MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT)- It’s rivalry week for Manhattan and Junction City’s high school football teams.
The Blue Jays and Indians meet up on Friday night in Manhattan. It’s the KSNT Football Frenzy Game of the Week.
It’s a rivalry with history.
“It’s one of the longest-standing rivalries in the state of Kansas and the nation,” Manhattan head football coach Joe Schartz said.
It’s a rivalry with intensity.
“It’s real serious. It’s real serious to me and everybody else on this field,” Elijah Clarke-Boyd, Junction City defensive end, said.
With full capacity back in the stands this year, you can expect an electric game-day atmosphere.
“The Junction City game is always an energetic environment,” Schartz said. “There’s always a lot of passion in the stands and out on the field.”
The margin of victory combined in the past three meetings between these two teams is only 12 points.
“They rise to the occasion,” Junction City head coach Randall Zimmerman said. “They make plays. On both sides of the ball.”
“Every single time you play them it’s always a close game,” Manhattan wide receiver Joe Hall III said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are, how good they are. Every single time. Just the energy surrounding the game, you know they’re going to play 100 percent. It’s going to be a great battle.”
The players don’t need anyone to explain the meaning of this game to them.
“This is Manhattan week, so we got to go. It’s rivalry week so we got to go,” Clarke-Boyd said.
“Since I was a little kid just coming to the games, seeing the intensity on both sides. Two towns coming together and really excited just to play football,” Hall III said.
Both teams try to treat every week the same, but there’s no denying it: This one just means more.
“We want to win it, and we want to keep it here,” Hall III said.
“We want to beat them this year like we beat them last year and keep the Silver Trophy,” Clarke-Boyd said.
Highlights and post-game reactions from the winning team will be on KSNT’s Football Frenzy on Friday.