HHS has no trouble with Wichita South
Published on -9/30/2012, 5:37 AM
By NICK McQUEEN
Eight minutes into Friday's homecoming contest, it was apparent the Hays High School football team wasn't going to see much of a challenge from winless Wichita South.
The bigger question for Indian coach Ryan Cornelsen became how he was going to keep his team focused, and stave off any possible injuries. With the brutal portion of its schedule still to come, Cornelsen said his squad did a good job of doing both in a 55-12 win at Lewis Field Stadium.
"It's tough to tell," Cornelsen said after his team put up all 55 points in the first half. "Our kids see on film we're the better team, and making sure they come out on all cylinders and execute is not always an easy task.
"But, I felt like we came out and played hard early, played with a little bit of emotion and executed the plan."
Hays High (4-1) marched 75 yards on the opening drive, and sophomore quarterback Alex Delton found senior receiver Derek Bixenman for the first time this season on an 18-yard TD connection. It was the first of four TDs on the night for Delton, as he completed 7 of 9 passes for 153 yards.
After South (0-5) fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Indian senior tailback David Cardinal ran in from nine yards out, becoming the second of seven different Indians to find the end zone on the night.
"We might have run it up a little bit, but we have to be ready for the next game," said junior fullback Preston Weigel, who found the end zone on the Indians' next possession from 44 yards out. "We have four big ones coming up, and we can't let this bring us down just because we won by so much."
Weigel's long TD, spurred by a big block on the outside by Cardinal, put Hays High up 20-0 with 4:06 to go in the first quarter. Weigel finished with 94 yards on seven carries, and caught one of Delton's connections for 17 yards.
"He's one of those guys that runs the ball extremely tough," Cornelsen said. "He'll get those tough yards, but he can also get outside and break it on you."
At that point, Hays High's focus shifted to staying healthy, while still maintaining a bit of momentum heading into the final stretch. Delton continued to air it out in the first quarter, and found senior receiver Adam Deterding on his first of two TD receptions from 24 yards out on a first-and-goal after a penalty.
"We wanted to come out and a throw it a little bit," Cornelsen said. "Every game (Delton) is starting to see things, see his reads faster.
"That's what we were looking for tonight, and he did a nice job."
The only setback to go against the Indian starters all night was Wichita South's 35-yard kick return on the ensuing kick, setting up the Titans' only score against Hays High's first string, a 30-yard run by junior Kallin Collins.
Delton responded by hitting Indian senior Chance Pitcock from 24 yards out down the middle, and Hays High junior defensive end Ty Whittington ripped the ball away from a South runner and rumbled 44 yards for a score, giving Hays High a 41-6 lead. Senior Emilio Mitchell ran in from 33 yards out, and Deterding caught a 52-yard pass from Delton to cap Hays High's scoring for the game with 4:48 left in the first half. The second half was continuous clock with Hays High's junior varsity and freshmen seeing the field.
"This time of year, that's nice to have a game where you can pull (the starters) early and stay healthy," Cornelsen said. "We have a tough road. The next four games are extremely tough so we have to have everybody clicking on all cylinders."
Cardinal finished with 58 yards on eight carries. Delton's seven completions were to six different receivers (Deterding, Bixenman, Weigel, senior Jake Sedbrook, Mitchell and Pitcock).
The stretch begins with Friday's 7 p.m. game at Lewis Field Stadium against Dodge City. The Red Demons lost, 24-7 to Great Bend on Friday.