Huskies finish 2-6 regular season with 50-22 loss to Manhattan

In their Senior Night game against Manhattan High School, the varsity football team was defeated 50-22. Senior quarterback Payton Hartman completed 20/42 passes for 286 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

Gabe Swartz, Editor-in-Chief

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Before he ran through two arm tackles on his way to a 40-yard touchdown reception, his first of the year, with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter of the Senior Night game between Blue Valley Northwest and Manhattan High School, senior Kordell Simmons said he knew he wanted the opportunity to make a play.

“I told coach to put me in and I’d be a playmaker and that’s what happened,” Simmons said. “He put me on the dig route, and I just had to make something happen to get the team back within a touchdown.”

Simmons score late in the third quarter brought the Huskies back into a game they were trailing by two touchdowns in. After the two-point conversion- attempted with the kicking unit in flux after the holder, senior Jack Beckley was injured on one of his catches- BVNW trailed Manhattan, 28-22.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Indians were able to find a crease and take it all the way to the end zone, jumping right back ahead of the Huskies, 35-22, something head coach Clint Rider said was something that just cannot happen.

“Kordell came in, had a big explosive play for us,” Rider said, “and we gave it right back and those are things that when you’re playing a 6-1 team you just can’t do.”

Manhattan would extend their lead to 28 points as BVNW concluded the regular season portion of their schedule with a 50-22 loss.

For the first time in multiple weeks, the Huskies were able to maintain a competitive game with a formidable foe into the half. Senior tight end Jackson Heath came out with a giant first half as the Huskies offense fed him the ball for 8 catches and 121 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Rider said tonight was eerily similar to games throughout this season when it comes down to offensive execution.

“Again we moved the ball well all night,” Rider said. “Kind of the same story that we’ve had all year, I think we had two drives in the red zone that we didn’t finish in the first half.”

Whether it was an inability of senior quarterback Payton Hartman to get Heath the ball, or adjustments by the Manhattan defense, Heath was held in check in the second half with just 1 catch for 10 yards and a two-point conversion.

Without any prior game experience this year at wide receiver, Simmons and Rider said it will be important for the senior to get acclimated to the entirety of the playbook in preparation for next week’s regional game.

“He’s going to have to know a lot more this week,” Rider said. “Obviously he showed some potential to do some big things for us, and so, we’re going to have to try to get him more involved.”

“I knew the plays,” Simmons said. “Just gotta get used to Payton [Hartman] throwing me the ball.”

With regional play upcoming, Rider said there would be multiple keys to success in Week 9, as the Huskies will have to go on the road.

“We need to get healthy,” Rider said. “We need to take care of our bodies, and we’ve first gotta know who we’re playing but we gotta be prepared to play on the road, and that’s something we haven’t done well this year. As a coaching staff we’ve gotta do some things to try to get us ready for that.”

“I’m not disappointed in the way our kids played tonight. I thought they played hard, I thought they played to the end, and it’s 6A ball, we play in the toughest league in the state, and I feel like obviously we could come out and compete with some good teams.”