Two times in Friday’s 24-21 overtime victory at Pleasure Ridge Park, Manual coach Oliver Lucas benched quarterback Tim Comstock.
It wasn’t that the senior signal caller was ineffective. He completed five of his first seven passes for 73 yards and led the Crimsons into the PRP red zone on their first two drives. Rather, with injuries decimating the team’s defense, Lucas needed to put Comstock in the secondary on defense. Lucas said he needed to give Comstock some time to rest, which resulted in Will Britt getting some snaps behind center.
“We’ve got more starters out than anyone,” Lucas said.
The rest worked. Comstock finished completing 9 of 15 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown and added 48 yards rushing and another score on eight carries. And he was able to make big plays throughout the game.
After a successful fourth down conversion was negated by a penalty, Comstock hit Britt for a 39-yard touchdown pass on the next play, a fourth-and-14 on the first drive of the second half. His 46-yard run late in the fourth quarter was key to an eight-play, 95-yard game-tying drive late in regulation that ended with him scoring on a 7-yard run with 1:13 left.
The big plays also came on defense, with none more crucial than the game’s final play. As a defensive back, Comstock batted down a pass in the endzone to preserve the victory.
“Tim was the hero,” Lucas said. “He had the opportunity to do something great, and he did. He came through.”
The Crimsons, the No. 17 team in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, have little time to rest and celebrate the come-from-behind victory as they host their archrival, top-ranked Male, on Friday night.