The Larned football team is back in the win column after three seasons without, and Ellinwood started the cross country season off with a bang in week one.
The gamble paid off. The Eagle cross country teams switched venues for their first meet, opting for the larger meet in Great Bend rather than the usual CKL meet at Smoky Valley. Pedro Montoya won the race, leading the boys past 5-6A teams for the team championship, and the Lady Eagles finished third.
The boys dominated the event, winning with 50 points. Class 6A’s Garden City finished second with 68 points, and 5A Liberal placed third with 74 points.
“I'm just excited the season has started and that I had a chance to run against some big schools and feel that, through the training, we accomplished something and started off good but we still have a long way to go,” said Montoya.
Montoya, in the first race of the season, was already in prime form, finishing in 16:40, 35 seconds ahead of the second-place runner from Great Bend. Morgan Feemster finished fifth overall in 17:51, and Kyle Oglesbee placed ninth in 17:57. Derek Ward finished in 18:35 for 14th place, and Kyle Blakeslee placed 22nd in 19:07 to complete team scoring.
The Garden City girls dominated their race with 20 points for the title. Great Bend finished second with 60 points, and Ellinwood placed third with 81 points, well-ahead of Salina South’s 118 points.
Jenna Snell led the pack in fourth place with a time of 17:00. Three other runners finished in the top 20: Abbie Reichuber, 15th, 18:09; Laura Standlee, 16th, 18:14; and Brooke Panning, 18th, 18:22.
The Cardinal football team went out on a limb. Instead of traveling far to play a similar-sized school, 3A Hoisington invited Class 5A Great Bend over for Friday’s football opener. The move paid off at the gate with a large crowd that formed a horseshoe in the end zone, and nearly paid off on the field where the Cardinals came up just short 14-6.
We’re ready for next week,” said coach Jason Ingram. “We’re moving on. We’ve got a lot to build on because we lost and we don’t like losing. We’re ready to move on and are excited about our season.”
It took the Panthers nearly a half to get on the scoreboard, taking an 11-play drive 58 yards for a touchdown with 5.6 seconds left in the second quarter.
Hoisington capitalized on a fake punt on its first possession of the second half. On the very next play, junior Avery Urban took a tipped pass from Hagen Hanzlick 55 yards for the potential equalizer. A missed extra point would loom late into the game.
Great Bend continued to control the game, taking 63 offensive snaps compared to just 39 for Hoisington. The Panthers took nearly six minutes off the clock, going 60 yards on 15 plays for a 14-6 lead with 11:17 to play.
Penalties cost the Panthers all evening. On their final drive, another penalty forced a punt. The Cardinals got the ball back with 28 ticks left, needing to go 60 yards and pick up a two-point conversion. Hoisington managed just two plays before the final whistle blew.
Hanzlick provided most of the Cardinal’s 160 yards on offense at quarterback, taking 20 rushes for 64 yards, and throwing for another 80 yards on 3-of-10 passing. Avery had two receptions for 78 yards.
Last year, all-time leading Monarch passer Nick Hammeke used 201 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns to down Ellinwood in the season-opener. Friday, new head coach John Montgomery went the other way. TMP rushed for 399 yards on the way to a 36-20 win over the Eagles.
Ellinwood scored first, taking the second play from scrimmage 84 yards for a 6-0 lead. TMP took over from there, using two touchdown passes from new quarterback Shane Zimmerman to lead 14-6 after one quarter.
Still leading 14-6 in the third quarter, Zimmerman again capped a drive with a touchdown pass, this time to Anthony Walters. Later in the quarter, senior running back Luke Brull went 52 yards on the first play to set up another touchdown. Brull needed just 15 carries to run for 203 yards on the night. Nick Schmidt added 144 yards on 21 carries. Zimmerman finished his first game at quarterback with 87 yards and three touchdowns on 7-of-14 passing.
After three seasons on the gridiron without a win, the Indian football team wasted little time picking up a “W” in 2012. Friday, the Indians held off Ellsworth late to win 27-25.
Larned took control early, scoring three minutes into the game on a 15-yard run from senior running back Brady Keith. Ellsworth answered five minutes later, but Keith punched in another score from two yards out for a 13-7 lead at the half.
Still leading 13-7, Keith broke a 76-yard run for the lone Larned score of the second quarter. Ellsworth would also score in the stanza, missing the extra point to trail 20-13 at the break. Jesse Martinez scored the only touchdown in the third quarter, giving the Indians a 27-13 advantage with a quarter to play. From there, it was all Ellsworth. The Bearcats scored with 4:24 remaining, but a missed extra point made the score 27-19. Ellsworth scored again with 1:57 to play. The Larned defense stopped the all-important two-point try to preserve the first win in 28 tries.
Keith finished the night with 186 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Easton Palmer also had a nice night with 167 yards on 11-of-17 passing. Jamil Shoemaker was his favorite target with 74 yards receiving.