www.mozilla.com Weather Central

HHS girls fall, will play for 7th -1/30/2015, 5:29 PM

Tiger baseball picked 11th in MIAA -1/30/2015, 1:58 PM

TMP picks up dual win at Plainville -1/30/2015, 10:31 AM

Olathe South too much for Hays High -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Hoxie girls chase record -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

KSU prepares for Allen Fieldhouse -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Wichita State will appeal ruling that takes away baseball wins -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Nino Williams unlikely to play for Wildcats -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Tiger softball picked fifth in MIAA -1/29/2015, 11:27 AM

Tiger women win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU men pick up needed win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:30 AM

No. 12 Wichita State survives Loyola's challenge -1/29/2015, 10:23 AM

KU wins ugly game -1/29/2015, 10:31 AM

Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 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

myTown Calendar

[var top_story_head]

Game of the Week -- Ellis looks for strong finish

Published on -10/17/2013, 10:18 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story



ELLIS -- Veteran Ellis High School football coach Butch Hayes sat in his math classroom shortly after the Railroaders finished with a film session Monday afternoon. Hayes wore a frustrated and exasperated expression as he discussed the 2013 season. Ellis stands at 2-4, 1-0 in Class 2-1A, District 7, a similar position to the last three falls.

In 2010, Ellis opened 3-3, but finished 5-5 with a district title. Two years ago, the Railers started 2-4, but went 5-5 with a district crown.

Last fall, Ellis was 3-3 and finished 4-5 with an overtime Week 9 road loss to Oakley that kept them from its 10th straight playoff berth and seventh consecutive district title.

This season, though, Ellis has played three quarterbacks, lost speedy junior Jared Pfeifer to a foot injury, used multiple freshmen in key roles and has had trouble playing consistently.

"We know the potential is there, we just haven't played to that potential yet and we are running out of time and we have got to turn this thing around," Hayes said.

The next three weeks will very likely mark whether Ellis posts a strong season or has the worst record in Hayes' ten years on staff, the last seven as head coach. Ellis hasn't won fewer than four games since a 3-7 mark in 2003. Win all three and the Railers have another district title. Win two and it's back to the playoffs.

"We have put some good quarters together, some good plays together, we just haven't been consistent enough throughout the whole game to continue to put points on the board," Hayes said. "On defense, we haven't made plays as much as we have had in the past."

The stretch starts at 7 p.m. Friday at home against St. Francis (2-3, 0-2) followed by tough games against Oberlin (3-3, 1-0) and Oakley 5-1, 2-0 and ranked No. 4 in Class 2-1A.

"They seem to be fairly disciplined in what they do," St. Francis coach Kyle Buffington said. "I know just some of the film that I have seen, they maybe don't tackle in the open field quite as well or make the cut quite as soon as they can."

"They just look like a team that hasn't really put four quarters of their style of football together and they are still searching for that," he added. "As long as those kids are working hard, that can come at any time."

Last season, Ellis had a senior-laden team. Through the first six games of 2012, the Railers rushed for 194 yards a game, averaged 242 total yards, had 22 punts and finished minus-1 in turnover margin.

This year, it isn't much different against the same schedule. The Railers have averaged 178 rushing yards a game, 220 total yards a contest, had 27 punts and minus-3 in turnover margin.

The big difference, though, comes in making key plays. Last year, Ellis outscored its opponents 138-129 after the first six weeks. This season, opponents have the edge 212-77.

"Each week we take steps, we are just not taking big enough steps," Hayes said. "We are taking a play or two type of step. We need to take a game-type of step to where we put a full game together."

In five of the last six games, Ellis has either led or been tied at the end of the first quarter. For the season, the Railers hold a 34-30 edge in the first quarter. Versus Plainville in Week 2, Ellis led 8-0, but lost 45-8. Against Larned in Week 4, Ellis led 7-6, but lost 39-7.

"Our confidence, it just seems to fall," said senior running back Landon Younger, the team's leading rusher with 569 yards. "I don't know if that is coming into the game, some of our guys don't have confidence or they don't think they can win or whatever.

"Then, if they mess up, that's when it really hurts us, because they just kind of hang their heads and after that, other people start hanging their heads, and then (opponents) just start making plays on us left and right," he added.

Ellis' four most experienced players are Younger and senior linemen Skyler Tebo, Brody Douglas and Nick Gehring. Tebo has a team-high 46 tackles; it's rare for a defensive linemen to lead a team in stops. Gehring has 31 tackles and two sacks.

At times, Hayes has seen his seniors "do more than they need to." Hayes has watched linemen chip a defensive end, which allows the linebacker to make the play. Instead, the linemen should have gone straight to the linebacker.

Last week, Hayes said the team did well at doing their jobs. Ellis had some long drives, but then had another problem -- no points. Ellis had the ball inside Leoti-Wichita County's 10-yard line four times, but didn't score.

"We can't have mistakes," Hayes said. "We need to get positive yards every single time. We are not real good when we are second and long and we put ourselves into that position."

The Railers came away with a 13-6 victory against an Indian program that has lost 26 straight games to teams that are not Syracuse. Ellis had defeated Leoti 48-0, 44-0 and 34-14 the last three years.

"We are a game behind where we usually are," Younger said. "The Leoti game is where we really clicked as a team. I think that we have a chance to do the exact same thing that we have in the past."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.