SWOK Sports

Felter leads Mac's potent offensive attack in rout of Ike

September 2, 2017


MacArthur football coach Brett Manning thought he lost his offensive firepower from last year, but his team proved otherwise on Friday night. 

The Highlanders showed off their four-pronged attack against city rival Eisenhower, racking up 531 total yards on the way to a dominating 56-29 win at Cameron Stadium.

Needless to say, Manning is happy with the talent that's grown since spring. 

"I think we've found some answers," Manning said. "Jarious McKnight has proven to be pretty explosive, and Racer (Felter) had a big coming out party. We've got talent and ways to be explosive, and it's our job as coaches to figure out how to use it." 

Spearheading Mac's prolific attack was perhaps the surprise of the night to many people at the game -- backup quarterback Felter. 

Felter had success during the scrimmages the past two weeks, but no one could've prognosticated what the sophomore did to the Eagles' defense. 

Felter scored five of the Highlanders' eight touchdowns -- all via the ground, accumulating 138 yards rushing in the process. His scores came on runs of 23, 1, 11, 17 and 50 yards. 

Manning said he created that offensive package specifically to showcase Felter's running ability, and it paid off. 

"We thought we had an advantage up front, and we wanted to load the box and run our powers and counters and run him along with it," Manning said. "He's the quarterback when we go to that package, and we planned to use it a lot. 

Felter, though young, showed his humble tendencies following the game, giving credit to just about everyone but himself. 

"I felt good about, and I just wanted to come out and do my thing," Felter said. "The (offensive) line and my receivers did a great job blocking for me, and coach Manning called a heck of a game. I expected our offense to do what it did, and I think we showed people we are the real deal. 

"When (the coaches) called my number, the offensive line did a great job opening up holes for me, and they did a fabulous job of getting me to where I needed to be." 

Felter wasn't the only player to have success rushing the ball. 

Senior running back Nick Mahan picked up where Teddy Thomas left off, showing his ability to shuck tacklers to get to the open field, rushing for a game-high 221 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries. 

Mahan lost a fumble at the Eisenhower 10-yard line on Mac's first drive of the game, but he didn't let that impact his play. Eighteen of his carries went for at least five yards. 

"I was carrying the ball loose, and my technique wasn't good enough," Mahan said. "After the fumble, the coaches told me the whole game to cover up with two hands, so I tried to do that, and it worked out." 

Manning said he was impressed with how Mahan turned things around after the early turnover. 

"Other than that, he did a great job and took care of the ball and ran hard, which is what we asked him to do," Manning said. "I've been telling people we're going to be just fine at running back." 

Starting quarterback JR Winningham completed the winning formula for the Highlanders with his accuracy through the air. 

The senior completed 12 of his 16 passes, finishing with 200 yards and a touchdown.  
Manning said the best word to describe Winningham is 'consistent'. 

"He's been that way since he was a sophomore," Manning said. "Not that he's perfect, but he just doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes." 

Winningham's top target was Jarious McKnight, who hauled in 107 of those yards and a 40-yard score. 

Winningham said the connection between him and McKnight has a lot to do with McKnight's work ethic. 

"He's one of the hardest-working kids because he didn't even start as a freshman, but he ended up starting on varsity as a junior," Winningham said. "We do have that connection, and we've had it for a while." 

Can the "Mac Attack" be stopped? If you ask Winningham, the number of weapons the Highlanders have might be too difficult to slow down for any of their opponents. 

"It's a great advantage because you can't just stop us one way -- we can beat you any type of way," Winningham said. "We went a drive where we threw it every play, and we went a drive where we ran every play. You can try to stop us, but you can't." 




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