The Manual Arts Toilers advanced to the semifinals of the Division II CIF City Section playoffs after shutting out the Kennedy Cougars 41-0.
This is another chapter in the Toilers’ victorious season, notching up their overall record to 11-1.
“This was the best season I ever had,” said Manual Arts junior running back Virgil Tynes. “All run plays all good blocks, all outside plays, inside plays.”
Tynes set the tone for Manuel Arts by scoring a kick off return touchdown. When the Toiler offense returned to the field, they were bombarded with penalties. Their mistakes pushed them out of Kennedy territory, and they had to advance over 20 yards to get their next first down.
Senior quarterback Carlos Concha connected with junior defensive back Arnez Madison for a 61-yard play, overcoming the penalty yards and reaching a first and goal. Tynes made a seven-yard touchdown rush.
In both scores, the Toilers were unable to score an extra point nor the two-point conversion respectively; they only had 12 points.
Kennedy relied on junior Elias Toscano for rushing plays. Toilers junior defensive back Jaden Irby intercepted a pass from Cougar senior quarterback Nicolas Ledezma, giving the Toilers possession going into the second quarter.
Manual Arts also battled well on the defensive end, working to make sacks and rushing them off the field with minimal first downs. The Toilers ultimately made three interceptions against the Cougars. With seconds left in the second quarter, Cougars senior corner Jesus Gonzalez made an interception, but Kennedy could not score.
The Toilers did not score again until the fourth quarter. Irby intercepted another Kennedy pass and relied on senior rusher Philsham Steptoe and junior Markeith Taylor to advance.
Steptoe got his first score of the night soon after. After that, the Toilers scored on every possession. Junior Michael Blow scored a touchdown rush to edge the score up to 28.
Steptoe ended the night with two major touchdown rushes; the first being 46 yards and the second being a 63-yard gain.
Tynes and Steptoe both noted how the Toilers had to keep their composure in order to win the game. Their equanimity got them through their penalties early on.
“We saw that all of us as a team, we needed to stay focused,” Steptoe said. “What we did was put our mental together and we pushed to hold each other up and not knock each other down.”
Manual Arts will travel to play against the Canoga Park Hunters on November 22 at 7:00P.M.
Sports Around the City
The Washington Prep Generals defeated the Panorama Pythons 42-7 in the Division III playoffs and will travel to battle the Marquez Gladiators. Crenshaw high school committed an upset after defeating the San Fernando Tigers 26-23, the Cougars will battle the Banning Pilots in the Open Division semifinals.
The Muir Mustangs annihilated the Chaffey Tigers 23-8 in the Division 11 CIF Southern Section Playoffs. The Jefferson Democrats advance to the City Section Division II semifinals after defeating the Wilson Mules 47-6. In the Division 13 Southern Section playoffs, the Inglewood Sentinels thwarted the Santa Monica Vikings 60-21. They will play the Esperanza Aztecs on November 22 at 7:00P.M.