Manhattan High’s players expect to come out and dominate games. That’s what head coach Joe Schartz said after the team’s 56-24 win against Seaman at Bishop Stadium Friday night.

The second half went that way, but Seaman was getting first downs and scoring at will in the first half, making quick work of the Manhattan defense. {/span}

So the Indians needed someone to make a play.

It was homecoming for Manhattan, so it was only fitting that two seniors, Tyce Hoover and Chandler Marks came up big. Marks forced a fumble just 5 yards from the end zone and Hoover scooped the ball and got the score to give Manhattan the lead.

Seaman went on to score 10 consecutive points after this, but it was a big moment, proving a point Schartz and the Manhattan coaching staff preached on the sideline.

“The defense hung in there all night long,” Schartz said. “Coach (Glenn) O’Neill from Seaman is a state championship coach. and he had us going and he was moving the ball, but we finally got through to the kids. ‘Just because we are giving them first downs, don’t hang your heads. Just keep battling. The longer they stay on the field, the higher the chance that a mistake will happen,’ and that’s what happened. We are going to get through there and create turnovers, and that’s what happened on that play.”

Manhattan held a 28-24 advantage at the half. From there on, it did what it does best: control the line and run the football. Senior running back BJ Young was slippery, strong and fast all night, carrying the ball 13 times for nearly 180 yards and two touchdowns.

“(Young) did a nice job,” Schartz said. “We did a nice job up front and didn’t allow any penetration or linebacker run-throughs, and we were able to get some big runs. It was nice to see BJ have a heck of a night.”

There still were parts of the game that remain a work in progress for Manhattan. The Indians had nine penalties in the first half for 95 yards, and the passing game was still inconsistent. While junior quarterback Dayne Aschenbrenner looked more confident in the second half, he still tossed an interception and the receivers dropped a couple passes.

“We are continuing to get better,” Schartz said. “There is still room for improvement, but (Aschenbrenner) made some nice reads and nice throws in the second half. He is continuing to get better and we need to get better in our passing game.”

Manhattan’s seniors excelled. Marks had a 17-yard touchdown catch, Hoover had three receptions for 71 yards and Jacob Hirschey snagged an interception in the second half that set the tone for the rest of the game defensively.

Also, Nate Hanson broke free for an 80-yard touchdown on a punt return for the first score of the game.

“We spend quite a bit of time on special teams, and it shows,” Schartz said. “It shows every year, and in games like this one, it gives us some momentum and it gives us a leg up. As we go and we play bigger games down the road, we are going to have to win in special teams.”

The Indians still have improvements to make before they become the dominant team they expect to be, Schartz said, but the pieces are there. The penalties are something that’s going to have to be limited going forward.

“We just got to be more disciplined,” Schartz said. “We have to address that in practice. It’s just, you’re going to get penalties from time to time because you are playing hard. But, for instance, off-sides on the kickoff, we just have to be more focused.”

Seaman 24, Manhattan 56

Seaman 14 10 0 0 — 28

MHS 14 14 14 14 — 56

Scoring

First quarter

Manhattan — Hanson 80 return, (PAT good) 9:09

Seaman —McNeely 35 pass from Cowan (PAT good), 6:28

Manhattan — Aschenbrenner 6 rush (PAT good), 2:47

Seaman — Zeferjahn 4 rush (PAT good), 1:39

Second quarter

Manhattan — Hoover fumble recovery (PAT good), 12:07

Seaman — Pringle 30 field goal, 4:49

Seaman — Cowan interception return (PAT good), 3:57

Manhattan — Young 21 rush (PAT good), 2:47

Third quarter

Manhattan — Young 14 rush (PAT good), 10:08

Manhattan — Aschenbrenner 4 rush (PAT good), 6:24

Fourth quarter

Manhattan — Marks 17 pass from Aschenbrenner (PAT good), 9:57

Manhattan — Florez 4 rush (PAT good), 2:02

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Manhattan: Young 13-177, Aschenbrenner 12-90, Florez 8-50 // Topeka: Zeferjahn 6-39, Cowan, 9-7, Penry 2-4, Polter 2-4

PASSING — Manhattan: Aschenbrenner 6-10-1-152, Topeka: Cowan 12-19-191-1 224

RECEIVING — Manhattan: Hoover 3-71, Reid 1-50, Marks 1-17, Brown 1-14 // Topeka: Zahn 8-113, McNeely 2-51, Zeferjahn 1-17, Vawter 1-10, Holloman 1-7-