FAIRFIELD – The Manhattan football team advanced to the program’s first-ever Class B state title game with a thrilling 25-19 win over defending champion Fairfield on in the semifinals Saturday.
With the game tied at 19 after a Fairfield touchdown with 1:38 left, the Tigers worked the ball to the Eagle 25-yard line needing a score to win. On third-and-10, Lane Veltkamp found Gabriel Delgatty for a 25-yard score to put Manhattan up 25-19.
“Going into that last drive we knew we had to score,” Veltkamp said. “We had a play drawn up and I threw it up and trusted him. And he made a tremendous catch.”
Veltkamp had a hand in all four Manhattan touchdowns, rushing for three and throwing for the game winner. Keeley Bake threw two touchdowns and ran for another in defeat. The Tiger defense was the first to hold Fairfield below 28 points yet this season.
“Today, the Tigers were victorious and I’m just extremely proud of our guys and how they responded every time,” said Manhattan head coach Chris Grabowska. “That’s a true team. Championship material.”
Manhattan (11-0) ends Fairfield’s 22-game win streak and will host Eureka (11-0) next week for the Class B state championship.
“It’s huge, this is going to bring the community together,” said Grabowska. “These are a great bunch of kids, they play for each other and it’s going to be exciting to have a state championship in Manhattan. We’re going to go in and try to get one more win.”