Manhattan has just 48 hours.
That’s how long Tigers head coach Chris Grabowska gave his team to enjoy its accomplishments so far this season.
On Friday, the Tigers succeeded in clinching the Southern B championship with a 27-6 victory at Boulder. Manhattan finished the regular season 8-0 and 6-0 in conference.
“It’s just one more step toward our goal this year,” Grabowska said. “We went through the regular season undefeated, and now the goal is to get through the playoffs the same way. We just have to prepare well and hope we can keep this rolling.”
Though full statistics were not immediately available, the Tigers shut out Boulder’s offense as its only score was on a kickoff return. Grabowska knew Boulder would be a run-first team. He felt that would be a favorable matchup with Manhattan’s defense, which had allowed 10 points per game going in and had prided itself on stopping opposing ground attacks.
“I thought the guys should be stopping the run, and they did a great job doing that,” Grabowska said. “(Boulder) got behind a little bit and had to start throwing the ball, and our coverage was excellent.”
Grabowska said Boulder brought the best defense the Tigers played against all season. After all, it slowed down an offense that had been averaging 40.9 points per game before Friday.
But Manhattan still found a way to score. Lane Veltkamp threw two touchdown passes, one to Kyle Hotvedt and another to Isaac Richardson, who rushed for another touchdown. Toby Veltkamp added a TD on the ground as well.
“We were mentally strong and kept to the game plan and got what we needed,” Grabowska said. “We had different guys step up. They keyed in on some guys who were bigger players for us and gave up a lot of opportunities for other guys.”
Now Manhattan shifts its focus. The Tigers will host the North’s No. 4 seed at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the Class B playoffs
Grabowska trusts his team will remain focused.
“I never really worry about them. This is a team that loves being together,” Grabowska said. “They love the grind and preparing each week. They love the challenge, and next week is going to be no different.”
That’s why Grabowska gave the Tigers just 48 hours to enjoy their victory.
Monday, he said, they’re back to preparing for their next opponent.
“A new season begins on Monday,” Grabowska said. “We’re going to enjoy it, but when it’s time to get to work, we’ll get to work.”
Wolves drop season finale
Florence scored on three of its first four plays from scrimmage Friday night en route to beating Three Forks 40-8 in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Falcons (6-2) built a 19-0 lead following the three first quarter touchdowns, and then added another on the second play of the second quarter to stretch the lead to 26-0.
Complete scoring and stats were unavailable.
Three Forks finished the season with an 0-8 record.
Manhattan 27, Jefferson 6
Manhattan 0 7 7 13 - 27
Jefferson 0 0 6 0 - 6
Man - Kyle Hotvedt 11 pass from Lane Veltkamp (Jose Molina kick)
Man - Isaac Richardson 23 pass from Veltkamp (Molina kick)
Man - Isaac Richardson 12 run (Molina kick)
Man - Toby Veltkamp 17 run (kick failed)