Manhattan overcomes early deficit to handle Hays

Manhattan wins second big-time game on the road this season, downing 5A contender, Hays.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 11:25 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HAYS, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The 2022 football season has not been kind to teams ranked No. 1 in Class 6A. Manhattan upended Derby in week one, then Blue Valley Northwest fell to Aquinas in week two. As the new No. 1 Friday night in Hays, Manhattan had an opportunity to end that streak. The visiting Indians fell behind on the first play from scrimmage but otherwise dominated in a 31-21 win.

”I think we felt a little bit of pressure and came out a little bit slow,” said Manhattan coach Joe Schartz. “In the second half, I really liked how we exerted a will on them and outlasted them.

”Hays junior Malik Bah took the first play from scrimmage 80 yards for a 6-0 lead just 11 seconds into the game. The Indians, ranked No. 5 in 5A, went three-and-out and six of their next seven possessions, punting it away all seven times. The eighth and ninth Hays possessions of the game ended in turnovers.

”They did great,” Schartz said of his defense. “They didn’t really give up anything until that last late touchdown. The defense carried the day for us.

”It took the Manhattan offense a quarter to get going. Less than a minute into the second, senior Keenan Schartz found senior Jaxon Bowles just across the goal line for a 10-yard strike. The point-after put the visiting Indians ahead at 7-6. Braxton Frey added a field goal for a 10-6 Manhattan lead.

Hays caught a break on another Schartz completion to Charles Morgan that popped out late. Senior Evan Lind was there to pick it up and return the fumble 20 yards to put Hays back on top 14-10. That score lasted until the half.

Manhattan scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter and never looked back. Senior Jason Sanchez scored on a 3-yard run, then Schartz found senior Cole Coonrod over the middle on a 25-yard catch for a 24-14 score midway through the frame.

The visiting Indians picked up a late score from senior DeAndre Aukland with under three minutes to play. Hays answered with a 71-yard touchdown throw and catch from Kyreese Groen to Bah.

Keenan Schartz threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns with an interception on 15-of-27 passing. He also controlled the ground game with 78 yards on 25 carries.

”He’s got a lot on his plate,” Coach Schartz said. “We expect a lot of things from him. He had a good game tonight. We just have to keep continuing to get better. Our schedule doesn’t get any easier. We have Washburn Rural next week.

”Schartz used seven receivers in the win. Coonrod had the 25-yard touchdown reception, and Dwayne Newby caught five balls for 52 yards, all in the first half.

Hays netted just 89 yards in the first half, with 80 coming on the first play. Bah finished with 119 yards on 14 carries and added the big reception late. Groen netted negative yardage on the ground and threw for 81 yards, a touchdown, and a pick on 2-of-10 passing.