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Wild, wild win in K.C. -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Jones didn't wait to impact Kansas State -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS soccer falls on road -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Tiger golfers finish 10th on home course -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

After big win, Tigers back to work -10/1/2014, 3:09 PM

Chiefs' Smith in a groove -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Late surge pushes Dodge past TMP -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Monarch XC sweeps titles at Lyons -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

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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
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Tigers travel to South Dakota

Published on -10/26/2012, 10:16 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Before a play late in the first quarter of last Saturday's home contest against Lincoln (Mo.) University, Fort Hays State University senior defensive back Keke Paul believed he would have an interception.

Lincoln threw the ball down the middle and Paul trailed the receiver. Paul picked off the pass and returned it 42 yards to the Lincoln 4-yard line.

Fort Hays junior quarterback Tarean Austin eventually ran it in for the score and a 21-6 Tiger lead. FHSU went on to win 28-26. The interception was another big defensive/special teams play for Paul and the Tigers.

The receiver "came in like on a slant, so I broke on the ball behind it," Paul said. "I had a feeling that it was going to go right through his hands, because they had been dropping balls all game, so I just stayed right behind him, so that way I can make a play.

"If it came through his hands, I would be there for the pick," he added. "When it came through, I kind of tipped it to myself. It was crazy."

In addition to the interception, Paul blocked a first-quarter field goal, one of four blocks in the contest for Fort Hays. That included two blocked punts returned for scores from senior backup quarterback Anthony Sheppard. Fort Hays now has six blocked kicks, the most in a single season since 1997, when it also had six.

It was the first time Fort Hays returned two blocked punts for scores in the same game since a 1995 contest against Emporia State University when FHSU recovered two punts in the end zone.

The victory moved Fort Hays to 3-5, 3-5 MIAA.

On Saturday, the Tigers have their lone non-conference game of the year when they travel to South Dakota School of Mines (2-5) in Rapid City, S.D. Game time is 2 p.m.

"They are very, very disciplined, and they are very, very sound in what they do," second-year coach Chris Brown said in his weekly news conference Tuesday. "They don't make a lot of mistakes. They have got a great offense. It's ran very well. It's a zone-read team with some option."

The Hardrockers are playing an independent schedule as they transition to NCAA Division II. They are 0-3 against Division I/II squads. Fort Hays left Thursday and will practice and see Mt. Rushmore today as part of the year's longest road trip. Freshman running back Treveon Albert (IT band/knee) will make the trip after he missed last week's game, but might be limited to wide receiver. Junior wideout Tanner Hageman (shoulder) should play, too. Freshman Shaquille Cooper, who rushed for 115 yards on 13 carries last week in his first start at tailback, is expected to see significant carries again.

"I believe everybody is dreading the trip," Paul said. "I have never been to South Dakota myself. When I saw that team on the schedule and saw that we were away, I was like, 'South Dakota? I have never even been there before.' ... I wish they would play here, but you have got to handle business."

In addition to the blocks Saturday, Paul had another solid day with kickoff returns. He had four kickoffs for 92 yards, including a 40-yarder. For the season, Paul, a returning all-MIAA honorable mention selection at defensive back, has three interceptions for 109 yards and, helped by solid blocking, has averaged 26.7 yards a kickoff.

Among players that have picked off three passes, Paul stands second in the MIAA and 13th nationally in interception yards. He ranks fourth in the conference and 32nd nationally in kickoff return average. Fort Hays stands 41st nationally in kickoff return average (22.3) and 45th in punt return average (11.7). It marks the third straight season FHSU has improved its kickoff and punt return average.

"They have done a good job of getting on their blocks and getting those guys time to really find the hole and get up in there and create some seams for those guys to get through," Brown said. "We work quite a bit in practice, and those guys do a good job of opening up the lanes in practice and our guys seeing them."

Last week, Sheppard's two blocked punts marked the Tigers' first defensive/special teams TDs since 2009. Paul has come close a couple times this season, but hasn't scored yet.

An interception "it's just like a return to me," Paul said. "I've just got to set up my blockers. But I need to get to the end zone. That's what I need to do. Always falling short."

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