Hays High sees season end
By KLINT SPILLER
WICHITA -- Hays High School senior Adam Deterding refused to remove his helmet.
After his team gathered in the end zone following the game, Deterding kept his helmet on and met with friends and family. Standing 6-foot-3 and wearing the bulbous helmet in a sea of Hays High fans made Deterding stand out like a buffalo in a flock of sheep.
But Deterding just wanted to make that moment last as long possible since his team was eliminated from the Class 5A state playoffs.
Hays High (7-3) lost in the first round, 52-27, to Wichita-Bishop Carroll (10-0), ranked No. 1 in all classifications according to the statewide media poll, on Friday at Bishop Carroll Family Stadium.
"I don't want to ever take it off," said Deterding, who played wide receiver and defensive back. "Knowing that it's over, it sucks more than anything. I don't want to take it off at all."
It was a disappointing ending to the careers of seniors who had witnessed the revitalization of the Hays High football program in head coach Ryan Cornelsen's four years at the school.
Those seniors saw Hays High go 29-9 in their four seasons and make the state playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in school history.
"They've won a lot of big games and made a lot of big plays," Cornelsen said. "I think they'll look back on their football career and have fond memories."
The Indians kept up with Bishop Carroll in the first half, trailing 24-21 at halftime, but the Golden Eagles crushed Hays High in the second half.
Bishop Carroll outscored Hays 28-6. The Indians gained 286 yards of total offense, and only 59 of which came in the second half.
"I'm proud of the kids. I thought they played hard," Cornelsen said. "I thought we executed in the first half, and it kept us in the game. The breaks just didn't go our way in the second half."
Bishop Carroll was simply too much for the Indians, as the Golden Eagles marched their Class 5A-leading spread offense up and down the field.
"It's not a hard concept, but they are good at what they do," Deterding said. "They executed it, and broke tackles and we missed tackles."
Bishop Carroll senior quarterback Zeke Palmer completed 16 of 21 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior running back Tory Smith rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, and senior wide receiver Matt Denning caught seven passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
"They were a good team," Hays High senior running back David Cardinal said. "We've seen some pretty good teams. I can't say if they were the best, but they were a great team. Carroll came out and played hard."
Hays High sophomore quarterback Alex Delton scored all four of the Indians' touchdowns -- one on the ground and three through the air. Delton ran for 61 yards and completed 7 of 13 passes for 116 yards.
Carroll held Cardinal, the 2011 WAC Player of the Year, to 62 yards on 17 carries.
"We came out here and did the best we could do," Cardinal said. "Carroll was a great team. We did our best."
Hays High scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions to keep up with the Golden Eagles, but the Indians' offense stalled in the second half.
Hays High's opening drive of the second half was a three-and-out. Their next drive resulted in a failed fourth-down conversion, their third ended in another three-and-out and their fourth ended quickly as Delton threw an interception.
In that time, Bishop Carroll built a 45-21 lead with 11:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
At that point, Hays High was so far behind that Cornelsen said the Indians had to depart from their game plan.
"We couldn't get ahead of the score and ahead of the chains, so we could run the ball like we wanted to," Cornelsen said. "We kind of put ourselves in a bind and forced ourselves to make plays, and that's how teams put you away."
Though he was disappointed in the result, Deterding said there was no doubt the Indians gave everything they had on the field.
"I love everybody on my team," Deterding said. "They all played as hard as they can. I know I can never ask for more from them. We gave it our best, but it just wasn't enough."