(SPRING, TX) — The defense was a nice surprise. Even more impressive was the quarterback. D’Eriq King began his junior season with a spectacular 5 touchdown performance. He threw 4 touchdowns to 4 different receivers (Gary Haynes, D’Vaughn Pennamon, Reggie Hemphill, and Todd Maxwell) and added a 64 yard TD run and Manvel crushed Westfield 35-10 in its season opener. “We had to come out and be physical. Coach (Kirk) Martin stressed that all week,” he said. “I have to get my hat off to all those guys. They did a really good job and I’m proud of them.”
The Mavericks spent the entire summer talking about toughness and physicality. Two words echoed by every player during camp. On Thursday night, they did more than just talk about it. The defense forced 4 turnovers and the starting unit pitched a shutout en route to the impressive opening night dismantling of Westfield.
“We were clicking on all cylinders,” defensive back Will Lockett said. “They have a lot of talent, so I couldn’t wait to get out there and see what we could do.”
Manvel was in control from the start. The Mavericks recorded a tackle for loss and a sack on the first two plays and forced a three and out. The offense needed just 5 plays to cover 71 yards. King found Haynes for the game’s first TD.
Shane Jackson intercepted new Westfield QB Dillon Sterling-Cole on the next possession and the Mavericks made them pay. King hit a streaking Pennamon for a 62 yard TD to make it 14-0.
The defenses played to a stand still until late in the first half when King launched his third TD pass of the night, this time to Maxwell. The score gave the Mavericks a 21-0 lead, which they would never relinquish.
King fired his 4th touchdown pass to Hemphill midway through the 3rd quarter. His fifth, came on a spectacular 64 yard touchdown run to cap an incredible night against one of the state’s best defenses.
Westfield’s only touchdown came late in the game when Rayquan Jones scored on a 9 yard run.
King finished the night 15/22 for 253 yards and 5 total touchdowns.
Westfield’s offense seemed out of sync all night. It’s still a work in progress. Sterling-Cole has been with the team for less than a month. They showed some flashes and were able to move the ball, but penalties and miscues quelled every scoring opportunity. Make no mistake, once Sterling-Cole gets a firm grasp of the offense and finds his rhythm, the Mustangs will be a very different team. It will take some time, but they’ll be fine in the long run.
This night, however, belongs to the Mavericks who had been itching for an opportunity to test their defense and physicality following last year’s 56-14 blowout loss to Katy in the 5A-D2 regional title game. The Mavericks defense was outstanding. They flew to the ball, using their quickness to their advantage. Their defensive line was particularly impressive. The unit held its own against a fantastic Westfield offensive line.
Manvel will host North Shore next week. Westfield visits Clear Brook.
Follow Danny Mata on twitter: @dannymatajr
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