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Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

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No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

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Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

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

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

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

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TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

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

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

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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

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Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

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Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

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Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Salina Central outlasts Hays High -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Lehman earns seventh MIAA honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

FHSU's Samac earns MIAA men's honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

KBCA rankings, Feb. 9 -2/9/2015, 1:47 PM

Big day for Plainville grad Dani Winters -2/9/2015, 11:24 AM

Cowboys' Forte plays through flu -2/9/2015, 10:17 AM

At KU, Smith played on scout team -2/9/2015, 10:16 AM

North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith dies at 83 -2/8/2015, 5:19 PM

Wichita State easily beats weakened Missouri State -2/8/2015, 4:52 PM

FHSU men hold off Hornets -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP's Rhoades third in Phillipsburg -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


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


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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Game of the Week: Defenses getting better deep in the postseason

Published on -11/8/2012, 10:45 AM

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La CROSSE -- Last Friday, the La Crosse High School football team played host to Brookville/Ell-Saline in the first round of the Class 2-1A playoffs. The Leopards had averaged 45.3 points per contest, while Ell-Saline had tallied 36.8 points a game.

La Crosse won 35-6. It was the fewest points for the Leopards since Week 1 and the Cardinals' fewest points all season.

In Oakley, the Plainsmen defeated Johnson-Stanton County, 14-12. During the regular season, Oakley averaged 29.1 points per game, while Stanton County scored 38.2 per contest. However, the low scoring games continued a trend in the postseason, especially for La Crosse.

"The defenses get better," fourth-year La Crosse coach Jon Webster said. "The offenses, I don't think they get any worse. It's just that you face teams that are sound defensively and don't maybe give you that one thing that they don't adjust to. Because good defense is what arries you through the playoffs."

Last season, La Crosse won playoff games 34-0, 21-12 and 13-6 before it lost 20-14 in overtime to Centralia in the Class 2-1A state championship game.

Oakley has played 23 playoff contests in the last 10 seasons, including a 3-0 game against Ellis in the third round of the 2009 postseason.

"Those teams that are successful find a way to take away what you do best," Webster said. "It's up to the offense to figure out how to counterpunch that. I never expect high-scoring games in playoff games, especially with the ones that we have been involved in with the last few years, because of the defenses that are involved."

On Friday, La Crosse, 10-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 2-1A in the statewide media poll, plays host to Oakley (7-2) in the second round of the playoffs. After having one home game in the playoffs last season, the Leopards will have their second one this fall in front of new facilities.

This marks the first meeting between the squads since a 12-0 Oakley victory in the 2007 playoffs. The teams also split postseason contests in 2005 (a 46-0 Oakley win) and 2006 (a 56-28 La Crosse victory).

"It is pretty nice," senior Trey Renz said. "I do like the naps in the locker room before the game. It's awesome, because you get those La Crosse fans that maybe can't travel as far and they can actually come see the game. It's pretty cool."

While both squads have traditionally strong offenses -- especially La Crosse this year -- the teams each rank in the top-10 in the classification in scoring defense. The Leopards have outscored opponents 424-108, while Oakley has collectively beaten teams 286-116.

Oakley has won its last three games against Oberlin-Decatur Community, Ellis and Stanton County 16-6, 18-12 in overtime and 14-12.

"I know that's just the system that we use and it's been good for us," Oakley coach Randall Rath said. "That's kind of the way that we have tried to do things and sell to our kids that we feel if we play good defense, then we will always have an opportunity to win the football game."

Since the start of the 2004 season, Oakley has an 80-18 record and has won at least seven games every year except one. Under Rath, the Plainsmen have allowed just 11.1 points per game in that span. La Crosse is 87-15 with six double-digit victory seasons in the last seven years. The Leopards have allowed 15.9 points since the start of 2004.

Smith Center and Meade, the other two top Class 2-1A teams in the west in the last eight years, have allowed 10.7 points and 14.9 points per contest, respectively.

This season, La Crosse and Oakley have veteran lines with multiple seniors up front. The Leopards have veterans in seniors Matt Wagner, Renz and Nate Ruff, while sophomore Sheldon Schmidt and junior Jake Reifschneider have played well up front in their first year as full-time starters. Schmidt, the team's leader in sacks and also its starting kicker, injured his hip last Friday and is questionable for Oakley. If he can't play, senior Derrick Depperschmidt, a team captain, will start.

Renz has played with a cast after he broke his hand nearly a month ago. The coaches moved him inside on defense because of the injury, but Renz has never complained and still played solid.

"We are all working as a team, and we take it as a personal challenge to go up against the best lines in the state," Renz said. ""It's not that much fun for us to go up against a team that doesn't even know a proper three-point stance. We like teams like Oakley, like Plainville, that have pretty good lines. We just take it as a personal challenge to beat the person across from us."

La Crosse, under defensive coordinator Bill Keeley, the former Leopard head coach, mainly run a 4-3, but used multiple coverages against Ell-Saline's passing attack last week. Senior linebacker Kip Keeley recorded six tackles, a sack and a quarterback hurry and leads the team with 72 stops.

"Tried to get it to where they weren't predictable," Webster said. "Because we noticed on film, once (Ell-Saline) figured out what you were doing, they could adjust to it pretty easy."

Oakley has long played a relatively simple defense. The Railers' base is a 4-3, but they've used a five-man front depending on the personnel. Oakley have usually had a strong nose guard and has one again in 6-foot-2, 250-pound sophomore Ryan Kuhn. Rath said Kuhn "played tremendously" versus Stanton County and should be a great player by the time he is a senior.

"I know that when we play other teams, they probably wonder what we are doing because we don't change much," Rath said. "We feel if we know what we are doing, it makes us a lot faster defensively. I am just a big believer in getting aligned properly.

"I think that's huge in any level of football, especially in high school," he added. "We try to get aligned right, and the quicker you can get there, the presnap reads are a lot easier for us to determine, and that's something we stress a lot."

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