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Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

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

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
2-1A playoffs - Oakley delivers solid win

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2-1A playoffs - Oakley delivers solid win

Published on -11/10/2013, 8:33 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

OAKLEY -- Two plays encapsulated Friday's first-round Class 2-1A football playoff contest between Elkhart and Oakley High School. In the fourth quarter, Elkhart moved 60 yards, but faced third-and-goal from the Plainsmen 5-yard line. Senior quarterback Alex Gomez rolled to his right, faced pressure from juniors Taylor Murphy and Ryan Kuhn, and threw an interception in the end zone.

On the next snap, Oakley senior running back Key Keller delivered a 43-yard run. He eventually scored from 30 yards out. Elkhart moved the ball well, but the Wildcats went 0 of 3 in the red zone. Oakley's power running game wore down Elkhart and eventually led a 42-7 victory.

Oakley senior lineman/outside linebacker Eric Rucker hurt his ankle on the game's first play, the third starter the Plainsmen have missed this season. Rucker is expected to return for next Friday's home contest against La Crosse (10-0). Last year, Oakley lost to La Crosse 20-8 in the second round on the road.

"We have had to do this all year it seems like, and it's kind of frustrating as a coach, but it's fun to see the kids grow as well," coach Randall Rath said.

Oakley, ranked No. 5 in the Class 2-1A statewide media poll, moved to 8-1 and remained Kansas' No. 1 scoring defense at just 26 points allowed.

Kuhn, the nose guard, delivered another big game with two quarterback hurries, a tackle for loss, and three combined sacks with junior linebacker Dylan Gassmann.

"Give a lot of credit to Oakley," Elkhart coach Khris Buckner said. "They are great upfront. They are very physical, they are well-coached. They caused a lot of those issues, getting penetration upfield and we had a hard time blocking them."

Entering the game, the difference between the teams came in pace. Elkhart runs a pass-heavy, up-tempo spread offense behind Gomez, who threw for 6,609 yards and 74 scores in his career. Oakley wanted to slow the game with its power-running attack; Rath set a goal of 60 plays.

Elkhart ran 76 plays, but had just 329 yards. Gomez finished 25 of 52 for 269 yards and took a vicious hit that kept him out of the game for several second-half plays. Elkhart had trouble with big plays and hurt itself with 12 penalties for 71 yards.

"The plan this week was, we would rather give up 10 yards than let a bomb go, so our goal was to just rush them, put pressure on them and let nothing over our heads," Gassmann said.

Oakley ran 61 plays for 483 yards. Senior quarterback Darius Herl rushed 14 times for 77 yards with a TD, and passed for 74 yards and a score.

Keller had 24 rushes for 258 yards and four scores of three and 11 yards in the first half and 58 and 30 after the break. Early in the game, Rath yelled "Sprint!" to Keller on acarry, an approach Keller has taken to heart.

"Over the course of the year, I have really learned how to read the hole a lot better and just sprint through it, and if there is not one, just try and lower and make a hole if I can, find my way," Keller said.

Oakley faced immediate adversity when Rucker went out early. Elkhart had some big plays, including a 26-yard pass, and couldn't convert on a wide-open play on fourth down. Multiple times, Elkhart had drops or Gomez over or underthrew his receivers.

"We missed a couple things I thought in the first half," Buckner said.

Oakley took a 20-7 at halftime after drives of 10, 10 and 18 plays. The final one took 90 yards and went 8 minutes, 53 seconds. Elkhart's lone TD came on a 32-yard pass from Gomez to junior A.J. McKinley in the back of the end zone on fourth-and-14.

Just before halftime, Elkhart moved to the Oakley 11, but Gomez's end zone pass fell incomplete.

"We haven't seen this fast-paced offense a lot," Rath said. "I don't think there is a lot of teams that run it as well as they do."

Senior Wayne Flipse stepped in for Rucker on offense, while junior Freddie Kasselman played on defense.

"We were not adjusting very well," Rath said. "We tried three different kids (defensively), but they settled down, and then we were able to go in and halftime and make some adjustments, and get a kid there that we thought was capable of doing the job."

In the second half, Keller moved the score to 26-7 on his 58-yard run and senior quarterback Darius Herl found senior Braydon Hubert for a 51-yard pass and a 34-7 lead with 3:47 left in the third quarter. Elkhart responded with a 14-play drive, but turned the ball over on downs at the Oakley 4.

Gassmann often put pressure with a double 'A' gap blitz, a formation first popularized in the NFL where a blitzer comes in on the gaps between center and guard.

Gassmann would sprint to the line, stutter-step and move right over the ball before the snap.

"I am watching the ball," Gassmann said. "I go for kind of a scare tactic and just see if they will mess up."

The double 'A' forced an incompletion on third down and then junior Mason Scheetz batted down a fourth-down pass.

"We don't like to blitz a lot, but against this team, I felt like we had to," Rath said. "We knew they were double teaming Ryan, so we slanted him out into the B gaps hard, and he had two to three guys on him, and it opened it up."

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