NORTH MANCHESTER – It was Hunter Reed’s turn to shine for the Whitko football team Friday night.
Reed had a huge performance to pace the Wildcats to a tough 31-20 victory over winless Manchester in a Three Rivers Conference contest.
Reed, who has quietly had an outstanding season, rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns as Whitko put itself in position to play for a TRC Division title next week.
The Wildcats improve to 6-1 overall and move to 4-1 in TRC play. They will host Northfield next Friday night for a chance to earn a share of the TRC North Division championship. Northfield improved to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in league play with a 53-7 romp over Maconaquah Friday night.
Whitko trailed 8-0 in the opening period to the Squires before tallying the next 19 points, all in the second quarter, to take control. Manchester cut the lead to 19-14 at halftime. Whitko outscored the hosts 12-6 in the final half.
Reed, who had 33 carries on the night, scored on touchdown runs of six, two and one yards as the Whitko ground machine rolled up 417 yards rushing.
Star Garrett Elder pitched in with 156 yards rushing on 18 carries for the Wildcats. Elder scored on a 75-yard run for the winners.
Quarterback Colin Craig had a fine night passing by going 6-8 for 126 yards and one touchdown for Whitko.
The Wildcats rolled up 543 yards of total offense in the victory.
Manchester quarterback Hayes Stutsman was 11-18 passing for 235 yards and one touchdown.
Whitko hosts Northfield and Manchester, which drops to 0-7 overall and 0-5 in the TRC, plays at winless Rochester in TRC games next Friday night. Rochester lost 21-7 at Tippecanoe Valley Friday night.
The TRC playoff games are then set for Friday, Oct. 14.