MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT)- Manhattan High School is heading to the 6A football state championship game.
Manhattan beat Derby 28-24 in the sub-state championship Friday night. The Indians trailed 13-0 early in the game, and found themselves behind 16-7 at halftime. It didn’t look good for MHS, but the team did not quit.
Manhattan stormed back in the second half with three touchdowns to take a 28-16 lead. Derby’s Dylan Edwards found the end zone once more, but it was too little, too late.
Saturday’s game will mark Manhattan’s first appearance in a state championship match since 2001. It’s a special moment for the father-son duo at head coach and quarterback.
“It’s a dream. Dream come true,” senior quarterback Keenan Schartz. “Just playing for my dad, playing with my brothers I’ve been growing up with… We’ve been going to weights every day since we were in elementary school. Learned it from the alumni, learned it from the older guys. Now that it’s our time, I think we showed the world what we’re capable of. That’s how Manhattan plays ball.”
It’s the second time this season Manhattan beat Derby. The Indians took down the Panthers in week one, 26-23 in overtime, but this game was in the Little Apple at Bishop Stadium.
“[Beating Derby] two times in a year… we had to beat [Wichita] Northwest two times in a year,” head coach Joe Schartz said. “We had to prove it. It’s like a game of horse. The kids did a great job. We’ve had a tough schedule, tough season, but this a tough team. I’m very proud of them.”
The Indians (12-0) will play Gardner-Edgerton (9-3) in the title game on Saturday, Nov. 26. The 6A state championship will be played at Welch Stadium in Emporia at 1 p.m.