The first game back for University High quarterback Manny Miles was filled with mixed results.
Miles, who suffered a broken hand in last year’s Division II state championship game, overcame a pair of interceptions to pass for 131 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-7 win Friday over McKinley in the East Baton Rouge Jamboree at Olympia Stadium.
“We want to try and be balanced,” U-High football coach Chad Mahaffey said. “I think a couple of throws we need to have back and Manny proved he could do that. He made some good ones; he made some bad ones.”
Northeast scored on its opening possession, added a two-point try and held on for an 8-6 victory over Tara in the opener.
“Our kids knew we were going to be very plain and vanilla,” Northeast football coach David Masterson said. “We wanted to see if we could line up and push people back. Obviously we’ve got a lot of things to work, but they did what we expected them to do.”
U-HIGH 21, McKINLEY 7: Miles bounced back from an interception on his first pass attempt and led U-High to consecutive scoring drives for a 14-0 halftime lead.
Miles completed 6 of 8 passes for 42 yards to four receivers with LSU commitment Nick Brossette (16 carries, 64 yards) completing the 78-yard drive with a four-yard scoring run on second-and-goal.
A 32-yard punt return from Jalon Baker gave U-High the ball back at McKinley’s 35 with 1:24 left before halftime. Miles waited for Florida commitment Tre Jackson to clear behind coverage on a 22-yard scoring pass with 27 seconds left.
McKinley safety Jaylon Johnson, who had both interceptions against Miles, breathed some life into his team with a 95-yard kickoff return to open the second half, and Aden Lopez added the extra point.
U-High came right back, following a 13-yard punt, to regain the momentum with a 39-yard drive that Miles culminated with a 21-yard TD pass to Jake Wharton (four catches, 73 yards) for a 21-7 lead with 7:50 to play.
U-High, which played without All-State linebacker Dylan Moses on defense, outgained McKinley 202-69. Larry Moore’s 26 yards on nine carries led the Panthers.
NORTHEAST 8, TARA 6: Northeast, which outgained Tara 102-3 in the first 10 minutes of play, stalled on downs after reaching the Trojans’ 12-yard line.
Tara quarterback Jalen Williams shook loose on a 16-yard keeper on second down, and after a timeout, he spotted wide receiver Da’monte Coxie. The junior slipped a tackle, then cut back at the Northeast 40-yard line to race untouched on a 71-yard scoring play with 58 seconds remaining before halftime.
Tara tried to tie the score, only to have Williams brought down trying to escape the pocket by linebacker Andre Snowden.
Williams was 5 of 9 for 103 yards. Coxie caught two passes for 74 yards.
Northeast was masterful on its opening series, driving 57 yards in 10 plays — all but one on the ground — and taking more than five minutes off the clock.
Running back KJ Robinson, a 245-pound senior, carried on six of the Vikings’ 10 plays and scored from 5 yards out on second-and-goal. Quarterback Marqueon Minor ran around end for the two-point conversion.
Robinson’s 41 yards on nine carries paced a ground game that amassed 118 yards on 26 attempts.