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Hoisington survives Homecoming scare against Phillipsburg

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 11:27 PM CDT
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HOISINGTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Even in last year’s banner season, Hoisington was tested early in the year but an athletic Phillipsburg team. Friday night history tried repeating itself as the Cardinals looked to open another season at 4-0. The Panthers scored the first 14 points in a bid to spoil Homecoming, but it was the Cardinals cruising in the second half to a 42-21 win.

“We came out flat and not ready to play,” said Hoisington coach Zach Baird. “That’s on me. I tried to give them a little easier week in practice and it showed. I thought our seniors did a good job of righting the ship and getting us going.”

Hoisington trailed 14-0 and turned the ball over for a second time to set up a defensive stand that served as a turning point in the game. Phillipsburg tried four times from inside the 10-yard line but ultimately turned the ball over on downs. They scored just one more time after that series.

“Once our defense got it figured out a little bit as far as contain rush in their lanes,” Baird said. (Phillipsburg quarterback Ty Sides) is so stinking good. He puts so much pressure on you, so give them guys credit. They’re well coached and have some players. I thought out defense was able to figure it out and make some plays."

The Cardinals answered with perhaps their biggest play of the season. The run-dominant squad went to the air and senior Mason Haxton found a wide open Chase Robinson sprinting down the middle of the field. Robinson ran 63 yards to complete the score and put Hoisington on the board with 6:14 to play in the opening half.

“That’s a home run hit,” Haxton said. “You just see wide open and you get excited a little bit and just make the play.”

Panther senior Clint Gower scored from two yards out to bump the lead back to 21-6, but that proved to be it for Phillipsburg. Hoisington, getting the ball to open the second half, closed out scoring in the second quarter on a 7-yard run from senior Cole Steinert.

It was all Hoisington in the second half. Phillipsburg rushed for 143 yards and Sides threw for 90 yards in the first half. The Panthers managed just 47 yards of total offense in the final two frames.

Hoisington, meanwhile, opened the second half with a big drive capped by Holt Hanzlick’s 19-yard run. Hanzlick’s 6-yard touchdown dive on the next possession gave the Cards the lead for good. Steinert ran 20 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and Hanzlick provided the exclamation point with a 41-yard run late in the game.

Sides did his part with 104 yards on the ground and another 103 in the air on 10-of-22 passing. Senior Kagan Keetan caught five balls for 72 yards.

Senior Joshua Ball did not score but paced the Cardinals with 120 yards on his 12 carries. Hanzlick rushed for 93 yards and two scores in the second half to finish with 114 yards on 15 attempts. Steinert had his best game of the season with 55 yards on just five carries.

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