TMP holds off Hoisington to advance in Class 2A

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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HOISINGTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Few teams have been able to get by Hoisington in recent playoff brackets. Even fewer yet have done it when the Cardinals are at home. Friday night TMP was up to the task. The Monarchs built a 26-6 halftime lead and used a late 37-yard field goal and interception to hang on with a 36-27 win.

“It feels great,” said TMP coach Jay Harris. “That about sums it up. It feels great.”

The Monarchs dominated the first half to lead by 20 but the Cardinals never went away. Hoisington opened the second half with a big kick return from Jeremy Robinson. Using a short field, Legend Robinson eventually scored from 23 yards out.

After a TMP punt, the Cards converted a fourth down to keep the ball moving. Facing third-and-goal from the 15, senior quarterback Wyatt Wikum found junior Leyton Haxton in the end zone. All of a sudden the Monarch lead was just 26-20 with under a minute to play in the third quarter.

This time TMP’s playmaker had an answer. On the sixth play of a drive, junior quarterback Kade Harris broke a tackle and ran 37 yards. The Monarch lead was back to 33-20 with 9:02 remaining.

Hoisington made one final drive, converting another fourth down before Wikum found sophomore Tony Moore on a 24-yard connection. A couple plays later Robinson capped a big second half with a 1-yard touchdown run. Carlos Mota’s kick again whittled the gap to just six at 33-27.

The outcome of the game was still very much up in the air when TMP faced fourth-and-seven with under three minutes to play. Coach Harris looked to his senior kick who put up impressive kicks and even a big hit in the game. Jace Wentling booted through a 37-yard field goal to all but ice the game with 2:39 to play.

“The defense bowed up and held its ground,” Harris said. “The offense gets another score, we get a field goal to cinch it pretty well. We just took care of business.”

Hoisington still had one more chance to drive the field and hope for a miracle in a 2-possession game. Instead, Monarch senior Mark Rack picked off a Wikum pass to halt any chances of a comeback.

TMP opened the game by scoring on its first four possessions. Senior Bryce Seib opened scoring from three yards out, then sophomore Griffin Schumacher ran 18 yards on fourth-and-long, diving into the end zone for a quick 13-0 lead.

“We wanted to control the clock,” Coach Harris said. “Come in, take care of the ball, and just go after them hard.”

Hoisington got a 42-yard run from Legend Robinson on its next drive. A few plays later the senior punched it in from a yard out. Kade Harris answered by taking the ensuing kick 80 yards to the house. Harris added a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the second for a 26-6 score.

Robinson finished his prep career strong with 165 yards on 19 carries in the second half for Hoisington. With 235 yards in the game, he finishes just 82 yards shy of 2,000 yards in the season as one of the top 11-man running backs in the state this season. Wikum threw for 59 yards on 4-of-7 passing with an interception, and added 29 yards on eight carries.

Harris was huge all night with the 80-yard kick return and another big return to set up Wentling’s game-changing field goal. Harris rushed for 152 yards on 14 attempts and threw for 32 yards on 2-of-6 passing.

After a big first half, the Monarchs rushed for just 76 yards on 13 carries in the second half. Seib finished his night with 60 yards on 17 attempts.

TMP (8-2) caught a break with Kingman topping Garden Plain. The Monarchs should return home to face the Eagles in round three of the playoffs next Friday.

“Just keep rolling,” said Coach Harris. “We want to come in every day and work hard and be ready to go again.”

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