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Tigers' Paraguay soccer connection -11/21/2014, 10:56 AM

One last go for Knights' seniors -11/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Phillipsburg one step away -11/21/2014, 10:47 AM

McPherson standout signs with FHSU -11/20/2014, 2:35 PM

Wildcats look to bounce back at Morgantown -11/20/2014, 10:29 AM

Tiger women roll to record win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

FHSU men pick up first win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cavs fumble chance to beat Spurs -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

A's officially sign Butler -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Two Tigers named to MIAA vb team -11/19/2014, 11:13 AM

Jordy Nelson sets early tone for Packers' offense -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kentucky blasts KU -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Defense leads Wildcat women -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

K-State looks to run stronger -11/19/2014, 10:13 AM

No. 11 Wichita State rolls over Memphis -11/18/2014, 8:05 PM

Inman named MIAA Wrestlers of the Week -11/18/2014, 2:23 PM

Williams, Jordan among first-team all-MIAA selections for FHSU -11/18/2014, 11:16 AM

Bell, Steelers rally past Titans -11/18/2014, 10:11 AM

NFL suspends Peterson without pay -11/18/2014, 10:11 AM

'Cats knock off UMKC at Bramlage -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Calipari will simplify offense -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High football earns WAC honors -11/18/2014, 10:10 AM

Wichita State defense works at protecting the basket -11/17/2014, 2:36 PM

K.C., Wichita to host NCAA's in future -11/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Harvick wins Chase -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

FHSU women fall just short of rally -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Charles beats Seahawks' 'Beast' at own game -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Rams shock Manning, Broncos -11/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's elusiveness, style earns Chiefs' respect -11/17/2014, 10:12 AM

It's basketball time in South Dakota for WSU -11/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Phillipsburg reaches new heights in win -11/16/2014, 5:24 AM

Ell-Saline eliminates La Crosse -11/16/2014, 5:24 AM

Tiger volleyball drops season finale -11/16/2014, 7:05 PM

Tiger men suffer two losses to open season on road -11/16/2014, 7:05 PM

Tigers nab seventh win -11/15/2014, 9:41 PM

Friday's prep football scores -11/14/2014, 9:36 PM

Knights headed to state -11/14/2014, 5:20 AM

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

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SPOTLIGHT
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Top story of 2012: Ness City Eagles soar

Published on -12/22/2012, 3:54 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Ness City's senior-laden squad experienced a picture-perfect ending to their prep football careers this fall.

After falling in the first round of the playoffs their sophomore and junior seasons, the Ness City seniors dominated every team they faced en route to a 13-0 record and Eight-Man Division I state championship -- the first in their school's history.

Frankly, no team even came close to them, and that's why Ness City earned a spot as one of The Hays Daily News top sports moments in 2012.

"I think the best feeling for me is these boys got what they deserved," said Ness City third-year head coach Chris Bamberger after the state championship game. "They worked so hard for this."

Ness City averaged defeating teams by 43.8 points per game and posted one of the best defensive seasons eight-man football has seen in recent history.

The Eagles' defense allowed 70 points all season -- 5.4 a game. It was the fewest points allowed by an eight-man team since Victoria allowed 66 in 2007, according to preppowerindex.com, but the Knights did it with two fewer games.

"It gives me chills," said senior defensive end Blake McVicker, regarding what Ness City's defense accomplished in 2012.

Ness City was loaded with talent this season, boasting senior starters at every offensive and defensive position.

McVicker anchored the defense with 111 tackles -- an impressive total for a defensive lineman. He also led the team with 8.5 sacks and nine quarterback hurries.

Ness City's defense forced 34 turnovers (21 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries), posted five shutouts and never gave up more than 14 points in a game.

Offensively, the two-headed backfield of senior fullback Dalton Gantz and senior running back Garrett Flax ran for 1,155 yards and 1,152 yards, respectively. Gantz scored 25 touchdowns, while Flax had 16.

Senior quarterback Koltyn Ratliff completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 747 yards, 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions while also running for 424 yards and 12 TDs.

Flax. a star return specialist, averaged 26.8 yards per punt return and 30.2 yards per kickoff return.

"Top to bottom, the kids who played on the varsity field and the kids who didn't, they all bought in and they all worked hard," Bamberger said.

Even the Eagles' opponent in the state championship game, Mankato-Rock Hills, couldn't challenge Ness City.

The Eagles won 40-8, and Rock Hills touchdown came late after the game was already over.

Rock Hills managed 153 total yards against Ness City's shutdown defense, while the Eagles compiled 377.

"(Ness City's defensive players) play incredibly fast," said Rock Hills coach Sam Meyers after the state title game. "We could tell they were fast on film, but they were even faster in person."

After winning his final game at Ness City, Ratliff said it was a special season.

"It feels amazing," Ratliff said. "Words cannot describe how good this feels. We are just one big happy family right now."

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