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Wiggins signs contract -7/25/2014, 10:04 AM

Western Kansas athletes overcome long road to be in Shrine Bowl -7/25/2014, 10:20 AM

Aoki's walkoff single lifts Royals in 14th -7/25/2014, 10:03 AM

Larks cap league turnaround with win -7/24/2014, 10:23 AM

Herman moves on in match play -7/24/2014, 10:03 AM

Ellis to play for Zone title -7/24/2014, 1:26 PM

2014 Kansas Shrine Bowl rosters -7/24/2014, 1:29 PM

Jayhawk League standings, July 24 -7/24/2014, 10:34 AM

Jamaal Charles agrees to contract extension -7/24/2014, 10:38 AM

Ubelaker looks to make impact on Shrine Bowl -7/24/2014, 10:51 AM

Snyder hopes season carries over -7/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Herman, Hecker, Kaup advance at Kansas Am -7/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Larks get non-league win -7/23/2014, 1:29 PM

Golfer cards ace in Ellis -7/23/2014, 9:57 AM

Fisher hopes bigger is better -7/23/2014, 9:47 AM

Royals grab win in Chicago -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Overachievers set tone for KSU football -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Chiefs have had discussions with Charles -7/23/2014, 10:44 AM

Hays Eagles headed back to state -7/23/2014, 10:43 AM

Tuesday's Larks game called off -7/22/2014, 4:49 PM

K-18 state bracket, July 25 to 29 -7/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Royals' offense silenced again in loss to Chicago -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

Monarchs' season comes to an end -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Larks win sixth straight -7/22/2014, 10:24 AM

No bold predictions from Charlie Weis at Big 12 Media Days -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Eagles rally for Zone win -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

'One true champion' gets a workout in Big 12 -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

K-State clarifies Klein's role -7/22/2014, 10:26 AM

Browns rookie Manziel leads in jerseys sold -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

Royals get swept in Boston -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

McIlroy claims Open title -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Monarchs fall to Larned in Zone tourney -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Larks wrap up second place -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Royals fall to Red Sox -7/20/2014, 9:44 AM

Plainville's Krob tops 11-under field -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Goodland's Ihrig wins Match Play crown -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Monarchs, Russell in Larned Zone -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Alex Smith hopes future is with Kansas City Chiefs -7/20/2014, 6:44 PM

Butler wants to stay in K.C. -7/20/2014, 6:44 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
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Hoxie up for another challenge

Published on -11/14/2013, 10:31 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Hoxie High School football team lost to Wallace County, undefeated in Eight Man Division II, 36-28, in the season's second contest. Then, the Indians rolled off six straight wins and faced modest challenges from just two teams, Dighton and Ness City.

In Week 9, Hoxie faced rival and then undefeated-Atwood. The Indians led just 6-0 after the first quarter, but opened it up to a 54-28 victory. Hoxie rushed for 339 yards, 47 more than the Buffs, had an 82-3 edge in passing yards.

"We never got down," Hoxie coach Lance Baar said. "We were always ready to fight and ready to keep going."

The following week, Hoxie played Spearville in the first round of the Division I playoffs. The Indians fumbled, the Lancers picked the ball up and scored. But Hoxie didn't flinch. Spearville held a 30-28 lead entering the fourth quarter and the Indians rallied for a 44-38 victory. At that point, Baar knew his team could accomplish something special. His squad had overcome adversity and delivered quality wins, traits that form deep playoff runs.

"You know that they are going to be tight games," Baar said.

Last week, Hoxie built its resume further and continued a remarkable turnaround in Baar's five-year tenure. Hoxie defeated Kiowa County 38-8, moved to 10-1 and into this Friday's sub-state championship game against Jetmore-Hodgeman County (11-0). Game time is 6 p.m. in Jetmore.

Eight-Man Division I has had several surprise state game participants the last two years with Mankato-Rock Hills and Montezuma-South Gray. Neither Hoxie nor Hodgeman County were ranked in the preseason or during the regular season. The Longhorns have outscored teams 530-132 and rank No. 1 in scoring defense.

"They stack their defense in there," Baar said. "They have five, six guys right up there, right around that line of scrimmage. They definitely want to stop that inside run game, and be tough and physical up front."

Hoxie has played the No. 8 strength of schedule and has a collective score of 502-170, according to preppowerindex.com. Senior quarterback Chase Kennedy has 928 rushing yards and 609 passing yards. Junior running back Connor Katt has 1,905 all-purpose yards (1,516 rushing) and 26 rushing scores.

"He runs harder and harder every game," Kennedy said.

Hoxie has enjoyed the third-best season in school annals; the Indians earned runner-up finishes in 1978 and '81.

"I think that's just the mental toughness and just believing in themselves and knowing that they are never out of a ballgame as long as they keep fighting as hard as they can," Baar said.

Baar, in his first head coaching job, came to Hoxie after a 1-8 season. The Indians finished 2-7 in the program's last year of 11-man football. Then, Hoxie finished 6-3, 6-3 and 7-3 with a first round 50-12 loss to Hodgeman County last year. Baar is proud of his players for the turnaround, hard work and a changed mentality. Even in his second and third seasons, if Hoxie didn't score early, the game turned.

"You would just feel it," Baar said. "All of the air in our guys is out. At that point, we were pretty much defeated. We don't have that anymore. Once we get down, we have our battle gear on, and we are ready to go. We want to do whatever it takes to get back into the ball game."

Against Kiowa County, the Indians' defense corralled Maverick senior quarterback Trever Powell and held him to 37 carries for 194 yards. Powell has rushed for 2,474 yards this season. On film, Baar noticed opponents playing aggressive with Powell.

Opponents rushed Powell hard and took themselves out of the play. Instead, Hoxie focused on containment. If a lineman pulled, Hoxie stayed close. That allowed Powell to come to Hoxie. Then, the linebackers and defensive backs flowed well.

"Just kind of slow played it," Baar said.

Senior Chance Hoeting had missed several games with a concussion, but responded with a game-high 12 tackles and two sacks. Hoeting starts at linebacker and goes to the line when Hoxie plays a four-front. Senior Mitchel Johnson has played well at nose guard (team-high 85 tackles) and juniors Tanner Smith (Indian-best nine tackles for loss) and Tyler Ewers are at defensive end. Senior Tyler Kaus moved back to linebacker and Katt sometimes comes down from safety to play linebacker.

"They are all physical, tough kids who have a lot of fight in them," Baar said. "That's what it takes to be in the trenches there. I have been really proud of them, and I have been telling them all week at practice that we have got another challenge this week."

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