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Hoxie goes 2-1, makes semifinals in 1ADI tourney -10/31/2014, 10:45 PM

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

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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Big game for Tigers on homecoming

Published on -10/5/2012, 10:25 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Senior guard Hawk Rouse, a four-year starter and captain on the Fort Hays State University football team, has seen one winning season in his career, a 6-5 record in 2009. The Tigers haven't won more than six contests in a season since 1996. The program hasn't reached the playoffs or a bowl game since 1995. Fort Hays hasn't won back-to-back games since the first three weeks of the 2010 season.

Rouse understands all those streaks could be in play when the Tigers (1-4, 1-4 MIAA) play host to conference newcomer Lindenwood (Mo.) University (4-1, 3-1) in the annual homecoming game. Game time is 7 p.m. at Lewis Field Stadium in a contest that has massive ramifications for Fort Hays' season.

"A win Saturday will (give) us a great opportunity into having a winning season or maybe even being undefeated the rest of the year," Rouse said. "This Saturday, it all depends on how we come out and how we execute."

Fort Hays opened the year with four losses to teams that are currently ranked in the top-25 nationally. However, the Tigers bounced back with a 37-23 road victory against Truman State (Mo.) University, a 3-2 team. A victory against Lindenwood, formerly an NAIA power, would give the Tigers another quality victory that could be a tiebreaker at the end of the fall.

After this week, Fort Hays faces three struggling teams in Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University, Lincoln (Mo.) University and South Dakota School of Mines.

Those squads have combined for two wins. Then, FHSU finishes with a home game against University of Central Missouri, receiving votes nationally, and a road game at rival University of Nebraska-Kearney, currently 0-5.

Two of the last three home games against Central Missouri have been decided by three points. Seven straight wins is possible, which would secure a winning season and could produce a bowl bid. However, it all starts against Lindenwood and its explosive pass-heavy spread offense.

"It's huge," second-year coach Chris Brown said. "We want to win this game more than anything."

Lindenwood coach Patrick Ross, in his ninth season with the program, has a career record of 78-23 with the Lions. He led Lindenwood, located in St. Charles, just outside of St. Louis, to five NAIA playoff appearances, including the national championship game in 2009. This is the first meeting between the two schools.

"I had never heard of Lindenwood before this year, simple to the fact that I don't follow NAIA," Rouse said. "Seeing them come in and then having heard of what they did in their division, it's not a surprise to me that they are sitting 4-1 right now."

Lindenwood has delivered impressive numbers against a much weaker schedule than the Tigers. The Lions haven't played a road game since Week 1. Masseyratings.com has Fort Hays playing the nation's No. 2 hardest schedule, Lindenwood at No. 53. The site ranks the Lions as the nation's No. 38-best Division II team, Fort Hays at No. 55.

Junior quarterback Ben Gomez is the reigning MIAA Offensive Player of the Week after he passed for 480 yards and six scores in a 49-28 victory last week against University of Nebraska-Kearney.

He broke a school record for passing yards and tied a conference mark for TD passes. Senior wideout Andrew Helmick, a pro prospect, set a school record with 200 receiving yards, all in the first half.

Lindenwood uses four and five wideouts virtually all the time and leads the conference in passing yards at 340 a game and averages 38 points per contest.

FHSU senior bandit backer Layton Hickel, the current conference Defensive Player of the Week, said the Tigers normally practice against a balance of run and pass during the week. It's different in preparing for the Lions.

"Concentrating more on the pass and what are responsibilities are and coverages," Hickel said. "It's just more mental, I guess, knowing where you've got to fit up and who you got."

Brown said the Tigers won't be able to run a four-front as frequently as they normally do because of Lindenwood's spread. Fort Hays, second to last in the 15-team MIAA in passing yards allowed per game at 295 yards per contest, is likely to often have a three-front with occasional blitzing.

"Lot of speed," Brown said. "Keep everything in front and not give up the deep ball."

Senior Anthony Sheppard, the starting quarterback most of last year and this fall's season opener, has moved to defensive back. Sheppard has played sparingly on defense, but expects to see more time Saturday because of his speed and athleticism.

"Need to find a way to get him in the ballgame," Brown said.

Offensively, Brown wants to control the clock with a rushing offense that stands seventh in the league in rushing yards (173.6 a game) but is tied for second in yards per carry (4.8). A ball control attack could help FHSU collect a big victory.

"Saturday is going to be the momentum that drives the rest of the season, I believe," Rouse said.

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