Sep 09, 2021 9:15 PM

Manhattan High Head Coach Joe Schartz previews Junction City

Posted Sep 09, 2021 9:15 PM

MANHATTAN, KAN. - The Manhattan High Indians opened their 2021 season Friday with a 21-6 road win over the Garden City Buffaloes. 

It was MHS's third win over Garden City in the last two seasons, but the first of which that forced the Indians to make the 4.5+ hour trip to southwest Kansas.

"I was pleased with the way the kids focused and performed under some difficult situations," said Schartz recapping the win. "You know, long bus ride, first game, and then the weather delay. Actually, we came out after the weather delay and warmed up better than we did the first time, so perhaps that helped us in a way."

This week, Manhattan will be much more comfortable, making their home debut against rival Junction City. The rivalry is one of the oldest and most historic in the state, and has been about as even as it possibly could be over the last 14 years, with each team winning seven times. On top of that, nine of the last dozen meetings have been decided by one possession, including last year's 36-28 Junction City win.

"It's been a long time since we've been able to have a full-capacity crowd and get the student body involved, so it's going to be a fun experience just to have the atmosphere of a Junction City and Manhattan football game," said Schartz. "It's just going to be a quality event all the way around." 

According to Schartz, the Indians will rely on establishing the line of scrimmage, noting that the Blue Jays skilled and physical lines on both sides of the ball will create problem.

"Both teams want to be able to run the football," said Schartz. "It all starts up front, and we're just going to have to play mistake-free to give ourselves a chance."

The battle for the Silver Sportsman Trophy will take place Friday night at Bishop Stadium in Manhattan. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.. 

For those unable to attend, a live radio broadcast will air on 1420 AM and 107.9 FM KJCK, as well as a live video stream on LittleApplePost.com