Xavier Townsend helps lead Berkeley Prep over Arch Manning, Newman

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Arch Manning was the draw for the nationally televised ESPN game, but Xavier Townsend stole the show to lead Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.) to a 49-24 win over Isidore Newman (New Orleans, La.) on Friday night.

Townsend rushed for 235 yards on just 15 carries, four of which went for touchdowns, according to Nola.com. He also had four catches for 109 yards and another score, making it five total on the day,

Manning had an uncharacteristically poor night, throwing two interceptions and completing just 18 of his 35 passes for 213 yards. He threw one touchdown.

While Townsend ran wild, Manning did show off his legs and footwork on two particular plays. In the first quarter, he took the ball 68 yards to the house for a rushing touchdown.

In the third quarter, he avoided converging defenders and stepped up to complete a long catch-and-run that put Newman well inside the redzone.

But Townsend and the Berkeley defense would not be outdone.

Townsend rushed for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, and then intercepted Manning on Newman’s first possession.

In the second half, after a pair of Newman touchdowns cut the deficit to 35-24, Townsend rushed for a 74-yard touchdown.

He ultimately iced the game after Berkeley Prep forced a punt in the fourth quarter. Townsend rushed for a 29-yard touchdown to put it away for good.

The stats on ESPN’s broadcast differ slightly from the numbers Nola.com reported, but regardless of the official tally, the fact remains: the 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior played an absurdly good game and stole the show from the No. 1 player in the class of 2023.

Townsend, listed as 247Sports as a three-star prospect, committed to Iowa State over 31 other offers, according to the recruiting outlet.

It looks like the Cyclones got a good one.





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