The Eisenhower Eagles used a pair of long touchdown runs to keep Anthony Middle at bay in the annual Little Apple Bowl at Bishop Stadium Tuesday night.
Running backs Antwon Hicks and Kea McDonald each broke free for a 56-yard touchdown run on a night filled with defense and ball control.
“We like to ground and pound, and we know that’s what (Manhattan High coach) Schartz likes to do at high school too,” Eisenhower coach Eric Altevogt said. “So we try to do that at our level. It’s a fun brand of football.”
Eisenhower led the rest of the way after scoring on its second possession, with Hicks taking the ball on second down the rest of the way for the score.
Then the defense took over. Neither team scored — or came all that close — in the second quarter as Eisenhower took its 8-0 lead into the half.
“It’s the last game and we want to keep getting better throughout the year,” Altevogt said, “and I think our kids understand that and we played our best defensive ball tonight, so that’s exactly what we wanted to do.”
But Anthony got a much-needed special teams play when Chance Andrade took the kick off to start the third quarter 81 yards for a touchdown. But the Tornadoes couldn’t connect on the two-point conversion, leaving them down 8-6.
The score would stay that way until late in the fourth quarter when McDonald broke off his long touchdown run to make it 16-6.
Running low on time, Anthony took to the air and went four-and-out, with Eisenhower taking over at the Anthony 40-yard line. McDonald took the next play 32 yards and scored two plays later on a 4-yard run.
“We talk about it all year,” Anthony coach Larry Myers said. “It’s like Coach Schartz said, we all come together this time of year. We played well, not in the last quarter, but we played well in the first three quarters and I was real happy with that.”
McDonald finished with a game-high 122 yards, with Hicks right behind with 88. Anthony quarterback Braedyn Woborny completed three passes for 37 yards, with Zephry Killham the leading rusher with 24 yards.
With the Little Apple Bowl in the books, Schartz and some of his upperclassmen took to the field and addressed both teams, welcoming them to the Manhattan High program and encouraging them to come out and play next year.
Myers said he’s been encouraging his kids to make sure and try out when they start working out in the spring and summer.
“Just to keep playing,” he said. “We talk about how they’re now Manhattan Indians and they need to keep playing hard. We talk about looking forward and stay out — that’s what we always tell them. It doesn’t matter how big you are or anything else, just keep playing.”
The Eisenhower B team defeated Anthony 38-0.