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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
Ness City, Rock Hills each going for first state title

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Ness City, Rock Hills each going for first state title

Published on -11/16/2012, 10:18 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Ness City machine hasn't even been slowed this season, but senior fullback/linebacker Dalton Gantz expects that to change Saturday.

Gantz said it should be a grind-it-out affair against Mankato-Rock Hills in the Eight-Man Division I state championship game at Fischer Field In Newton. Game time is 3 p.m.

"We've watched a lot of film on Rock Hills so far, and they have a really good team," Gantz said. "We are not going to pass through them like we have done with everybody else this year. It's going to be one heck of a state championship game. We know that, and Rock Hills knows that."

If that's the case, it will be a first this season. Ness City (12-0) has blown out all of its opponents, averaging a 44.8-point margin of victory despite playing the sixth-most difficult Eight-Man Division I schedule according to preppowerindex.com.

The two closest games the Eagles have played were in a 38-6 victory against Hoxie in Week 6 and 50-14 win against Minneola in the first round of the playoffs.

Rock Hills (11-1) is used to being the underdog, though. The Grizzlies weren't favored by many in either of their last two contests, and yet, they still managed to reach the state title game.

"We try to eliminate all of the exterior factors as far as statistics and records and whose crowd is bigger and anything like that," Rock Hills eighth-year head coach Sam Meyers said. "We just focus on the matchup. You have one person across from the line from you on every play. You have an assignment to carry out. Your job is to do that."

Saturday will provide an opportunity for Ness City's seniors to achieve a goal four years in the making: winning the school's first football state championship.

"We had a couple choices," Gantz said. "We could work our butts off in the weight room this summer and prepare like we want to win a state championship, or we could just have another mediocre season and maybe make a playoff run."

If Ness City's resume indicates anything, it shows the Eagles likely didn't choose the latter option.

"They are (special)," said third-year Ness City head coach Chris Bamberger. "Anytime you have a group of kids that come together and continually play together and fight and put the amount of work in they have, it makes it special."

The state championship game is foreign territory for the Eagles.

The last four years have have slowly built up to this moment.

The seniors were freshmen on the 11-man team composed of players from Ness City and Dighton in a cooperative agreement that went 5-4. As sophomores, they transitioned to Eight-Man Division I and played for a team that went 5-5 and was bounced in the first round of the playoffs 58-12 by an undefeated Pretty Prairie team.

The next year, the Eagles built momentum, but a leg injury to running back/linebacker Garrett Flax contributed to the end of their title hopes. They finished 8-2, falling 42-40 to undefeated Macksville in the first round of the playoffs.

This year, the season has unfolded nearly perfectly for them.

"They were here when I first got started, and they got a lot of snaps as young kids, too," Bamberger said. "It's nice to see a little bit of a payoff for them."

Ness City will attack Rock Hills with a multitude of weapons, led by Flax and Gantz.

Flax has rushed for 1,075 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Gantz has compiled 1,001 yards and 21 TDs (Maxpreps)

Senior quarterback Koltyn Ratliff has added 394 yards and 11 TDs on the ground as well as completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 647 yards and a 12/2 TD/interception ratio.

Meanwhile, the Eagles' defense has been the best in eight-man football, allowing an average of 5.2 points per game.

For Rock Hills, senior Clay Cosand and sophomore Joel Broeckelman lead the team in rushing. Cosand has rushed for 1,398 yards and 30 touchdowns, and Broeckelman's tallied 1,323 yards and 32 TDs (Maxpreps)

The Grizzlies were forced into a corner after falling 42-22 to Clifton-Clyde in Week 4.

Competing in a tight district with Clifton-Clyde, Osborne and Pike Valley who each finished with two losses in district play, Rock Hills could have easily missed the playoffs with another loss.

"It really refocused us on what our goals were," Meyers said. "At the same time, it put our backs against the wall, because any other loss would have knocked us out of the playoffs altogether. We really hit the playoff season in Week 6."

Since Week 4, Rock Hills has played solid football. The Grizzlies won their next five regular season games by a wide margin and toppled two state powers, Moran-Marmaton Valley (11-1) and reigning state champion Madison/Hamilton (10-2), in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the playoffs.

"It's tough to pinpoint just one thing that really worries me," Bamberger said. "They do a lot of things extremely well. They are big up front. They move well. They have some fast kids at skill positions. Obviously, they look smart and do the right things. They make good decisions, and you can tell they play their tails off every single snap for their coaches."

Whoever wins Saturday, it will be the first state title in football for either school.

Gantz just hopes his team will be the one hoisting the trophy.

"Us seniors, we kind of took (the challenge) head on," Gantz said. "We really want to make this season special and deliver Ness City its first state championship."

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