Hoisington makes statement with season opening win over Hesston

Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 3:38 PM CDT
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HOISINGTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Hoisington Cardinals started the 2023 football season with a 39-7 statement win over fellow Central Kansas League member, the Hesston Swathers.

The Swathers visited Elton Brown Field for the first time in only the third meeting of the two schools. Hesston won the previous meetings 35-19 in the 2016 Sub-State game and 21-14 in the opening game of the 2022 season.

Hesston won the coin toss and elected to defer. Hoisington started the game from their 31-yard line. The Cardinals would march down the field in nine plays. Mason Alderdice capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run. Taylen Morales kicked a successful point after the touchdown.

Morales kicked the ball off to Blayne Wilson who returned it 22 yards. Asher Deutschendorf came out to lead the team as quarterback after Jake Proctor did not suit up due to injury.

Starting on the Swather 31-yard line, Deutschendorf spread the ball around to Karter Gonzalez, Daxon Deering, Blayne Wilson, Blake Hansen, and himself to reach the Hoisington two-yard line. Deutschendorf called for the ball to be snapped on third down and goal with two yards to go.

As the ball traveled back to him, he lost control of it. He dived after the loose ball. It squirted away. A Cardinal fell on it, but could not pull it in. Taylen Morales saw the loose ball and scooped it up. Still on his feet, Morales took off toward the end zone. “I saw the open field and took my chance,” said Morales. “It was amazing to see no one ahead of me and to have my teammates around me.” The fumble recovery was Hoisington’s first scoop-and-score in seven seasons.

Morales had to quickly catch his breath to kick the extra point, which he made. The Cardinals now led 14-0.

Hesston started their next drive from their 36-yard line. The drive stalled out on the Cardinal 33-yard line. Hoisington took over on downs after an incomplete pass from Asher Deutschendorf to Blake Hansen.

Hoisington would make it down to the Swather two-yard line. A false start penalty moved the Cardinals back to the seven-yard line. Tony Moore tried to pass the ball to Jason Robinson, but it was broken up by Hesston’s Jacob Burkholder.

The teams went into the locker room for halftime with Hoisington leading 14-0.

After halftime, Hesston received the opening kickoff and started the quarter on their 37-yard line. A pair of false start penalties set the Swathers back to their 30-yard line for third and 17. An incompletion led to Hesston punting and Hoisington taking over on their 25-yard line.

On third and four from the 31-yard line, Tony Moore found Jason Robinson for a 69-yard touchdown. Morales missed the extra-point kick.

The Swathers started the next series on their 31-yard line. They went three-and-out. On the punt play, Taylen Morales made another big play. Morales approached the Swather who was to block for the punter. “I think the guy who was to block for the punter was too worried about me so he wasn’t paying attention to where he was,” said Morales. “The punter stepped up too far and kicked it into the blocker’s back.” The Cardinals recovered the ball at the Swather 17-yard line.

Tony Moore’s first play of the drive was a 17-yard touchdown pass to Mason Martin. After the PAT by Morales, the Cardinals led 27-0.

The next possession for Hoisington was their worst. After consecutive penalties for an illegal block, intentional grounding, a false start, and another illegal block, Hoisington faced a third and 52 from their 32-yard line. Hoisington made back 12 yards before punting the ball away. Hoisington would finish the night with nine penalties for a total of 77 yards.

Hoisington started the fourth quarter by capping a four-play 63-yard drive with a 12-yard rush by Mason Alderice for six points. The touchdown was set up by a 36-yard pass from Tony Moore to Ian Smith. Taylen Morales missed the PAT kick.

The Cardinals would score on their next possession. Teron Kraft rushed for the last four plays of the drive to cover nine yards for the final Hoisington touchdown of the night. Morales missed his third extra-point kick of the night. He was three for six in the game for the point after touchdown kicks.

Hesston Swather #43 Karter Gonzalez tries to bring down Hoisington Cardinal #5 Teron Kraft. ...
Hesston Swather #43 Karter Gonzalez tries to bring down Hoisington Cardinal #5 Teron Kraft. The Hoisington Cardinals defeated the Hesston Swathers 39-7 in a Week One Central Kansas League matchup held at Elton Brown Field in Hoisington, Kansas on September 1, 2023. (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.com)(Joey Bahr | (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.)

The Swathers finally got on the board with a Jerick Humphreys eight-yard rush with 30 seconds remaining in the game. Blake Hansen made the extra-point kick to make the score 39-7 Hoisington.

“It is one of those that you definitely want,” said Hoisington Head Coach Zach Baird after the game. “They got you a couple of times in the past. It’s nice for this group to get one as redemption for the past groups.”

“They are really good at wearing you down,” said Hesston Head Coach Tyson Bauerle on facing Hoisington. “They are big and physical, they get off the ball fast. They force you into uncomfortable spots and they force you to start beating yourself a bit. They are good at it and they win a lot of ball games that way.”

Hesston will face Pratt next week at home. The Greenbacks won their CKL game against Larned 48-12.

“This is a tough game one because it is arguably the most physical team we will face this year. We will be fine,” said Coach Bauerle. “We’ve got guys in the right spots. That with some more time will be fine. We just have to grow up fast.”

Hoisington’s quarterback Tony Moore completed six of seven passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two carries for nine yards.

“Tony’s just so stinking good,” said Coach Baird. “He just controls the game. We were pretty conservative, especially early, but he just makes so many plays and makes it look so easy.”

Mason Alderdice scored two rushing touchdowns in addition to covering 47 yards on four carries. Teron Kraft got the ball the most, 19 carries for 85 yards, and scored a touchdown.

For the first time in three seasons, the Cardinals start the season with a victory.

“It’s nice to see these guys happy,” said Coach Baird. “They’ve put in a ton of work over the summer and worked their tails off. To see the smiles on their faces is worth it.”

The Cardinals will travel to face the Halstead Dragons next Friday. Halstead defeated Smoky Valley 47-8.