At the beginning of the season, long-time Manchester coach Jim France sounded like this was going to be some kind of rebuilding season. Like the team was going to have a tough year. Maybe that was France's way of keeping his team focused because the Panthers (4-1, 2-0) have been solid through the first five games.
One reason for the team's success, according to France, has been the play of senior quarterback and captain Steve King, who has thrown for almost 700 yards with eight touchdowns.
``Steve is having a banner year throwing the ball,'' France said. ``That's really opened up the offense because people can't bunch up and crowd us on the line of scrimmage because of his ability to pass and run the ball.''
France also praised the play of senior running back and captain Craig Dougherty, who has rushed for over 100 yards in all five games, including a 200-plus yard game. And France is happy with the development of the defense.
``Our defense was kind of porous in the first couple games but the guys have tightened up,'' France said. ``They have only allowed seven points in the last two games so overall the defense has gotten things together.''
The Panthers play at Indian Valley (2-3, 1-1) Friday.