by Gary Andrews
It was the tale of two halves for the Manchester football team Friday, as they needed a 20 point second half comeback to defeat county foe Northfield 23-20.
Northfield would totally dominate the first half, holding the Squires to just three points on a Ross Messer field goal with just 7 seconds left in the half.
Northfield would put the only points on the board in the first quarter on a Alec Wells 7 yard touchdown run with 52 seconds remaining to lead 6-0. Jared Short would run in the two-point conversion and Northfield led 8-0.
Both defenses would dominate in the second quarter with the only points coming on the Ross Messer field goal to make it 8-3 at the half.
Things would get a little busier on the offensive end in the second half. The Squires had the first possession of the third quarter, mounting a drive that was capped off by a Jacob Casper 2 yard touchdown run with 8:38 on the clock to give Manchester a 10-8 lead. The Norse would mount a drive of their own to answer the Squires, with Carter Frieden scoring from 1 yard out with just .30 on the clock and the Norse were back up 14-10. It looked as though the Norse would have the lead heading to the fourth, but Lucas Schilling thought why wait, scoring at the buzzer and the Squires took the lead back 16-14 with a quarter to go.
With 6:52 left in the fourth quarter, Jacob Casper would give the Squires some breathing room, scoring from 21 yards out and with the Messer kick the Squires led 23-14. Just 45 seconds later the Norse made things interesting, finding pay dirt on a Carter Frieden 9 yard run to make it 23-20. The two-point conversion failed and the Squires took over. After the Norse defense held they had one more shot. Northfield would move the ball and had it at midfield when the Manchester defense rose to the occasion, stopping the drive and preserving the 23-20 win.
The Squires did most of their damage on the ground with Jacob Casper leading the way with 197 yards rushing. Lucas Schilling added 126 yards.
Josh Bickel led the Northfield rushing attack with 50 yards. Carter Frieden added 34, Alec Wells 27, Shane Vigar 21, Jarred Short 11 and Drake Richter 9. Marcus Kroh was the leading receiver with 106 yards on 6 catches. Dylan Brown added 20 and Alec Wells 18 yards. Carter Frieden was 11 of 19 for 146 yards.