University Lab celebrated senior night against Baker on Friday night. Senior quarterback Manny Miles apparently took that sentiment to heart.
Miles threw five touchdowns in the Cubs’ 55-14 win against the Buffaloes to finish the season undefeated heading into the playoffs and officially securing the district 7-3A title in the process.
“It’s an emotional night on senior night and you get a weird felling that you don’t know if you like it or not,” Miles said. “It was fun though to be out here with your brothers.”
Miles said he wasn’t thinking about it while it was happening, but three of his five scores went to fellow seniors, while two more scored on the ground.
But Miles said his favorite play of the night doesn’t even count for him in the stat sheet.
A minute into the second quarter with the Cubs leading 21-7, Miles pitched the ball to senior offensive lineman E.J. Oglesby who hurdled over a defender for the score. Oglesby would have been considered an ineligible receiver, but the officials determined Miles threw the ball backward, making it a 4-yard rushing touchdown instead.
“He works for me every down, every play, takes care of me, makes sure I’m not getting hit, he’s worked hard for four years and offensive lineman don’t get a glory moment like that too often,” Miles said.
Miles finished the night with 221 yards on 10-of-15 passing, including several long passes to wide receiver Tre Jackson.
Miles and Jackson connected twice in the first quarter — Miles’ only passes of the period — for a pair of touchdowns of 49 and 20 yards, respectively.
But the U-High offense stifled its own numbers all night after finishing with more points than their 42 run plays.
“Anytime you can stretch the defense down the field, that helps,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “You take what’s there and we were able to get some deep balls and we’ll take them.”
Baker coach Richard Oliver credited the Cubs with playing great football Friday night, saying his team just couldn’t keep up, especially after several early turnover halted offensive drives.
The most costly mistake of the night came when U-High defensive back Malik Antoine intercepted Baker quarterback Treylan Anderson at the goal line before returning the ball 100 yards for the touchdown.
“They’re good,” Oliver said, shaking his head. “We never stopped them. They ran the ball down the field on us. They’re a good ball club.”
Baker didn’t get completely shutout, though, as it was able to score on a Preston Bell, 9-yard run just before the end of the first quarter. The only other score of the night for the Buffaloes would come early in the fourth quarter when Devontae Rogers punched it in from a yard out.
U-High would eventually put in its second string halfway through the fourth quarter, but even then, Baker couldn’t stop the Cubs as senior wide receiver Logan Hall ran it in from 3 yards out with a few minutes to play.
Now, U-High will look forward to its bye week before starting in one of the top spots of the Division II select playoffs.
“This was great for the program,” senior running back Nick Brossette said. “Ever since I got here in eighth grade, we’ve got the program on the rise and to have this tradition of football, the whole atmosphere at U-High is great.”