‘Who are we? MHS!’

Football team takes home silver trophy

Samantha Summerlin, Staff Writer

The Manhattan High football team won the silver trophy against rival Junction City High on Friday, 37-21, making head coach Joe Schartz’s 100th career win. 

Schartz was very proud of his boys. 

“We knew that adversity would strike and challenge the kids to battle adversity and [have a] positive energy,” Schartz said. “We did, and we stuck together. We got the job done.”

The Indians started with a lead, scoring the first touchdown within five minutes of the first quarter. In the second quarter Manhattan started out strong with a 54-yard kickoff return. In the third quarter, there was a moment of confusion when the referees had to decide where the ball was down. When JC started to get excited, they were soon disappointed by a Manhattan first down. The Manhattan fans cheered for their team wildly. 

“I didn’t really expect to be able to score that many points,” Schartz said.

The Indians came back with full force, defending the ball after JC looked threatening in the first half. Although Manhattan had the lead, there was some anxiety between the third and fourth quarter because JC had tied with Manhattan. 

“We [played] more physically than them and we wanted [the silver trophy] more,” senior Talique Houston, running back and captain, said. 

Touchdowns were made by juniors Keenan Schartz and Dante Walters and seniors Joe Hall, Vinny Smith and Da’Shawn Edwards. Smith scored three times, including the last one to win the game for MHS in the fourth quarter. 

“Man, it feels great. I used to go to [Junction City] so coming here senior year, I had to bring the trophy back home. I had to deliver. It feels great.” Smith, number eight running back NS senior captain, said. “I ran through the hole. I wasn’t expecting to get much at first, ran into my blocker, just looked around, saw a hole, and took off.”

Although Manhattan has the silver trophy under their belts, Schartz stressed there was still room for improvement. 

“I like the fact that our defensive second was tested this week and we still have some room for improvement, but they made a lot of interceptions, so I’m very pleased with them,” he said. 

Manhattan plays Highland Park next Friday night at home.