Arch Manning scores six TDs in eye-popping season opener

Arch Manning — grandson and namesake of Archie Manning, and nephew of Eli and Peyton Manning — continues to show signs of greatness.

The sophomore signal-caller at Isidore Newman High School (the school attended by his father, Cooper, and both uncles) lit up Metarie East Jefferson’s squad for a jaw-dropping six touchdowns in the season opener on Thursday evening at Joe Yenni Stadium in New Orleans.

Arch connected with four-star 2022 recruit A.J. Johnson for a 63-yard bomb on his second pass. He finished the evening completing 13 of 17 attempts for 260 yards, five passing touchdowns, one rushing score and an interception.

Arch’s sophomore debut comes on the heels of an impressive freshman season in which he threw for 2,438 yards, 34 touchdowns and six interceptions as the varsity starter. Earlier this year, he was named 247Sports’ No. 1 quarterback prospect in the 2023 class and has been lauded for living up to lofty expectations.

“Manning had perhaps the best freshman season of any quarterback we evaluated for this release,” 247Sports National Analyst Charles Power said. “He came in with big expectations and was able to perform at a high level despite the amount of attention he was receiving, which I find to be pretty impressive for such a young player.”

“He really surpassed what we could have hoped for,” Isidore Newman head coach Nelson Stewart said of Manning prior to the season. “He’s one of those kids if he’s 21 of 23, he wants to focus on the two incompletions. He likes to get coached and he doesn’t always think he’s right.

“There is an authenticity to him and a humbleness to him and he doesn’t have all the answers. He has a team-based approach, great work ethic and he’s incredibly humble. He’s all about his teammates, all about getting better, everything is earned, nothing is given, I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Arch — who stands at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds thanks to a summer growth spurt — has already been offered scholarships from Alabama, Duke, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas. His father , grandfather and uncle Eli attended Ole Miss and his uncle Peyton attended Tennessee.

Archie, 71, enjoyed NFL success as a member of the New Orleans Saints and is quite familiar with the recruiting process. Both Eli and Peyton were selected No. 1 overall in their respective drafts. Cooper, who Archie says was the most athletic of the trio, was forced to quit sports at age 18 after he was diagnosed with a rare spinal condition.

The Mannings plan to take it slowly with Arch and keep him grounded, which may be difficult while shouldering his family’s legacy.

“I mean, we did the Friday night thing for years and years,” Archie told the Indianapolis Star last season. “We did Saturday and we’ve done Sundays and it looked like we were about through with that and here we are on Friday nights again.”

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