn’t any knock at St. Mary’s, we were just trying to keep getting our bearings and keep moving forward.”
St. Mary’s had an opportunity in the second quarter thanks to a few penalties against the Mustangs, but the Pirates had to settle for a 40-yard field-goal attempt, which was no good.
St. Mary’s quarterback Sam Baldwin had a tough time finding his receivers and was under a lot of pressure from the Manitou defense. Baldwin had one pass play for a first down in the third quarter, connecting with Robbie Muelbauer.