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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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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

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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
Special teams lifts Fort Hays to win

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Special teams lifts Fort Hays to win

Published on -10/21/2012, 10:26 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Redshirt freshman Shaquille Cooper started the season as a defensive back. Senior Anthony Sheppard was the team's starting quarterback last year. This fall, Sheppard has played a variety of roles, including backup signal caller and defensive back in a difficult season.

On Saturday afternoon, Cooper and Sheppard delivered big plays in multiple phases in a wild 28-26 victory for Fort Hays State University against Lincoln (Mo.) University at Lewis Field Stadium. Because of injuries to the Tigers' top four running backs, Cooper played tailback, defensive back and special teams.

"I felt like I was on the field every play," Cooper said.

Cooper, moved to offense early in the week, finished with 13 rushes for 115 yards and a touchdown, recorded a pass breakup near the end zone and blocked a punt -- one of four blocked kicks for FHSU.

"I played offense and defense since I was little. Coach asked me to get at running back," Cooper said. "Went out there, played my heart out."

Sheppard picked up Cooper's first blocked punt in the end zone for the game's first touchdown at the 5-minute, 7-second mark of the first quarter.

With 2:26 remaining in the first quarter, sophomore defensive back Seth Klausmeyer blocked another punt and Sheppard returned it 26 yards for a score. It marked Fort Hays' first special teams/defensive touchdowns since Week 4 of the 2009 season. The Tigers also blocked an extra point and a 34-yard field goal.

"The first one, I saw the ball and I just went at it," Sheppard said. "I knew it was either me or somebody else and I wanted it. The second one, I didn't know that it got blocked. ... I saw the ball and thought, 'Oh, I got to get this now.' I just picked it up, and I just took off with it."

Fort Hays moved to 3-5, 3-5 MIAA and won back-to-back contests for the first time under second-year coach Chris Brown. Lincoln dropped to 1-7, 1-7 MIAA. Last week, the Tigers needed a game-tying touchdown with three seconds to go and then won 37-34 in overtime at Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University.

Saturday's contest remained in doubt until senior linebacker A.J. Woodall picked off a pass at the Tiger 3-yard line with 1:51 left. Cooper gained nine yards on 3rd-and-5 to seal the victory.

"A miracle," Woodall said. "I am just glad that I caught it."

The special teams plays trumped a struggling effort from the offense. Lincoln outgained Fort Hays 465-221, including 288 yards passing from sophomore quarterback Jacob Morris. The Blue Tigers committed three turnovers, including two interceptions.

"It's a style that I don't think we want, but a win is a win no matter how ugly it is," Woodall said.

Tiger junior quarterback Tarean Austin completed 6 of 15 passes for 82 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. Plus, Fort Hays had eight penalties for 85 yards.

"Our guys did a decent job of fighting," Brown said. "We just had no intensity, no energy. We got the two blocked punts for scores, which was huge for us. If we don't have those, we don't win that ballgame. Lincoln is a very improved team."

Lincoln took a 6-0 lead on a 46-yard touchdown pass from Morris to freshman Jammell Trammell with 11:07 remaining in the first quarter. Fort Hays blocked the extra point.

Fort Hays led 21-6 at halftime following the two blocked punts and a 5-yard run from Austin. The Tigers had blocked two kicks this season and had four blocks under Brown last fall. Lincoln, though, set up in the pro-style punt where the punter receives the snap, takes a step or two forward and then kicks.

"The PATs, same thing that we have always done pressure-wise," Brown said. "The pro-style punt is something that I have always practiced against and I know a couple of things would probably work against them. We installed it this week in practice. We ran it twice and got two blocks."

On the first one, Cooper had a big hole and rushed through.

"I saw a wide-open lane," Cooper said. "I went for it."

Sheppard, who was expected to see some playing time at running back because of the injuries, had two rushes for six yards and threw an incomplete pass Saturday. Last week, Sheppard threw the last-second TD versus SBU when Austin was hurt late. This week, the blocked punts were another bright spot in a disappointing year.

"Frustrating is the best way I can put it," Sheppard said of 2012. "Always good to get (playing time). Try to help out the teammates even though things aren't going good for me. It's always good to give back to the team. It's a team effort to get the win."

In the second half, Lincoln took a 26-21 lead with 8:32 left in the third quarter. But Cooper tacked on the final score on a 63-yard run just more than six minutes later.

Brown said Cooper played on all but two of special teams plays, 20 to 30 offensive snaps and five to six defensive plays.

"I am proud of that kid," Brown said. "He worked hard this week in practice and saw things well."

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