HOISINGTON, Kan. New No. 1 versus old No. 1. Reigning Class 2A champion Phillipsburg accounted for three of Hoisington’s last four losses dating back to the end of the 2017 season. But Friday night, Wyatt Pedigo and No. 1 Hoisington turned the tables, scoring on four plays of 80-plus yards to beat the Panthers 56-28.
“They’re a dangerous team,” said Hoisington coach Zach Baird. “Any time you have a kid like (Phillipsburg junior Ty Sides) at quarterback, you can do some things. It was tough but I’m proud of our guys.”
Phillipsburg won the toss but deferred, giving the senior Pedigo the opportunity to do some damage early. He did just that, taking the opening play from scrimmage 81 yards for a 7-0 score just 18 seconds into the game. After a Panther punt, junior Cade Mason capped the next Cardinal drive with an 18-yard run around the end for a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Panthers answered early with back-to-back 28-yard passes from sophomore quarterback Joel Ford. That set up a 2-yard run from Sides to cut the deficit in half with 2:19 to play in the opening frame.
The Cardinals took control after that. Junior Hunter Morris returned the ensuing kick 92 yards, then broke up a pass to force a turnover on downs on the next Panther possession. Both sides traded interceptions before Pedigo took over on a short field, dragging a host of defenders into the end zone from 10 yards out. Hoisington led 28-7 at the intermission.
Both offenses faltered to start the second half. Phillipsburg punted and turned the ball over on downs deep in Cardinal territory. Three plays into the Hoisington possession, Pedigo broke free for an 84-yard run. The senior just missed the 300-yard mark on just 11 carries on the night.
With the game largely out of reach at 35-7, the teams traded scores the rest of the evening. Sides completed all of his pass attempts in the second half, including three scores. His first was a 15-yard strike to junior Kagan Keeten, who later caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Sides on a fourth-and-long play. Sophomore Jacob Sisson also caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Sides.
Hoisington, meanwhile, split up the scoring. Junior quarterback Mason Haxton ran in from six yards, then found Morris on a 7-yard play midway through the fourth. Cade Mason scored the final points of the night on an 87-yard run from scrimmage with 2:07 remaining. He finished with 124 yards and two scores on just four attempts.
Hoisington moves to 7-0 overall, 4-0 overall in 2A, District 8. The Cardinals have won all four district contests by at least 21 points. Norton also entered the evening perfect in district play, and the teams meet next Friday to determine the district champion.