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Wild, wild win in K.C. -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

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HHS soccer falls on road -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

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After big win, Tigers back to work -10/1/2014, 3:09 PM

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Late surge pushes Dodge past TMP -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Monarch XC sweeps titles at Lyons -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

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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

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SPOTLIGHT
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Ness City now a favorite in playoffs

Published on -11/2/2012, 10:13 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Ness City High School football team has "come a long way" since head coach Chris Bamberger's first year in 2010.

The Eagles went 5-5 in Bamberger's first year, falling to Pretty Prairie in the first round. Just two years later, Ness City is considered the favorite to win the state title, ranked No. 1 in the statewide media poll. The Eagles carry a 10-0 record into Saturday's game at Pretty Prairie (8-2) -- a polar reverse since the last time the two teams faced off in the playoffs.

Game time is 3 p.m.

In 2010, Pretty Prairie was favored to win against Ness City, and in 2012, the Eagles are no longer the underdogs.

"There were a lot of young kids on the field that are now seniors for us," Bamberger said regarding the first-round game against Pretty Prairie in 2010. "We have come a long way since then. I hope we continue to."

Ness City averages 50.5 points per game and allowing 6.2 points per game -- the latter leading the state.

That score differential likely would be even greater, but the Eagles have mercy ruled all but three of their opponents this season.

The closest Ness City has come to losing was in Week 6 when the Eagles defeated Hoxie 38-6.

From Bamberger's first to third year, the Eagles transformed from a .500 team to a seemingly unstoppable force. Ness City definitely has "come a long way."

Unlike many eight-man football teams, Ness City doesn't have just one playmaker. The entire squad is littered with them.

Four Eagles have rushed for more than 300 yards, and senior running backs Garrett Flax (949) and Dalton Gantz (901) are nearing 1,000.

Senior quarterback Koltyn Ratliff hasn't had to pass much, but when he does, he's been successful, completing 62.7 percent of his passes for 582 yards and an 11-to-2 TD-to-interception ratio.

"Anyone on our team at any given time can make a big play for us," Flax said following Tuesday's 50-14 victory against Minneola (8-2). "I think that is an advantage for us down the road."

Meanwhile, Pretty Prairie might not be undefeated like it was entering 2010's match-up, but Bamberger said he expects a tough team.

Pretty Prairie's two losses have been two of the best eight-man football teams in the state. The Bulldogs lost 52-8 to Baileyville B&B, undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Eight-Man Division II, and lost 20-18 to Solomon (9-1).

In Tuesday's game against St. John-Hudson, Pretty Prairie pulled off a late comeback to win 36-32.

Bulldog quarterback Alex Mains engineered a 55-yard, fourth-quarter drive that ended with Mains throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Justin Haflich with 15 seconds remaining to win it.

Bamberger said Pretty Prairie 11th-year head coach C.T. Young has created a strong football atmosphere there, collecting a 77-30 career record.

"They've got good coaching and have kids that buy into it and work hard and do the right things," Bamberger said. "... If you put that all together, then that's when you have good years."

Bamberger said he didn't think his kids were too focused on getting vengeance for the last time the two teams played.

"I think they've probably thought about it," Bamberger said. "But they are kids, and that was probably a long time ago in their minds."

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