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SPOTLIGHT
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HHS heads to Garden City

Published on -9/20/2012, 10:10 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

When it comes to regular-season football games, Hays High School's game at Garden City is as significant as any.

The game will feature 2-1 teams trying to repeat what they accomplished last season and earn at least a share of the WAC title.

"Any time you're playing a WAC school that's good, it's a big game," Hays High coach Ryan Cornelsen said. "Garden City is obviously one of the dominant teams in the WAC this year. It's very important."

Both teams enter the contest following convincing victories against WAC opponents. Garden City defeated Great Bend 45-28, while Hays High beat Liberal, 51-34.

It also pits the conference's most unstoppable force (Hays High's offense) against the league's most immoveable object (Garden City's defense).

Garden City leads the league, allowing just 218.3 yards per game, while Hays High averages 497.3 yards per game and scoring 50.7 points per game.

Garden City runs a 4-2-5 defense, and Cornelsen said the team's front six are some of the biggest and most physical players his team will see.

"They are the dominant defense in the WAC right now," Cornelsen said. "They've completely shut people down. We are giving up twice as many yards as what they are. There's no doubt its the best defense we've seen. ... We are really going to have to play on all cylinders."

Revenge also is a factor for the Indians, considering Hays High's only regular season loss last year was to Garden City 24-21.

Hays High's 21-point total was its lowest offensive output until the Indians' first-round playoff loss to Hutchinson, 27-21, last season.

"I think it will be a tough one," Cornelsen said. "Their style of defense and personnel they have is big and big on the edge where we like to attack. We are not very big this year on the edge. We are going to have to move the chains and grind it out and then look to hit our big plays."

Cornelsen said he expects heavy blitzing from Garden City, so sophomore quarterback Alex Delton could get turned loose through the air more this game than in previous ones. Delton's been one of his team's best offensive playmakers, but so far, he's only attempted 27 passes.

"If we can throw and hit them on some of those, sometimes it slows some of that stuff down," Cornelsen said.

Garden City junior quarterback Greyson Temple is by far the Buffaloes top offensive weapon.

Temple leads the WAC in rushing with 433 yards, and he's scored six touchdowns on the ground. He's also completed 53 percent of his passes for 397 yards and two TDs.

"He's extremely athletic," Cornelsen said. "He's fast and runs hard. He's very patient. He waits and sees holes. He had an unbelievable game against Great Bend and really was the difference in the game."

Garden City runs most of its plays out of the shotgun. Cornelsen said it's a similar offensive scheme to what they've run in the past, but Garden City's coach Brian Hill has molded it to his athletic QB.

Knowing his offense is facing one of the state's best defenses, senior linebacker Kyler Meyers said Hays High's defense will have to step up in this contest.

"Defense is always going to win the game," Meyers said. "If they don't score anything, then you're going to win. It's really important."

Meyers, who leads Hays High in tackles with 33, said containing Temple will be key to stopping Garden City.

"(Temple) is probably more of their runner than even their running backs," Meyers said. "... If we can stop him or not will decide the game probably."

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