Reed improved to 3-0 after thwacking Bishop Manogue (2-1) at home Friday night in the Raiders' Homecoming game.
"It feels great," coach Ernie Howren said. "We told the kids going into the week we know how important an opponent like Manogue is. But we have always told them on Homecoming, take advantage of this opportunity."
They took advantage. And then some.
The Miners received the opening kickoff and punted after converting a lone first down. The opening-drive punt is only noteworthy because it was just one of three first-half drives that didn't result in a Miners turnover.
After the punt, Manogue turned the ball over on four straight possessions. The Raiders scored points off each.
"I think the defense definitely challenged themselves from last week," Howren said. "We had a few missed tackles that we thought we should have had and I think they came out with a chip on their shoulder. We knew these guys (the defense) could play well and they really did tonight."
Taking over at its own 18 after fielding the opening punt, Reed nearly marched the length of the field before Jesse Brock drilled a 37-yard field goal.
Daniel McCarthy gave the ball right back to his offense on the ensuing possession going untouched around the right side and strip sacking Manogue quarterback Jack Sanders. Reed quarterback Chris Denn scampered from five yards out on third down to push the lead to 10-0 a few plays later.
Manogue put together its best looking drive of the first half on the next possession, marching into Reed territory, before a slant bounced around in the secondary into the hands of Reed's Collian Palian. After the second consecutive turnover, the Raiders marched the final 43 yards resulting in a Jorden Carter 14-yard touchdown run.
The Miners responded by fumbling for the second time in three drives, which resulted in another Brock field goal, this one from 36-yards out. Not done coughing the ball up, Manogue fumbled the following kickoff and Jordan de Leon rumbled to pay dirt from 13 yards out to push the lead to 26-0, which was more than enough for the Raiders' suffocating defense.
The senior running back finished with 97 yards and two scores on 16 touches.
"It's so fun to watch Jordan de Leon. I mean he's a road grader," Howren said. "Usually you say that about offensive lineman but for a guy as freakishly big and strong and fast as Jordan is, that is what you see, a road grader out there. If he's not running away from you, he'll just run you over."
Despite averaging over six yards a carry and the high praise from his coach, the senior was not satisfied.
"I could have played a lot better than I did and had more yardage," de Leon said.
He undoubtedly would have finished with more yards if the game wasn't as lopsided as a teeter totter with a sumo wrestler on one end and a toddler on the other.
He was pulled in the middle of the second quarter and played the first possession of the third quarter before becoming a fan for the rest of the game.
Howren played a number of his starters into the third quarter with his team leading by more than 40, including Denn. The senior quarterback completed 13 of 25 passes for 128 yards. He also carried the ball 15 times for 42 yards and a score.
Howren said he left several of his starters in the game to help make sure they are game ready, an understandable position considering the smoke-induced bizarre start to the season.
"We have a responsibility to our kids here at Reed that we have to get them in game shape," Howren said. "And you can't get them in game shape coming out and playing one series after you come out at halftime and then benching everybody."
Carter finished with 45 yards on the ground and two scored on five carries. Trae Wells hauled in three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown from backup quarterback Jackson Gilmore.
With a running clock (45-point differential or greater) starting midway through the third quarter, Manogue managed to get on the board with four minutes left on an 8-yard pass from Sanders to Wes Farnsworth.
His squad cruised Friday night but Howren doesn't believe the game will have any impact next week when the Raiders play host to Carson.
"Honestly, it's nice but it really means nothing," Howren said. "I tell you what, Carson isn't going to look at the score. Carson is only going to be focused on jimmies and joes, the x's and o's. That's all they care about. They don't care about the 53 and the seven. They're focused on, where's this guy line up and what does he do well. And that's what we're going to be doing too."