Manhattan gets best of Hawks
Blue Hawks senior running back Nick Tessier runs past a would-be Manhattan tackler during their game Friday night in Thompson Falls. (Chuck Bandel/VP-MI)
Valley Press | September 13, 2023 12:00 AM
It was a match up between two physically fit teams who look like they are no strangers to the weight room.
In the end, the Manhattan Tigers had perhaps more depth than the home-standing Thompson Falls Blue Hawks as the visitors used a second half surge to pull away from a narrow lead in the first half in their 35-12 victory over the Hawks Friday night.
Manhattan struck first in what had settled into a back and forth defensive clash. After marching the length of the field, they used a long pass completion to move the ball inside the T Falls five yard line.
A few plays later, the Tigers punched through the Blue Hawks defense for the game’s first score. A successful two point conversion gave Manhattan an 8-0 lead with 1:41 to play in the first quarter.
In the opening moments of the second quarter, the Tigers defense forced T Falls to punt on fourth and 22 from deep in their own territory.
That punt was blocked, giving Manhattan the ball on the T Falls 18 yard line. A couple plays later a Tigers ball carrier broke loose down the right sideline for a 17-yard touchdown, boosting the visitors to a 14-0 lead with 11:45 left in the first half.
Later in the second quarter, the Blue Hawks’ defense forced a turnover on downs giving the ball to T Falls on the Manhattan 35 yard line. Blue Hawks junior quarterback Bryson LeCoure then hooked up with senior tight end Max Hannum on a 35-yard scoring pass. The point after try was no good, making the score 14-6 as time ran out in the first half.
Manhattan scored twice in the third quarter to take control of the game, with a pair of offensive scores to boost their lead to 29-6.
The Tigers then picked off a Lecoure pass and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown. The extra point try failed but as time ran out in the third quarter, the Tigers were up 35-6.
Thompson kept battling up to the final whistle against the now 2-1 Tigers. The Hawks scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter when LeCoure capped a drive with a five-yard scoring run. A failed PAT attempt left the score at 35-12 as Manhattan’s lead was too big to overcome.
The Tigers defense held the Hawks to 22 yards rushing for the game while surrendering 148 yards passing. LeCoure was T Falls’ leading rusher with 10 yards as he was pressured most of the evening by the aggressive Manhattan defense. Hannum led the Blue Hawks in receiving with four catches for 58 yards and one TD. Senior Braxton Dorscher also had four receptions for 56 yards.
The Blue Hawks, now 1-2 on the year, travel to Boulder this Friday for a meeting with Jefferson High.