The end of a chapter: Manhattan falls to Derby

Parker Dawdy, Guest Writer

The 11-0 Derby Panthers were the same unstoppable force the Indians ran into at Sectionals the past three years. And like the past three years, the Panthers ended Manhattan’s season last Friday night in a heartbreaking 56-0 defeat. 

The  Indians had caught fire and carried it through the past eight weeks, overcoming every challenge the season had to offer. That fire ran out of fuel for the game against Derby.

This shutout came as a shock to both the team and its fans. This loss ended a string of 82 games without being shutout that went back to the second week of the 2012 season, according to MaxPreps. That shutout game came against Emporia 21-0.

Joe Schartz, head varsity football coach, let his team know how he felt about the ups and downs of it coming into the game and coming out of it.

“…[I] told the kids I was proud of them before we left the locker room and I told them I was proud of them after the game,” Schartz said.

Manhattan was used to having a highly productive offense with an average 45 points scored going into the game Friday. Derby’s high caliber offense overshadows their solid starting  defense that has allowed only two touchdowns this entire season. Senior B.J. Young, MHS’s leading scorer with 132 on the season, was ground to a complete halt, only allowing him to rush for 37 yards with 10 attempts on the night. 

The Panthers were also able to keep junior Dayne Aschenbrenner out of the pocket while also not allowing him to utilize his legs, with 46 yards on the night on 17 attempts. 

Even with Derby’s defense, big plays were still made by the Indians with Aschenbrenner completing passes for 27, 53 and 32 yards. All these plays didn’t lead to any scoring. The other big play that could have turned the tide of the game was called back due to a personal foul against senior Tyce Hoover for horse collaring Derby’s (#7) on Derby’s own 15-yard line.

Schartz prepared his team the same way he had the entire season. 

“We had a great week of practice and prepared well and just like we have the entire year,” Schartz said, “and you know, we got outplayed tonight.”