ARGENTA — Two plays.
That's all it took for Makhi Stanley to break free and christen Argenta-Oreana's new Harry B. Munch football field.
He started running to the left, broke four tackles, cut back right and darted down the right sideline on the second play of the game for a 73-yard touchdown to start Argenta-Oreana's frantic scoring.
On the next Argenta drive, it was Skyler Peterson's turn to break one free for a 71-yard scoring run to start the Bombers' 46-14 non-conference win against Meridian on Friday night.
Stanley finished with 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns (73 and 3 yards) on just six carries. His first run of the game was a message to Meridian assistant coach Ponce de Leon Palmer, who used to be an assistant at Argenta and who the Stanleys (Makhi and his brother Makail) keep a close relationship with.
“I wanted to say, ‘Hi coach.’ I just wanted to give him a, ‘Hello,'" Makhi said.
Not to be outdone, Makail caught three passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
He would have had a third receiving touchdown, but his 70-yard receiving touchdown on the fourth play of the game was negated by a penalty.
On the next play Peterson (5 rushes, 107 yards) broke free for his scoring run.
Both of Makail's touchdown receptions (18 and 65 yards) were on screens — he used his blazing speed to break free from the Hawks (0-2) defense.
“I think it shows how well-connected I am with my receivers and it shows how me and Josh can work together on making chemistry and getting that ball to me as soon as possible and as accurate as possible so I can get up the field," Makail said.
Makail, who ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash in the summer, had a quick message for any team the rest of the season that sees him or Makhi — who Makail said is "a little slower than him" — in the open field.
"There's no point," Makail said. “If I've got open field, you might as well just stop there."
Argenta quarterback Josh Williams rushed four times for 33 yards and a touchdown, and was 11 of 19 for 157 and three passing touchdowns.
His other touchdown pass came late in the first half on a 32-yard strike down the right sideline to Gunnar Moore.
Argenta tallied 424 yards of total offense and the starters sat for the entire second half, which had a running clock.
“They’re a very good team, and not to take anything away from them, but we didn’t come to play," Meridian head coach Micah Sheppard said. "We’ve got to get that taken care of and get that fixed and figure out what that’s about. A high-powered offense like that, you can’t afford to be making the mistakes we were."
But Makhi said the Bombers' offense hasn't hit its peak.
“There’s definitely still room to grow," Makail said. "Everyday we’re out here getting faster and stronger and running better routes, throwing better balls. It’s really a waiting game to see how far we take this team and how strong we really do become."
Meridian quarterback Jacob Jones rushed 10 times for 60 yards and was 10 of 17 for 52 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown to Grant Meisenhelter. Meridian's offense had 141 total yards.
Jones threw two interceptions, both to Argenta senior Garret Gloede.
“They’re a quick, athletic team," Sheppard said. "They do a great job of flying around. They’re a very aggressive team and they’re always there. We’ve got to execute and catch the ball and get what we can and get the yards that we can and go from there."
Meridian senior Hunter Chumbley opened the second half with a 75-yard kick return for a touchdown to get the Hawks on the board.
The Argenta defensive line of Makhi Stanley, Mack Jones, Zachary Harrington and Evan Rodriguez caused problems for the Meridian offensive line.
Makhi Stanley stripped and recovered a fumble from Meridian running back Korey Damery on the Hawks' second drive of the game.
“Our defense played well from the get-go," Argenta coach Steve Kirk said. "They ran to the football well and I thought for the most part we tackled really well, too. We gang tackled and that’s a good sign. It means everyone is getting to the ball."