MONROE — Two games into their varsity football season, the West Stanly Colts have scored 69 points while allowing zero.
The Colts (2-0, 2-0 Rocky River Conference) traveled to Monroe this past Friday to take on Central Academy of Technology of Arts (0-3, 0-2 RRC), and West Stanly emerged with a 48-0 shutout win over the Cougars.
After having their first two games of the season canceled due to COVID-19 protocol, the Colts began their campaign with a 21-0 home win over Forest Hills (2-2, 1-1 RRC) and followed that up with an even stronger performance.
“Game speed-wise, we were more ready than we were against Forest Hills,” West Stanly coach Brett Morton said. “We did shake some of the rust off because the first game is always going to have mistakes, and I thought we executed a little bit better on offense. Defensively, I thought some of the guys on the second and third levels had reads that were sharper than the first week.”
The Colts put together seven unanswered touchdowns: five on the ground, one in the air and one on a punt return. While senior quarterback Jordan Manshack recorded a touchdown pass to senior Austin Stoker, it was only one of three pass attempts for the West Stanly offense — the majority of the Colts’ strategy involved spreading the ball to their running backs.
“We’re run-first, most definitely — that’s our game plan,” Morton said. “We wanted to make sure that we got the ball in as many people’s hands as we could. We were trying to work into this last year, but this year we’re able to run from the strong side, weak side and the middle. That’s something we’ve continuously been working towards.”
Junior Braden Hartsell led his team with 116 yards and a touchdown on eight carries — one of seven Colts who ran the ball on Friday.
Fellow junior Gavin Hudson found the end zone on two separate occasions to go along with 36 rushing yards, senior Logan Little picked up 57 yards on the ground, while junior Blake Helms totaled 36 yards. As a team, the Colts hit the 300-yard mark in rushing yards, averaging over 11 yards per carry from their 27 rushing attempts.
While the running game began to pick up speed, West Stanly’s defense held steady throughout the entire game, blanking the Cougars.
“I’m very proud of the way that the defense is playing,” Morton said. “Coach (Charles) Edwards and the guys on the defensive side of the ball are doing a very good job. With the fact that nobody has played in over a year, the defense is going to be ahead of the offense without the preseason to get ready. In the first couple games, the defense hasn’t allowed points, so that’s a big deal and gives us extra opportunities on offense.”
Up next for the Colts is a return to their home field where they will face Montgomery Central (1-2, 0-2 RRC) on Friday night.