OK maybe it was, but the Reed wide receivers blazing the FieldTurf certainly helped.
Raiders quarterback Tyler Pine connected on touchdown passes of 59, 40 and 60 yards to lead the Blue and Gold to a 26-10 non-league win over the Miners.
Pine was 14-of-22 for 257 yards in the season opener and Aaron Greeblat caught six of those passes for 151 yards.
Greenblat’s 59-yard touchdown reception three plays into Reed’s first possession broke a scoreless tie and his 60-yard TD in the fourth quarter capped the games’ scoring. Both came on passes down the sideline where he burned the Miners’ secondary.
“We’ve got a few guys out there who can do some pretty neat stuff,” Reed football coach Ernie Howren said. “Hopefully we can continue to do that as the season goes on.”
Reed’s second scoring, drive early in the second quarter, only lasted two plays and ended when Pine went over the top to Taylor Lensch for a 40-yard score, pushing the lead to 14-0 with just under 11 minutes to play in the half.
Manogue answered back on its ensuing possession, but only managed a field goal.
The Miners’ defense kept Reed out of the end zone on the next drive, but Greenblat pinned Manogue down at its own 3-yard line with a brilliant punt.
After a loss of a yard on first down, Mario Murillo came with a blitz and blindsided Manogue quarterback Zack McElroy, forcing a fumble that Reed recovered in the end zone. The PAT was blocked and left the RHS gridders with a 20-3 edge with 4:09 left in the first half.
Manogue tried to make a game out of it after the break, trekking 80 yards for a touchdown on a McElroy 4-yard keeper at the 2:09 mark of the third quarter.
Leading 20-10, Reed turned to its running game to milk some of the clock. Four of the first five plays of the final scoring drive were runs, but then Pine and Greenblat hooked up for their second score. The extra point was blocked again leaving the scoreboard reading 26-10.
Reed had its ups and downs on offense, but it was a much better showing than last year when it lost the season opener at home to Manogue.
“I’m obviously pleased with the win. The timing wasn’t really there. I think it was a little bit expected, not accepted,” Howren said. “Fortunately, we were able to get up on Manogue early and sustain that the rest of the game. That was key in a game like this with the weather being so hot and the kids getting tired.”
The Miners never really experienced many ups Saturday as the Reed defense held them in check. Manogue only managed about 250 yards of offense on the day.
Reed (1-0) welcomes Oceanside, Calif. to town Friday night for a 7 p.m. clash.