Sep. 18—Nine different Manhattan High players combine to score 10 touchdowns Friday night against Highland Park, as the No. 5 Indians rolled to a 70-0 victory at Bishop Stadium.
"Defensively, it's a pride factor to get the shutout," said Manhattan head coach Joe Schartz, whose team improved to 3-0 this season. "And then offensively, we continue to have one-play scoring drives, and that shows that there isn't much drop off (between our starters and reserves). The kids went in there and continued to play hard and play well."
Things already were slanted against the Scots (0-3) going into the game, but when Highland Park arrived with star junior all-purpose threat Tre Richardson unavailable to play, Manhattan's win might as well have been a fait accompli.
"We had a game plan ready to go (for him) and I'm sure our guys would've performed well," Schartz said. "But you can just see how it kind of took the wind out of the sails for Highland Park. They took the field a little bit down."
The Scots were massively undermanned in the game, dressing only 26 players.
The Manhattan defensive line made mincemeat of the Scots' offensive line all day, led by junior nose tackle Ke'Lonnie Patterson and senior lineman Josh Adeniji who spent plenty of time in Highland Park's backfield in the first and early second quarter..
In fact, the Scots struggled to do anything positive offensively, as the MHS tacklers swarmed the ball on nearly every possession, devouring any semblance of a positive play for the visitors.
The MHS defense held Highland Park to just 7 yards of offense in the game. It also marked the Indians' fourth consecutive shutout of the Scots.
Manhattan snapped up three takeaways on the day, led by senior defensive back Joe Hall's first interception of the year.
The only negative for MHS was penalties. Several big plays — included a possible 46-yard punt return for a touchdown for senior Colby Klieman that was called back and a 26-yard touchdown pass from starter Keenan Schartz to Hall — were wiped off the board because of flags.
"You can kind of excuse those, because the kids were going hard and getting after it," Joe Schartz said. "But if there was a negative from today, that would be it."
The Indians scored five touchdowns in the first quarter while holding the ball for just three and a half minutes. They finished with 375 rushing yards in the win.
Senior running back Vinny Smith touched the ball twice and scored two touchdowns, the first a 58-yard burst up the middle on the opening play of the game. The second came on a 5-yard run on the next drive.
After that, Joe Schartz holstered his talented senior back and spread the wealth, getting an 18-yard touchdown run from junior Jaxon Bowles for his first score of the season. That was followed by a 19-yard scoop-and-score from senior linebacker Jaxon Vikander before senior fullback and lineman Talique Houston scored from 3 yards out, giving the Indians a 35-0 lead with two minutes to play in the first quarter.
Manhattan started to sit its first-team players after that opening period, which led to the first varsity touchdowns ofor two players: Jaques Toliver (who followed a 43-yard run with a 3-yard touchdown scamper) and sophomore quarterback Ian McNabb (55-yard quarterback keeper). McNabb's cored pushed the MHS lead to 49-0, which triggered an early running clock; normally, running clocks aren't triggered until the second half.
In the third quarter, another MHS reserve scored his first touchdown of the season, as junior running back Deandre Aukland broke free up the middle on his first carry of the 2021 campaign and snuck into the left corner of the end zone from 49 yards out.
In the fourth, Charles Morgan scored a 16-yard touchdown and junior Nate Chandler finished off the offensive wave with a 34-yard run, pushing the final point total to 70-0.
The loss is the 59th-straight for Highland Park.
Manhattan will hit the road next week and take on Topeka High (1-2).
Highland Park 0
Manhattan 35 14 7 14
Highland Park 0 0 0 0
Manhattan — Smith 58-yard run (PAT Good) 11:48
Manhattan — Smith 5-yard run (PAT Good) 8:08
Manhattan — Bowles 18-yard run (PAT Good) 6:28
Manhattan — Vikander 19-yard fumble return (PAT Good) 5:10
Manhattan — Houston 3-yard run (PAT Good) 2:00
Manhattan — Toliver 3-yard run (PAT Good) 9:20
Manhattan — McNabb 55-yard run (PAT Good) 4:57
Manhattan — Aukland 49-yard run (PAT Good) 6:47
Manhattan — Morgan 16-yard run (PAT Good) 11:25
Manhattan — Chandler 34-yard run (PAT Good) 4:45