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MLS and players reach deal -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

KU's Ellis out vs. OU -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Kacperska ready to step up -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Gregorian: Royals' bats come alive in exhibition -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Wichita State's Wessel, Carter chosen for MVC's Most-Improved Team -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

TV analyst Mark Adams loves the MVC -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Bills get their workhorse back in LeSean McCoy -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Perry Ellis will miss regular season finale -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Kansas rallies, wins Big 12 outright -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Wildcats have shot at tourney? -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Lehman, Hobson collect MIAA honors -3/4/2015, 1:44 PM

Two headed to nationals for Tiger track -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Tiger softball earns Tuesday sweep -3/3/2015, 7:45 PM

Season ends for FHSU men -3/3/2015, 10:20 AM

Claflin great Jackie Stiles inducted into NFHS Hall of Fame -3/3/2015, 10:19 AM

KU's Big 12 streak one for the ages -3/3/2015, 10:10 AM

FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
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Football preview: Ellis' Hudson steps in at quarterback

Published on -8/30/2012, 10:52 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

ELLIS -- As a junior, Blake Hudson finished second on the Ellis football team with 60 tackles and earned a reputation as a hard-hitting safety. He was one of the Railers' top playmakers in the high-octane spread offense with 24 catches for 327 yards and four scores. Hudson collected second-team all-MCL honors on defense and honorable mention on offense.

However, Hudson had little experience at quarterback. He threw one pass, an incompletion, in 2011. This fall, Ellis had to replace Riley Huniscker, an HDN Super 11 selection who led the area with 2,911 yards of total offense for a 5-5 squad that lost in the first round of the Class 2-1A playoffs. The coaches didn't name a new quarterback in the offseason, so every weekend in June multiple Ellis players, including Hudson, came down to the field.

They played catch and grew more comfortable with understanding the playbook, running routes and throwing the ball. The sessions helped bring an experienced team closer. Hudson saw big improvements in his own game, talked with Hunsicker, grew into a leader and wanted the job. The coaches never told Hudson he would be the signal caller and that kept pushing him.

"I kept working for that position and working, and working and working," Hudson said.

Hudson earned the starting nod and is expected to produce at a high level in the second year of the Railroader spread. He is one of many first-year quarterbacks across the area, especially on returning playoff teams. La Crosse, Plainville, Oakley and Smith Center are among Class 2-1A area teams that have new signal callers.

"He has improved quite a bit throwing the ball," sixth-year coach Butch Hayes said. "He is a much better passer. He has always been a pretty good runner. One of our fastest, quickest kids on the team, so we knew that he could make those types of plays with his feet. We just had to work on settling him down a little bit in the passing game."

Ellis, on a streak of nine straight playoff berths and six consecutive district championships, has had two constants under Hayes: a solid, aggressive defense and strong quarterback play.

"There's expectations at that quarterback position now," Hayes said.

Ellis has produced three first team all-MCL quarterbacks in the last four seasons with Chase King, Jacob Kinderknecht and Hunsicker. The Railers have averaged between 18.1 and 28.8 points per season in Hayes' tenure. The program has produced at least 264.2 yards of offense per season, including 340.7 last fall, best under Hayes.

"I would be glad to be the next Chase King or the next Riley or Jacob Kinderknecht, too," Hudson said. "But we also have a great line, so we could easily do that."

King, Kinderknecht and Hunsicker had strong leadership skills, and Hudson has emerged as a leader and earned the trust of his teammates.

"I am really no different than anybody else," Hudson said. "I don't want to look up as myself being higher than anybody. I want to be the same as my teammates. It's just someone that they can come to if they need anything, if somebody doesn't know the plays or something."

"They know that when he has got the ball, he is going to make a play," senior second team all-MCL linebacker Cadyn McCoy added.

Kinderknecht and Hunsicker were also the team's leading rushers. Last year, Hunsicker carried the ball 177 of the team's 288 carries, and rushed for 1,056 of the squad's 1,552 yards. This year, Hayes wants to have Hudson and senior running back Gage Younger (80 carries, 354 yards) share the workload. Hudson showed off some shifty moves in the scrimmage last Friday.

"If they need me to run the ball, I will run the ball," Hudson said. "If they need me to pass, then I will pass. It just depends, whatever the team needs."

One area to improve is turnovers. Hunsicker had a 21/16 TD/INT ratio and also lost five fumbles. Ellis committed 26 turnovers as a team.

"Smart, smart, smart," Hudson said. "Yes, that long pass might be there. You have got to risk it sometimes, but you have got to be smart, you have got to make the right plays; you've got to make sure that you can get the right read."

Hudson will have a strong supporting cast, including an offensive line that features second team all-MCL junior tackle Nick Gehring, junior tackle Skyler Tebo, senior Logan Fuchs and sophomore Brandon Groff at guard and junior Brody Douglas at center. Gehring, Tebo and Fuchs are returning starters, while Groff saw plenty of time last year, and Douglas moved to Ellis this year.

"We are doing a great job," Gehring said. "I would say there is not a huge difference (from 2011), but still we can tell."

Seniors Jared Mick (14 catches, 211 yards, two scores), Harley Wright (two catches) and Cole Pfeifer (one catch for a 12-yard TD) are among the top wideouts. The 5-foot-11, 145-pound Pfeifer has made multiple acrobatic one-handed catches, including several in the scrimmage. The solid supporting cast could help Hudson continue the Railer tradition of strong quarterback play.

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