Hoisington back in semifinals after win over Garden Plain

Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 11:22 PM CST
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HOISINGTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Hoisington spent most of 2019 ranked atop Class 2A only to fall on a last-second field goal on a snowy night in Norton. Despite some huge losses to graduation, the Cardinals still won their first 10 games of the 2020 season entering Friday’s sectional rematch against Garden Plain. Zach Baird’s squad did it again, advancing to substate with a convincing 28-14 win over the Owls.

“It’s such a weird year,” Baird said. “Going into it you never knew if you would get to play a game. Our guys never wavered. They didn’t let that affect how hard they worked in the summer or how hard they worked when they started practice. Everything they’ve got they deserve, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Hoisington knocked off one-loss Garden Plain 48-22 to advance last year. The Cardinals again got off to a dominant start Friday with a Wyatt Wikum fumble recovery just two plays in. Hoisington put together small play after small play, converting on fourth and short several plays before senior Holt Hanzlick pushed his way across the goal line from five yards out.

The Owls went three-and-out on their next drive. Hanzlick took the next Cardinal play 60 yards to set up a 3-yard score from senior Cade Mason a few plays later. Hoisington led 14-0 with 1:18 to play in the opening frame.

Garden Plain fought back from there. Senior Tranden Daerr took over at quarterback and completed a 62-yard pass to senior Travis Scheer. That set up junior Reed Adelhart, who scored from three yards out to cut the lead in half.

Hoisington completed its own big pass on the next drive but still turned the ball over on downs. With the clock winding down and facing fourth-and-eight, Garden Plain’s dual-quarterback system worked to perfection. Kade Rockers found Daerr in the flat. Daerr connected on a 29-yard strike to Scheer to tie the game with 23 seconds to play in the half.

That proved to be it for the Owl offense. Adelhart entered the game averaging 116 yards a night on the ground. Adelhart and the rest of the Garden Plain runners were kept well under that mark Friday.

“They’re a good football team so you know they’re going to make plays,” Baird said. “I thought we did a great job against (Adelhart). Obviously he’s a heck of a player so hats off to our defense.”

Hoisington, meanwhile, marched 65 yards on 12 plays to open the third quarter. Senior Cole Steinert got around the end for a 3-yard score to cap that drive. Early in the fourth, the Cards took advantage of a short field, capped by Hanzlick’s 3-yard touchdown run with nine minutes to play.

Leading 28-14, Steinert all but sealed the deal with an interception on fourth and long. The catch cost Hoisington some 30 yards of field position but that extra green only allowed the Cardinal offense to drain the final 6:22 off the clock.

Garden Plain ends its season at 9-2, with both losses coming against teams with a combined 20-1 record. Hoisington moves to 11-0 and has a road rematch against Beloit in Friday’s substate game. The Trojans (5-6) entered the playoffs as fourth-place finishers out of the district Hoisington won. Beloit gave Hoisington its best game of the year in a 26-20 battle on Oct. 23.

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