Manhattan clinched a share of the Centennial League title and a distinct advantage in the District 5 playoff race with a 22-7 win over Topeka High at Bishop Stadium Friday night.
Topeka High came into Friday night’s game as the only undefeated team in Class 6A, but quickly found itself in a dogfight against the Indians, which took a 14-0 lead to halftime and used an opportunistic defense to keep the Trojans at bay.
Topeka High made it interesting with a 41-yard touchdown by Da’Ma’Cias Nielson to make it 14-7 at the 4:57 mark of the fourth quarter, just two players after seeing Austin Tillman get carted off the field and taken away in an ambulance.
Manhattan (6-1) was able to use clock on its next drive, despite seeing a 59-yard touchdown by Bret Fehr get called back on a holding penalty. The Indians scored on a 27-yard pass from Kellen Myers to Chris Martin on fourth-and-2 to pad their lead. Henry Bieber carried in the two-point conversion to make it 22-7.
The Indians stopped the Trojans on the next four plays to get the ball back, but couldn’t score another touchdown in the final seconds. KSHSAA has increased the district tiebreaker to 21 points instead of 13, which led to Manhattan’s frantic scramble to score in the closing seconds.
The Indians took a 14-0 lead to halftime, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Fabrizius and an 8-yard touchdown run by Bieber.