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Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

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One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

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1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

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Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 AM

Area prep FB scores, Oct. 24 -10/24/2014, 10:45 PM

Tigers win ninth straight -10/24/2014, 11:03 AM

TMP seeks first win, travels to Russell -10/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS, TMP play to scoreless draw -10/24/2014, 10:26 AM

Hays' Fleharty among Tigers' Hall of Fame inductees -10/24/2014, 10:17 AM

Tigers set for No. 10 Bearcats -10/24/2014, 10:17 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

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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

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Monarchs struggle in loss to Clay Center

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

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Thomas More Prep-Marian football team opened Friday's contest with a three-and-out on offense. Then, Clay Center scored a touchdown after a three-play, 38-yard drive.

Following another Monarch three-and-out, Clay Center tacked on another score with a two-play, 23-yard drive. By the 7:12 mark of the first quarter, Clay Center led 12-0.

Clay Center, hurt by five turnovers and a missed field goal, had trouble scoring the rest of the game. However, the Monarchs continued to struggle mightily on offense. TMP collected just one first down all contest and eventually lost 28-7 at Lewis Field Stadium. The Monarchs dropped to 1-1 and suffered the first loss under new coach John Montgomery.

"They did an excellent job coming out and kind of getting us on our heels at the beginning, and we never did quite come back," Montgomery said.

Clay Center, backed the senior quarterbacks Caleb Carson and Ryan Blake, two big, athletic and speedy playmakers, rolled up 518 yards of total offense, including 413 on the ground. The Tigers ran 77 plays to the Monarchs' 41. TMP had to punt 10 times and had 141 yards of offense.

The Monarchs' lone first down came on a 65-yard TD pass from senior Shane Zimmerman to senior Anthony Walters with 3:51 left in the first half.

"Just didn't come out ready, that's about it," Zimmerman said. "They went up real quick and we just couldn't counter with any scores and just went downhill from there."

Last year, Carson was Clay Center's full-time quarterback and Blake missed most of the season with injury. This year, Blake has improved, which has allowed Clay Center to use Carson in a variety of roles. Both signal callers ran Clay Center's misdirection, zone-read offense effectively.

"Great kids and great teammates," Clay Center coach Todd Rice said. "That's one thing about our team, they are a pretty close-knit team."

Carson, who rushed 18 times for 308 yards and four scores and threw a last-second game-winning touchdown pass against Riley-Riley County last Friday, had another big game.

He carried 20 times for 158 yards and a score, threw for 24 yards, caught three passes for 43 yards, had three punt returns for 47 yards, kicked two extra points and intercepted a pass. Blake carried 19 times for 140 yards and two TDs, and threw for 81 yards.

"They are talented across the board and we knew that with them coming in," Montgomery said. "We knew we would have to play our best game, and quite frankly, I don't think we played our best game."

Offensively, TMP delivered 486 yards of total offense against a struggling Ellinwood team last week. Against Clay Center, a Class 4A playoff squad last year, the Monarchs had trouble moving the ball. Clay Center used some different fronts, including a five-man look that TMP hadn't seen on film.

"Their defense had us on our heels," Montgomery said. "They gave us some looks that we weren't prepared for, so our offensive linemen struggled with making some of those adjustments and we were just never able to bounce back from it."

Senior Luke Brull rushed for 203 yards and sophomore Nick Schmidt tacked on 144 yards last week, but TMP had 20 carries for 33 yards versus Clay Center.

"We had to take away the tackle box, force them into a perimeter team and I thought our guys did a pretty good job on that," Rice said. "I think our kids are really understanding more and more what we talk about with run fits and being in their gap and doing their job, and then just guys flying with great effort."

After the Monarchs' first possession, TMP had a 12-yard punt that gave Clay Center a short field. Carson tacked on the first score on a 20-yard run. Then, the Monarchs gained four yards on its second possession and had a 27-yard punt.

"Their d-line was pretty aggressive, along with their linebackers and they blitzed quite a bit," Zimmerman, who finished 5-of-21 for 108 yards with three interceptions and a score, said.

After a 19-yard punt return from Carson, Blake rushed for 17 yards and then scored on a six-yard run. In the second quarter, Blake tacked on a 1-yard run, and then sophomore Ricky Huse tallied a 18-yard score off a reverse for a 26-0 lead with 4:02 left in the first half.

"We struggled all night," Montgomery said.

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