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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

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

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

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

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

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

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

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

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

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

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

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

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

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

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

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

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

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

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

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

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

TMP girls win 13th straight -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys past Norton -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

La Crosse boys nab big road win -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Hays High's Hannah Hearld will miss softball season -2/8/2015, 12:46 PM

Tiger women outlast ESU for 21st straight win -2/8/2015, 1:13 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
Game of the Week: Raliers making the most of their time

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Game of the Week: Raliers making the most of their time

Published on -10/18/2012, 12:01 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

ELLIS -- In 2011, Ellis High School junior running back Gage Younger had trouble getting touches in the backfield because of the running and passing threat of all-state quarterback Riley Hunsicker. Junior Jared Mick finished with the fifth-most receptions on a squad that passed for 1,855 yards. Younger collected 46 tackles, fifth-most for the Railroaders, and Mick finished with 12 stops on a 5-5 team.

“At the Buzzer - The HDN sports weekly podcast.”

This fall, Hayes offers plenty of superlatives for Mick, a starter at wideout and outside linebacker. Long known as either "J or J Mick" by the team, the school and even his own family, Mick leads the team with 17 catches for 172 yards and a score. He has 11 more catches than any other player. Defensively, Mick is tied for third with 29 tackles.

"He has improved the most of anybody that we have on our team from last year to this year," coach Butch Hayes said. "He has really stepped up his game. He practices hard, he is a leader on the field. He runs his routes hard every single time. He has stepped it up on defense, been making plays for us out there."

"Out of all the kids we have on our team, J Mick has helped this team more than any other player," Hayes added.

As well, Younger has enjoyed plenty of carries, put together four straight 100-yard games and is Ellis' best tailback in three seasons. Younger has 79 carries for seven rushing TDs and a team-high 640 yards.

He also is tied with senior Cadyn McCoy for the team lead with 36 tackles. Senior quarterback Blake Hudson has 95 carries for 582 yards and eight scores.

Ellis has averaged 190 rushing yards a game, 6.3 yards per carry and 26.7 points per game, all top-three in the six-year Hayes era.

Last year, the Railers averaged 155.2 rushing yards per contest, 5.4 yards per carry and 26.1 points per game.

"Gage has done a great job for us," Hayes said. "That's one area that I think we are better in this year compared to last year. Last year, it was pretty much Riley (who rushed for 1,056 yards). Riley was making plays for us running and passing the football. This year, we are a little more diverse with Gage and Blake."

Mick and Younger have helped Ellis start 3-4, 1-1 in Class 2-1A, District 7. The Railers host Oberlin-Decatur Community (3-4, 1-2) in a key district contest Friday night. Assuming Oberlin beats one-win Leoti-Wichita County in Week 9, Ellis needs a win this week to keep its playoff hopes alive.

In 2010-11, Ellis' top rusher had been its quarterback. Jacob Kinderknecht led the team with 1,120 yards two seasons ago, and Hunsicker had his big year last fall. As a sophomore, Younger collected 32 carries for 132 yards and two scores. As a junior, those numbers bumped up to 80 carries for 354 yards and three TDs. Hunsicker led the team with 177 carries, most of which came after Ellis switched to a spread offense in early fall. Hayes knew Younger had ability, but couldn't use him often.

"We didn't have enough time to put the plays in to allow him to be successful," Hayes said. "During the off season, that was one of the focuses that I had, to get Gage the ball."

Younger, who weighed around 150 pounds last year, put on nearly 10 pounds this season. He has thrived with more carries and has collected games of 93, 133, 133, 115 and a career-high 148 yards in the last five weeks. Younger credited a passing game that set a season best with 151 yards last week for helping in his 148-yard day.

"The line has been opening up some big holes," Younger said. "Once we do a lot of passing stuff, we open up the run game and then it's not as expected, and then it starts to work."

Mick has provided a consistent threat offensively. Hayes labeled Mick "in between" as far as speed compared to other athletes, but said the senior has always worked hard. Hayes recalled Mick dropping just one ball all year and that was on a tough play where the ball went off the receiver's fingertips.

"It's easy for me now to get open on offense and I have good hands," Mick said. "Just try to catch the ball and make a play."

"Our quarterbacks trust him and when the ball is in the air, he is going to make the catch," Hayes added.

Defensively, Mick has intercepted a pass and collected a pass defended at outside linebacker, a position where he has been able to wreak havoc for a defense that has allowed fewer than 19 points in four games.

"I like it a lot," he said. "Sometimes it feels like you are out there on an island alone, but you come in screaming and try to force everything inside, make some tackles for loss in the backfield. Sometimes, it's easy. You can just fly in there. You don't even have to make a tackle sometimes. If there is a fullback coming as a lead blocker, just try to blow it up."

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