Manchester players Mason Hayes, Anthony Miltner, John Beavers and Dan Leemaster probably wont rush the football with as much ease this weekend.

That is not meant to be a dig at any of the four players or the offensive linemen.

Its just that what the Panthers did offensively last week against Columbiana Crestview happens so rarely, especially in a playoff game.

Manchester rushed for 600 yards in a 69-21 win over Crestview last week in Minerva. The Panthers ran 64 offensive plays, all of them running plays, 62 of which went for positive yardage. The numbers speak for themselves.

Coach Jim France realizes the Panthers (11-2) might have to mix it up when they play Columbus Bishop Hartley (12-1) in a Division V state semifinal at 7 tonight at Mansfields Arlin Field.

We are going to try to run the ball a lot, but this team is a heck of a lot bigger up on the line of scrimmage than [Crestview was] last week, France said. We want to run the ball, but we are also prepared to throw the ball around a little if we have to [with junior quarterback Pavin Parks]. Our line is not as big theirs.

What the Panthers yield in size, they make up for with organization and toughness.

Senior offensive linemen Jacob Hanzel, Kodi Berry and David Gresham joined junior Drew Brasiel and sophomore John Durgala to get a push that lasted four quarters last week.

I have never been a part of a game like that, said Hanzel, a two-way lineman. We are ready to keep moving on, though, and we want to win that state title more than anything. We are going to keep playing our hearts out.

Manchester scored 10 touchdowns, of course all on the ground.

At practice we dont mess around, said Hayes, who rushed for five touchdowns and gained 273 yards on 25 carries. We have a job to do and we continue to do it in games.

France said Manchester will also welcome back a key player who missed two games.

[Senior] Austin Klein is going to play this week on defense only, but [junior] Logan Harvey is out, France said. Austin will probably play a combination of defensive end and outside linebacker. That is what he played before he got hurt in addition to running the ball. Miltner has been running ball pretty well and we think Austin can help us more on defense right now. Austin has practiced all week and looked pretty good.

Klein and Harvey have both missed games because of knee injuries.

Logan was not able to practice and he is done with football for this season unfortunately, France said.

Harvey is hoping to play basketball in December or January.

Bishop Hartley coach Brad Burchfield relies on quarterback Jared Brandewie to make plays on offense along with running backs Sam Mackowiak and Quri Hickman. Alonzo Saxton and Jacob Mericer are two-way players to keep an eye on at wide receiver and defensive back, Patrick Heinmiller is a difference maker at linebacker with Mackowiak, and Kalil Morris and Nick Boeriu are key linemen for the Hawks.

Offensively, they are a lot like we are, France said. They line up shoe-to-shoe quite a bit with no splits. Basically, they try to run over you. It is hard to get linebackers in there [to make tackles]. They are a power offense and they have a couple of running backs who can get out and run, but they pass the ball pretty well too.

They run a 3-5 defense and they are very aggressive and athletic. They have quality players on defense that swarm to the ball, and their special teams are really good too.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.