Going into Friday’s Silver Trophy rivalry game between Manhattan and Junction City, the game looked like a mismatch.
Maybe not a complete mismatch, given the tradition the Blue Jays have had. But on paper, at least, there was little to indicate the Junction City defense would be capable of slowing down a Manhattan offense that has fired on all cylinders pretty much all season.
Manhattan entered the game averaging just under 40 points per game. Junction City entered allowing almost 30 points a contest and having surrendered at least 21 points in four of five games.
But if the Manhattan-Junction City rivalry has shown anything throughout the years, it’s to expect the unexpected. Tight games and unpredictable results have been the norm, and Friday night was no different.
Junction City was up to the challenge, holding Manhattan to just one first-half touchdown in taking a 9-7 upset win. The Blue Jays picked off Manhattan quarterback Dayne Aschenbrenner four times — three by Aaron Hamilton — and allowed just 198 yards overall, getting a game-clinching pick with 1:18 left. Russell Wilkey’s 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the game-winner.
The Blue Jays’ victory, along with Shawnee Mission East’s 35-28 win over Olathe North, created a shake up in the Class 6A rankings this week. Both Manhattan and North drop out of the top five, with Topeka High moving up to No. 3.
SM East moves into the rankings at No. 5, while undefeated Gardner-Edgerton also joins the rankings at No. 4. Gardner handed East its only loss of the season and has a strong shot at finishing the regular season unbeaten a year after going 0-9.
The two also move into the Super 10, with Gardner coming in at No. 7 and East at No. 8. Topeka High moves up to No. 6 and Manhattan drops to No. 9.
While Class 6A saw the most radical changes in the rankings this week, a couple other classes also saw some movement.
In Class 5A, DeSoto’s 35-27 loss to Basehor-Linwood dropped the Wildcats out of the top five, replaced at No. 5 by Salina Central, which routed Newton 33-19 to improve to 5-1.
In Class 4A, the top five remained the same but in a different order, with Pittsburg falling from No. 3 to No. 5 after a 35-13 loss to Mill Valley. Paola (No. 3) and Goddard (No. 4) each moved up one spot.
There were no changes in Eight-Man Division II despite a tie and loss among the top five. South Barber tied Otis-Bison 36-36 after storms moved in at halftime, but the Chieftains remain No. 2. Axtell stayed at No. 3 despite a 50-42 loss to No. 1 Hanover.
All other classes also held last week’s rankings.
1. Miege (1) 5-1
Stags rebound from Rockhurst loss with tough win over Blue Valley
2. Wichita Northwest (2) 6-0
Grizzlies offense flat-out rolling, averaging 51.2 points per game
3. Derby (3) 6-0
Washington rushes for 6 TDs as Panthers annihilate Hutchinson 63-0
4. Free State (4) 6-0
Firebirds cruise into big showdown with SM East
5. Aquinas (5) 6-0
Saints crush St. James, now get No. 1 Miege
6. Topeka High (8) 5-1
High pulls away from early battle with Washburn Rural
7. Gardner-Edgerton (NR) 6-0
Trailblazers in good shape to finish unbeaten in regular season
8. SM East (NR) 5-1
Lancers pick up huge win over Olathe North
9. Manhattan (6) 5-1
Indians’ offense slowed in 9-7 loss to rival Junction City
10. Carroll (10) 4-2
Golden Eagles handle arch rival Kapaun
1. Derby (1) 6-0
2. Free State (2) 6-0
3. Topeka High (5) 5-1
4. Gardner-Edgerton (NR) 6-0
5. SM East (NR) 5-1
Others — Blue Valley 3-3, Campus 4-2, Junction City 4-2, Manhattan 5-1, Olathe North 4-2, Washburn Rural 4-2.
Notes — Shawnee Mission East and Olathe North waged a classic battle with East prevailing 35-28. The Lancers built a 21-6 lead in the first half and led 28-21 at halftime. North tied the game early in the fourth quarter, but East responded in a big way. After fumbling the kickoff following North’s tying touchdown, the Lancers made a goal-line stand and then orchestrated a 99-yard touchdown march for the winning touchdown with 20 seconds left. North got the East 12 in the final seconds, but a last-ditch pass attempt was incomplete and the Lancers held on.
1. Wichita Northwest (1) 6-0
2. Aquinas (2) 6-0
3. Carroll (3) 4-2
4. Maize (4) 6-0
5. Salina Central (NR) 5-1
Others — DeSoto 5-1, Great Bend 4-2, Kapaun 4-2, Mill Valley 3-3, Wichita Heights 4-2.
Notes — Mill Valley was riding a three-game losing streak going into Friday’s showdown with 4A unbeaten Pittsburg. Then again, those losses came to 4A and state No. 1 Miege, 5A No. 2 Aquinas and defending 6A champion Blue Valley North. The Jaguars showed the strength of the Eastern Kansas League shouldn’t be questioned, routing Pittsburg 35-13.
1. Miege (1) 5-1
2. McPherson (2) 6-0
3. Paola (4) 6-0
4. Goddard (5) 5-1
5. Pittsburg (3) 5-1
Others — Basehor-Linwood 5-1, Chanute 4-2, Fort Scott 4-2, Louisburg 6-0, Mulvane 4-2, Tonganoxie 4-2, Wellington 5-1.
Notes — Basehor-Linwood picked up the win of the week in 4A, beating previously undefeated Class 5A No. 5 DeSoto 35-27. The Bobcats got a fumble return for touchdown by Brock Hofer and a fake field goal touchdown later in the second half to build a 35-7 lead before DeSoto rallied late to make the final score close.
1. Sabetha (1) 6-0
2. Andale (2) 6-0
3. Scott City (3) 6-0
4. Pratt (4) 6-0
5. Galena (5) 6-0
Others — Caney Valley 5-1, Chapman 5-1, Colby 6-0, Hayden 4-2, Jefferson West 4-2, Parsons 5-1, Perry-Lecompton 5-1, Prairie View 5-1, Smoky Valley 6-0, Wichita Collegiate 4-2.
Notes — Andale’s offense has been a juggernaut this year, averaging 52.3 points per game. But it’s the Indian defense that has been truly impressive. After giving up 14 points to Mulvane in the season opener, Andale hasn’t allowed a point. The Indians posted their fifth straight shutout with a 55-0 rout of a Wichita Collegiate team that had won four straight.
1. Conway Springs (1) 6-0
2. Silver Lake (2) 6-0
3. Phillipsburg (3) 6-0
4. Chaparral (4) 6-0
5. Humboldt (5) 6-0
Others — Cimarron 5-1, Garden Plain 4-2, Hoisington 5-1, Hutchinson Trinity 5-1, Lakin 6-0, Maur Hill 5-1, Nemaha Central 4-2, Osage City 6-0, Riley County 5-1, Rossville 4-2, Southeast-Saline 5-1.
Notes — Cimarron handed Lakin its first loss of the season, but only after surviving a tough 18-14 battle with the Broncos. Lakin held Cimarron standout back Tate Seabolt to just 35 yards, but Anthoney Erives stepped up with 130 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bluejays to victory.
1. Smith Center (1) 5-1
2. Elkhart (2) 6-0
3. Olpe (3) 6-0
4. Ell-Saline (4) 5-1
5. Jackson Heights (5) 5-1
Others — Centralia 4-2, Colgan 4-2, Hillsboro 5-1, Plainville 4-2, Pleasanton 6-0, Sedgwick 5-1, Troy 3-3, Valley Heights 4-2.
Notes — Fresh into the rankings last week, Jackson Heights found itself in a defensive slugfest with Troy on Friday night. The Trojans scored first on a Kipp Jasper run for a 7-0 lead, but Heights got a 1-yard TD run from Conlon Bruggeman in the second quarter and Cooper Williams ran in the two-point conversion. The Cobra defense made the lone score hold up for an 8-7 win.
EIGHT-MAN DIVISION I
1. Central Plains (1) 6-0
2. Burlingame (2) 6-0
3. Clifton-Clyde (3) 6-0
4. Hodgeman County (4) 6-0
5. St. Francis (5) 6-0
Others — Caldwell 5-1, Cedar Vale-Dexter 5-1, Hoxie 5-1, Leoti 4-2, Little River 5-1, Madison 6-0, Ness City 4-2, Sedan 5-1, Solomon 6-0, South Central 5-1, Spearville 5-1, Victoria 4-2.
Notes — Burlingame had yet to be tested during its undefeated start, but the Bearcats finally ran into a challenge at Maranatha. After Burlingame took an 8-0 first-quarter lead, the two teams traded scores the rest of the way with the Bearcats holding on for a 54-42 win. Seth Greenwood ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns and had a big 45-yard interception return for a score that was the difference. Maranatha QB Nate Burdette ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns and threw for two scores in the loss.
EIGHT-MAN DIVISION II
1. Hanover (1) 6-0
2. South Barber (2) 5-0-1
3. Axtell (3) 5-1
4. Osborne (4) 5-1
5. Rock Hills (5) 5-1
Others — Beloit-St. John’s 4-2, Frankfort 6-0, Northern Valley 5-1, Otis-Bison 4-1-1, Stafford 5-1, St. Paul 5-1, Waverly 5-1.
Notes — The big-time clashes between South Barber and Otis-Bison and Hanover and Axtell did not disappoint. South Barber and Otis-Bison traded blows throughout the first half, playing to a 36-36 halftime tie before storms moved in and the teams opted to end the game there, finishing in a rare high school tie. Hanover, meanwhile, finally got pushed and was pushed to the limit by Axtell. The Eagles took a 34-28 lead on Quinn Buessing’s 8-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion early in the third quarter before Hanover responded with three straight touchdowns to take control. Daiken Stallbaumer ran for two of those touchdowns and Carter Bruna added the third. The duo combined for 285 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, while Buessing threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 90 yards and two scores for Axtell.