Manhattan’s offensive line was just too strong up front, and the Tigers executed their assignments just too well.

Manhattan established its rushing attack and defeated Florence 54-14 at home on Friday night to open its season.

Tigers head coach Chris Grabowska said his team was sound in all three phases and took advantage of Florence’s mistakes early on.

But he was especially impressed by his offensive linemen and their physicality.

Those linemen set up the Tigers to thrive when running the ball. Garrit Weeda totaled three rushing touchdowns, and Lane Veltkamp added a pair of touchdowns on the ground while throwing for another two.

“Our O-line played extremely well. We were able to run the ball a lot tonight,” Grabowska said. “We were able to open up some holes. They imposed their will on the other team tonight and were fundamentally sound and executed their assignments all night long.”

But Grabowska told the Tigers after the game not to be complacent. They next host Three Forks, which lost to Deer Lodge 33-0 Friday. In order to execute their assignments as they did this week, the Tigers will have to win with their preparation in the days leading up to their next game.

“I think it sets the tone for the rest of the year,” Grabowska said of the season-opening win. “Our kids know what they want to get accomplished and over time were able to come out and do that. That was really impressive. They can only get better from here.”

Colton Pool can be reached at or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.