Football beats Wichita North, advances to Regional finals

Advith Natarajan, Staff Writer

Manhattan High football cruised to a 64-6 victory over Wichita North Friday night, marking yet another win for the Indians. 

“It’s the first step in this journey,” assistant coach Darian Taylor said. “We’re after a ring and this is the first step in that so I think there was a lot of good things that happened tonight.”

Manhattan was superior on both sides of the football, forcing two interceptions (both by junior defensive back Dante Walters), a fumble on the defensive end and eight touchdowns on the offensive end. Four first-half touchdowns by senior running back Vinny Smith cushioned Manhattan’s lead, allowing second and third-string players to get more playing time. Backup sophomore quarterback Ian McNabb took advantage of this opportunity, tallying three rushing touchdowns. Sophomore running back Otto Huff also found the endzone. 

“I feel great,” McNabb said. “Especially going on to the next game. We got to prepare for that, but it was a good win. I’m happy I got to play.”

Manhattan will now shift its focus to next week’s regional final vs Gardner-Edgerton. The Trailblazers are coming off an upset win over Dodge City in the first round of the playoffs. Although ranked 10th in the West side of the bracket, Gardner Edgerton is no team to underestimate. They have competed with quality teams in the Sunflower League throughout the season and will come out ready to play. Manhattan will have to up its level drastically from last Friday’s game in order to advance to the State quarterfinal. 

“Our goal everyday is to be the best version of ourselves and be better than we were yesterday,” Taylor said. “That’s all we can control and that’s all we’re going to focus on is being the best version that we can be day in and day out and the rest will take care of itself.”