Indians Varsity Football impresses in home opener

Cole Schmitt, Staff Writer

In their first game of the season Manhattan Varsity Football totaled six touchdowns Friday night while holding Olathe Northwest to only one.

“I was pleased with the entire team,” head coach Joe Schartz said. “I felt as the game went along we cleaned up some mistakes, the [offensive] line got to clicking up front.”

MHS (1-0) rushed for four touchdowns and threw for two on their way to a 42-7 win against Olathe Northwest (0-1).

Junior Isiah Childs and senior Kevontae McDonald split the two rushing touchdowns. Olathe NW could not stop them the whole night, with MHS outscoring them 35-0 by the end of the third quarter.

“Our [running] backs were smart and we kept it simple,” Childs said. “We had a bunch of conditioning sessions this week so we could keep moving on a fast pace.”

While their running game was very strong so was their air game. Sophomore quarterback Dayne Aschenbrenner was kept off the field last year due to a season long ankle injury. He started his first ever high school football game Friday night and didn’t take long to impress. Aschenbrenner had two passing touchdowns and three passes of 30 yards or more.

“He did a nice job,” Schartz said. “He has a lot of poise, especially for a sophomore in his first varsity start. I’m very pleased and he’s [going] to continue to get better.”

Manhattan’s offense was not the whole talking point though. Their defense forced six turnovers for Olathe NW, two turnovers on downs, two fumbles, and two interceptions.

“We were real disciplined,” said Defensive Coordinator Adam O’Neil, “The [defensive] line started us off real well. They did a good job of staying on the line of scrimmage. Our secondary did real good staying on their assignments.”

Manhattan High Football returns home to Bishop Stadium next week to face Topeka High, who lost them last season (1-0). Maxpreps ranks Manhattan and Topeka High in the Top 10 6A Football teams going into this week’s game.

“We just have to continue to get better in practice each day,” Schartz said. “I [asked] the kids in the locker room ‘How did we get to this point’ and I said ‘50 years of 50-40’s’. These kids are just part of it. They buy into the program and it’s about hard work and coming together as a team and that’s why we’re at this point. We’re physical and we know how to play football.”

This story is written as an assignment for 21st Century Journalism, Manhattan High’s introductory journalism class.