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TMP falls just short of semifinals -10/31/2014, 5:01 PM

Logan, Sharon Springs advance at 1ADII tourney -10/31/2014, 4:12 PM

Tigers travel to face Lopers -10/31/2014, 11:10 AM

Tiger women's soccer rallies for win at UNK -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Closing stretch will be crowded at the top for Big 12 -10/31/2014, 11:07 AM

Hays High heads for Wamego -10/31/2014, 11:08 AM

Norton runs by TMP, now 9-0 -10/31/2014, 11:09 AM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 30 -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Area high school football scores, Oct. 30 -10/30/2014, 9:26 PM

MVP Bumgarner steps up -10/30/2014, 10:43 AM

District up in the air for HHS -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Area prep football district standings, scenarios -10/30/2014, 2:28 PM

A look at the area's state volleyball qualifiers in 1A Division I & II -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Dream season ends for K.C. -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

TMP turns it around, headed to state -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

Monarchs rally for regional win -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High soccer sees season end -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Tigers look to finish strong -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

KC's Yost still confident -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 AM

Area prep FB scores, Oct. 24 -10/24/2014, 10:45 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

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SPOTLIGHT
Tigers mauled in second half

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Tigers mauled in second half

Published on -9/6/2013, 10:14 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Coach Chris Brown sat at the postgame press conference table and quickly ran through the list of Fort Hays State University players that had veteran experience prior to Thursday's season opener against Emporia State University. Brown named fewer than 10.

He is well aware the Tigers have just 13 seniors, a brand new quarterback and multiple junior college transfers starting for the first time. Even defensive back, considered a strong point, had transfers Derek and Nathan Lindsey and two 2012 backups, Andreas Ashwood and Raheeme Dumas, playing in a key role.

The inexperience contributed to a 43-13 Tiger loss at Lewis Field Stadium. Emporia State, coming off a 10-2 season and receiving votes in the national poll, held a 591-207 yardage edge.

"A lot of new faces, and a lot of guys who haven't played in this conference," Brown said. "They woke up real fast to see the type of competition that was in this conference. We will bounce back. These kids are focused, they play hard."

Junior wideout Austin Willis caught nine passes for 216 yards and three scores - against three different FHSU defensive backs.

"It will definitely be a learning experience," said sophomore linebacker Justin McPhail, the game leader with 14 tackles. "Yeah, we lost, but we are just going to have to move on and take it as a learning experience and prepare for Washburn. We can't hang our heads."

Emporia took a 17-0 lead on a 30-yard pass from sophomore Brent Wilson with 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half. FHSU had just 113 first-half yards and finished 1 of 7 on third-down conversions at intermission.

"Now everybody sees how it is," sophomore quarterback Treveon Albert said. "Emporia is not even the best team in the conference. You've got to bring it this week and the next week and the next week. Got to be prepared to go every single day."

Wilson made his first career start after he took over for all-region quarterback Tyler Eckenrode, ESU's all-time leader in multiple passing statistics. Willis drew a defensive pass interference penalty on Daniel Lindsey in the end zone, but still held onto the ball.

Early in the third quarter, Fort Hays closed the score to 17-6 after Ashwood blocked a punt and Albert threw a 6-yard TD pass to senior Keaton Callins. Then the Hornets moved the lead to 20-6 after Willis caught a 64-yard pass on a blown coverage to set up a field goal. The speedy Willis was wide-open down the right sideline.

"To be honest, it wasn't really him," Ashwood said. "He is a great player. It was a little bust in our coverages. ... We could have did a better job in the coverage that we were in. By us not doing that, it made it easier for him."

FHSU could have closed the game to one score on the next possession, but freshman Bilal Silat dropped a wide-open deep pass. FHSU eventually punted.

"It's college, so we have got to hold everybody accountable for everything," Albert said. "He is also a freshman. As far as me, we've got to tell them, 'Look, those got to be caught. That's a big play. That's a big part of the game as well. That could be the turnaround.' He is young, and I know he knows. He is fast, so he will have plenty more of opportunities just like it."

Emporia followed with a 64-yard touchdown to Willis, who beat Ashwood for the score for a 27-6 lead with 9:17 remaining in the third quarter. Since the Hornets went to NCAA Division II in 1991, Willis had the third most receiving yards by an ESU player. The three receiving scores tied the Emporia State Division II mark. Wilson finished 21 of 29 for 301 yards and three TDs.

"A few misreads, a few cues, maybe just a few broken coverages as well. A lot of those guys haven't played in this conference," Brown said.

FHSU closed the game to 27-13 on a 27-yard pass from Albert to Callins midway through the third quarter. Albert struggled with the deep ball throughout camp, but showed an improved touch. He finished 15 of 28 for 163 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Running back Andre and Edward Smith combined for 12 carries and 21 yards and five catches for 29 yards against the Hornets' defense that played man coverage on the wideouts and often packed seven into the box that made the run game difficult.

"They all came in and played very well," Callins said of the young wideouts. "You can tell they had butterflies starting out. Me and (senior) Tanner (Hageman) had to calm them down."

ESU effectively put the game out of reach on Willis' final score, a 28-yard pass for a 33-13 lead with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter. This time, Willis beat Dumas deep for the TD. FHSU travels to Washburn next week; the Ichabods defeated University of Nebraska-Kearney 58-13.

"Some players are just not ready for the conference yet, so this was a wakeup call for them," Albert said. "Now they know next game, you've got to be ready."

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