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Hays High offense lights up McPherson; Indians 1-1

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Hays High offense lights up McPherson; Indians 1-1

Published on -9/9/2012, 7:20 PM

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McPHERSON -- The Hays High School football team found itself in a familiar situation Friday.

After building a three-score lead against McPherson, the Bullpups struck gold with a 75-yard touchdown pass before halftime to bring the game within 10 points. Just the week before, the Indians surrendered a 22-0 first-quarter lead and fell to Junction City 44-43 in overtime.

Hays High's players were unwilling to let another collapse happen.

The Indians pulled away in the third quarter and didn't let up, defeating McPherson 58-28.

"We knew they were going to have the momentum going into the second half, so we knew we would have to come out as fired up as they were," Hays High senior running back David Cardinal said, "and we did. We came out and got it done. We got the job done."

The 30-point victory was the worst defeat McPherson (1-1) has suffered since 2009 when the Bullpups lost 55-20 to Hutchinson in the first game of district play.

That year also was the last time Hays High played McPherson. The Indians lost 49-19, but this go around, Hays High shined.

"We got knocked down," said Hays High fourth-year coach Ryan Cornelsen. "We've never been 0-1 while I've been here. Are we going to come out fighting or lay down? That was kind of our slogan all week."

The Indians' offense was on full display against the Bullpups.

Hays High (1-1) produced 384 rushing yards and 144 passing yards.

Cardinal carried the ball 20 times for 133 yards and scored four touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Alex Delton had 115 yards and two touchdowns and completed 5 of 8 passes for 144 yards.

Senior wide receiver Adam Deterding made three catches for 97 yards, and junior fullback Preston Weigel ran for 41 yards and a touchdown.

Even backup running back, sophomore Adam Klaus, had a big moment under the lights. Klaus got just two carries but made the most of them, running for 77 yards -- 75 of which came on a long touchdown run late in the game.

"We definitely redeemed ourselves," Cardinal said. "We came out fired up. We made a little bit of mistakes, but we came back and got a jump on them."

Hays High's defense bent against McPherson, surrendering more than 400 yards to the Bullpups, but didn't often break, surrendering just two scores prior to the fourth quarter.

Senior defensive back Chance Pitcock, who transferred from Russell, was the team's top defensive playmaker.

Pitcock picked off McPherson's sophomore quarterback Kyler Kinnamon on the Bullpups' opening drive and then recovered a fumble on their next drive, stopping McPherson 11 yards short of the end zone. He also intercepted Kinnamon in the third quarter.

"He's a playmaker," Cornelsen said. "We are very fortunate that he came over. He is a great kid and works hard. He listens in practice. He wants to be successful. He's excited to be a part of it, and he's turned into a big part of it."

Pitcock now has three interceptions this season.

"It's a lot of luck really," Pitcock said. "When you are out there and you are in the right position, it is a lot of luck."

The Indians never trailed.

Pitcock had a 48-yard interception return that set up Hays High's opening points when junior Lane Clark made a 27-yard field goal.

Then, following Pitcock's fumble recovery, Weigel capped an 89-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run up the middle to go up 10-0.

McPherson then drove 80 yards, and senior running back Austin O'Bannon scored on a 26-yard run.

Hays High responded early in the second quarter.

Delton scored on a 6-yard run, and Cardinal ran in a 7-yard touchdown on the Indians' next two drives to go up 24-7.

On the Indians' next drive, they were about to score, but Delton lost a fumble near the goal line.

Backed up on their own 2-yard line with 2:15 remaining in the first half, the Bullpups got a first down, and Kinnamon then went deep, throwing a 77-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Keaton Sorenson to close the gap 24-14.

In the locker room, Cardinal said the team knew it needed to be motivated in the third quarter.

"We got mad and got ready to go," Cardinal said. "Last week, we got the jump on Junction, and they came back on us. We weren't going to let that happen two weeks in a row."

Initially, the Indians started slow, going three and out, but they quickly got into an offensive groove, and the Indians scored touchdowns on their next five possessions.

McPherson simply couldn't keep up.

"I feel like it's a huge win, especially after the tough loss last week," Pitcock said. "It'll keep us rolling into next week."

While the score was lopsided, Cornelsen said this was a quality opponent. Despite losing two of their best players in quarterback Tyler Matthews, a backup quarterback at Texas Christian University, and wide receiver Jordan Hart, who now plays at Washburn University, Cornelsen said the core of the team is still there, and their replacements were solid.

"Anybody who watches the film like I watch it knows that was a good football team," Cornelsen said.

O'Bannon led his squad in rushing with 97 yards and two touchdowns. Kinnamon finished 16-of-23 passing for 260 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and rushed for 44 yards.

The Bullpups were playing without senior fullback Dalton Clark who was injured -- the team's leading rusher in Week 1.

Nevertheless, Cornelsen said this was a statement victory for his team.

"We wanted to show we are still there, and we are going to fight back," he said. "One loss does not define us. I think they proved that tonight. We've just got to keep moving forward."

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