WICHITA — As the clock ticked down to zero Thursday at Wichita North High School, Manhattan High senior forward Grant Snowden collapsed to his knees on the red turf before falling on his back.

After 80 long minutes of battling through unceasing and punishing wind and a stout Wichita North defense, the Indians ended their season with a 1-0 loss in a regional championship match where Manhattan (11-6-1), try as it might, could not find an equalizing goal to reward a season-best defensive performance.

“We’ve really come a long way, especially this postseason,” Snowden said. “I think those are two of the best games we’ve played all year. There aren’t any other guys I’d want to go out with. I’m just proud of them and what we’ve accomplished.”

North’s lone goal came with 16:20 to play in the first half.

Officials called MHS junior forward Avery Adams for a penalty in the box, which set up a penalty kick from senior Francisco Lopez. Lopez snuck the kick between junior keeper Lance Scudder and the left goal post to take a 1-0 lead.

“It was an unfortunate (penalty kick) call so we were like, ‘You know what? We’ve held them, we’ve limited them, we’ve executed our game,’” MHS head coach Mike Sanchez said. “There was a lot of game left.”

That would be all it needed to beat the Indians.

With the wind at its back in the second half, Manhattan mounted an attempt at finding a tying goal.

After spending the entire first half barely possessing the ball, the Indians controlled most of the final 40 minutes.

Six corner kicks throughout the second half provided Manhattan with a plethora of opportunities to score, but only one came close: a header from senior midfielder Alex Boyle saved by Wichita North (16-1-1).

“(Wichita North) is a very possession-oriented team,” Sanchez said. “I thought we had some decent chances, but we just came up short.”

Scudder and fellow goalkeeper Simon Pratt highlighted Manhattan High’s stellar defensive effort Thursday.

Under attack through the entire first half, Scudder came prepared, saving multiple goals, including one on a free kick where he jumped straight up and tipped the ball over the crossbar with his right hand — and out of harm’s way.

Pratt came in for the second half, and while he did not have to deal with as many shots on goal as Scudder did, he still had several key saves.

Wichita North came into the season as one of the top offenses in the state, scoring the third-most goals (68) in the regular season in Class 6A. The lone goal it scored Thursday marked its lowest of the season in a win.

North also came into the postseason tied for third in goals allowed (seven) in the entire state.

The game marked the final appearance in a Manhattan uniform for the Indians’ eight seniors: Snowden, Boyle, Will Robben, Ibrahim Ciftci, Marco Zambrano, John Aukley, Jake Linderer and Gilberto Bonilla.

“I’ve grown up with these guys and we all live close to each other, so it’s just nice that we got to have this connection and play together over the last four years,” Robben said. “It was a great season and I’m proud of how we played.“

The Indians have plenty to look forward to heading into next season, as three of their top-five goal scorers return, including two of the top three (Jimmy Ramirez and Ged Comiso).

Defensively, both goalkeepers return along with defenders Carter Booe, Isaac Thompson, Burke Belanger and Mason McElwain.