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KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

Early mistakes sink Jayhawks -10/19/2014, 6:41 AM

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

Knights secure district, playoff spot -10/19/2014, 6:34 AM

TMP claims MCL tourney title -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Monarchs take team to Class 4A state -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

HHS has high expectations for 4A golf finale -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Buhler hands Hays High first loss in blowout -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

FHSU men win eighth straight -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

FHSU Tiger Open XC results -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Tiger volleyball wins third straight match -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

HHS soccer falls to Bishop Carroll -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

FHSU men's soccer wins seventh straight -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Tigers look to climb back above .500 -10/17/2014, 10:38 AM

HHS fourth in WAC meet -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP boys 2nd, girls 3rd at Lakeside -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP volleyball goes 2-0 in first day at MCL -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Indians' Forinash in 4A state field -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Wichita State's Darius Carter shows off his jumper -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 15 -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP drops close one to Liberal -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

TMP gets Beloit in district opener -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

K.C. headed to first World Series since 1985 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Selden ready to step into bigger role -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Big district game for Hays High -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 16 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Royals sweep O's, headed to World Series -10/15/2014, 7:17 PM

Tigers fall in three -10/15/2014, 11:39 AM

Chiefs' Johnson sheds weight in hopes of return -10/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants win walk-off on throwing error in 10th -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Wildcat running backs looking to break out -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Royals one win from World Series -10/15/2014, 11:44 AM

Chiefs' Charles with eyes on the prize -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Parsons, Boxberger qualify in 3-2-1A golf -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Royals getting it done old school -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

KSU prepares for OU -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

HHS golf wins regional — TMP qualifies -10/13/2014, 6:11 PM

Rain postpones ALCS Game 3 -10/13/2014, 5:48 PM

Indians' Forinash headed to 4A state -10/13/2014, 10:18 AM

Royals won't be slowed -10/13/2014, 10:09 AM

Thompson sets record in Tigers' scoreless draw -10/13/2014, 10:09 AM

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Tuesday

Prep basketball

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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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