Oct. 16—Manhattan High football came into Friday nights' game at Topeka West needing some good feeling and momentum back in their lives and they accomplished just that with 59-0 slaughter of the Chargers.
The Indians (6-1) scored touchdowns on all eight of their drives throughout the night.
"It was a tough week this last week," Manhattan head coach Joe Schartz said. "Lots of emotions. We told the kids lets fix our problems and get back on the winning streak so we can feel good about ourselves and that's what we were able to accomplish tonight.
Vinny Smith rattled off four touchdowns in the game including one on the opening play of Manhattan's first drive from 48-yards out.
"It's no doubt that after last week we lost a little bit of confidence (in our running game)," Schartz said. "So it was good to be able to execute again and run the football."
Smith struck again on Manhattan's next drive after two big runs from junior quarterback Keenan Schartz brought the Indians down to the Topeka West 11. Smith easily glided into the end zone on the next play and Manhattan High's lead grew to 16-0.
On the Indians next drive, Schartz broke free on the opening play of the drive for a 46-yard run that set Manhattan up at the 10. Senior fullback and defensive end Da'Shawn Edwards rumbled in the next score which pushed the Indian lead to 23-0.
Manhattan scored their first three touchdowns on six total plays from scrimmage.
Topeka West (2-5) did attempt to make things difficult for the Indians.
While the Chargers were shut out, they did manage several long, clock-eating drives that kept the explosive Indians off the field and out of the end zone for long stretches of the first half.
"The first quarter was kind of scary (for us)," Schartz said. "They came out and executed their game plan which was to try to keep control of the ball and run clock. Their first drive ate up almost eight minutes of the first quarter but we finally got the stop and it was nice that our offense was able to come and immediately get points on the board. If we would've gone three-and-out, it would've been scary."
Unfortunately for Topeka West, when Manhattan did get the ball, they wasted no time finding paydirt thanks in part to multiple short field opportunities given to them by bad punts and turnovers on downs.
Smith scored his third touchdown of the night after junior back-up running back DeAndre Aukland scorched the Chargers on a 46-yard run which led to Smith scoring easily from eight-yards out to push their lead to 30-0.
Topeka West got the ball with seconds left in the half and attempted one of the few passes in the game but got picked off by senior Joe Hall who then fumbled the ball which allowed fellow senior corner Zach Hirschey to scoop it up near the 50 and run it all of the way back, giving Manhattan a 37-0 lead at the half.
"I talked to both (Hirschey and Hall) on the sideline after the play and I ask Joe if he laid the ball on the ground for Zach on purpose because he knew that he couldn't make it to the end zone," Schartz said with a smile. "We had a nice little laugh about it."
Smith scored his fourth and final touchdown on the opening drive of the second half as Manhattan once again took advantage of a short field after a failed Topeka West onside kick to orchestrate a quick drive down to the eight and the senior pushed through for the score.
Manhattan scored one final time in the third quarter on a three-yard Aukland run before the running clock kicked in to start the fourth quarter.
"We've been excited about DeAndre all season long and it was nice to see him get out there and run the football," Schartz said. "We're going to need a stable of running backs to go into the playoffs and make a deep run."
Back-up quarterback Ian McNabb got the lone score of the fourth quarter, running it in from six-yards out after several other touchdowns were called back due to penalties.
The Indians will hit the road again next week for their regular season finale at Emporia (1-6).
TOPEKA WEST 0
Manhattan 16 21 14 8
Topeka West 0 0 0 0
Manhattan — Smith 48-yard run. (2-point conversion run good) 8-0
Manhattan — Smith 11-yard run (2-point conversion run good) 16-0
Manhattan — Edwards 10-yard run (PAT good) 23-0
Manhattan — Smith 8-yard run (PAT good) 30-0
Manhattan — Hirschey fumble return (PAT Good) 37-0
Manhattan — Smith 8-yard run (2-point conversion pass no good) 43-0
Manhattan — Aukland 3-yard run (2-point conversion good) 51-0
Manhattan — McNabb 6-yard run (2-point conversion good) 59-0