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No. 1 ranked SE of Saline downs Cardinals 44-21
Cole Gilliland and Teron Kraft celebrate Kraft's touchdown.jpg
Hoisington's Cole Gilliland and Teron Kraft celebrate Kraft's touchdown during the fourth quarter of the playoffs game against Russell. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez


GYPSUM — The underdog Hoisington Cardinals were one play away from a 14-14 against No. 1 ranked 2A Southeast of Saline.

The Cardinals were a half-yard away from forcing a potential tie. Trojans Luke Gebhardt and Mac Chambers tackled Ian Smith just short of a first down-and-goal at the 3-yard line with the Trojans up 14-7.

The Trojans responded with a 97-yard scoring drive for a 22-7 halftime lead en route to a resounding 44-21 playoff victory over the Cardinals. Jake Gebhardt caught a 17-yard pass on third-and-11. Michael Murray caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Luke Gebhardt.

"We didn't capitalize on some opportunities against a good Southeast football team," said Hoisington coach Zach Baird.

Quarterback Luke Gebhardt rushed for four touchdowns and controlled the game with 280 yards passing and two touchdowns in 30-degree weather. The talented Trojans rolled up 472 yards offense and maintained momentum after a tight start.

The Trojans showed off superior speed that consistently gained yardage. Quarterback Luke Gebhardt escaped pressure by constantly throwing on the move. Murray caught two touchdown passes. The Trojans added 192 yards rushing.

"Gebhardt is a smart athlete who can throw with good receiving weapons," Baird said. "They put a lot of pressure on your defense and don't make mistakes. You need speed up front to get after him."

The Cardinals scored a season-high 21 points against the Trojans. Hoisington quarterback Tony Moore played brilliantly with two rushing touchdowns, 116 yards passing and 74 yards rushing. Teron Kraft scored on a 1-yard run. 

"Tony Moore enjoyed a great year playing quarterback his first year," Baird said. "We're excited about the possibilities next year. He's a good athlete who made plays."

Hoisington (8-3) rushed for 149 yards on 45 attempts against a rugged Trojan defense. Moore gained 74 yards and Kraft hard-earned gained 63 yards.

"We didn't do a good-enough job up front getting movement, offensive-line wise and everybody," Baird said. "Southeast played with a better 'pad' level. They played more physical than we did. It was tough sledding running the football." 

Luke Gebhardt scored on a 6-yard run that was matched by Kraft's 1-yard touchdown keyed by Chase Steinert's 44-yard reception. Gebhardt's 10-yard touchdown was followed by Murray's 8-yard touchdown reception. Murray caught a 38-yard touchdown and Gebhardt scored on a 37-yard run.

Moore scored on 2- and 11-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals graduate seniors Chase Steinert, Elliott Copp, Leyton Haxton, M.J. Aylward, Jace Riese, Braxton Linsner, Logan Philbern and Cole Gilliland. 

"They're a fun group to be around," Baird said. "They're on to bigger and better things. I love them and will definitely miss them."

SE Saline (11-0) plays Kingman (11-0) in the 2A semifinals. 

Hoisington 7 0 0 14 — 21

SE Saline 14 8 16 6 — 44

SE—Luke Gebhardt 6 run (Landon Allen pass from Luke Gebhardt)

H—Teron Kraft 1 run (Taylen Morales kick)

SE—Luke Gebhardt 10 run (pass fails);

SE—Michael Murray 8 pass from Luke Gebhardt (Nathan Friesen run)

SE—Murray 38 pass from Luke Gebhardt (Murray run)

SE—Luke Gebhardt 37 run (Murray run)

H—Tony Moore 2 run (kick blocked)

SE—Luke Gebhardt 6 run (kick blocked)

H—Moore 11 run (Kraft pass from Moore)

RUSHING—H—45-149; Moore 15-74; Kraft 21-63; Mason Alderdice 3-5; Cole Steinert 3-3; Ian Smith 3-4; SE—33-192; Luke Gebhardt 12-100; Friesen 13-62; Murray 3-23; Daniel Kejr 4-9; team 1-(-2)

PASSING—H—Moore 8-11-0, 116; Leyton Haxton 0-1-0; SE—Luke Gebhardt 19-27-1, 280

RECEIVING—H—Steinert 3-48; Alderdice 2-35; Haxton 2-21; Gage Britt 1-12; SE—Murray 8-129; Jake Gebhardt 5-91; Friesen 2-42; Allen 3-13; Tucker Thaxton 1-5

HOISINGTON – Hoisington football coach Zach Baird is totally focused on how the Cardinals perform in Friday’s 2A quarterfinal against No. 1 ranked Southeast of Saline.

“That’s what great in sports,” Baird said. “We’re happy to have an opportunity to compete against the No. 1 ranked football team in 2A,” he said. “Give our kids credit because they continue to fight every week. Their mindset is solid and our coaches are working hard.”

Hoisington’s defense faces the ultimate test at Gypsum. Linebackers Teron Kraft and Ian Smith are Hoisington’s leading tacklers. The Trojans average 49 points and 449 yards per game.

Trojan quarterback Luke Gebhardt (1,999, 21 TDs; 825, 13 TDs) directs a 1-back spread offense. Tailback Nathan Friesen (825, 17 TDs), WR Jake Gebhardt (386, 11 TDs), Landon Allen (620, 4 TDs) and Michael Murray (677, 4 TDs) key the offense. The Trojans lost 37-16 to 3A state champion Andale last year.

“On defense, if we execute our game plan and play on the same page, we’ll let the chips fall where they may,” Baird said. “We’ll see a similar offensive scheme in back-to-back weeks. Russell’s skill players are similar, but Southeast looks more solid up front.”

Friday’s projected 41-degree temperature could slow the Trojans’ high-powered pass offense.

“They’re balanced, and they’ll run it more if they have to,” Baird said. “Our job is to play disciplined and do your job.”

Hoisington’s Flexbone offense averages 267 yards rushing keyed by quarterback Tony Moore (798 rush, 9 TD; 537 pass, 10 TD); fullback Ian Smith (485, 5 TD), wingback  Mason Alderdice (499, 5 TD) and wingback Chase Steinert (249 rush, 3 TD; 174 pass, 2 TD).

“Tony Moore been our best run threat, but we’re not going to change who we are,” Baird said. “We figure it out each week. The great thing about being balanced is these guys care about winning each week and don’t care about individual statistics. We’ll do whatever we have to each week.”

The run-dominant Cardinals have thrown the football effectively for big plays. Last week, Gage Britt’s first reception was a game-changing touchdown reception.

“Southeast features good size and speed defensively,’ Baird said. “When we’ve passed it, we’ve hit some big plays.”

The Cardinals are 4-2 in quarterfinal games and 25-22 all-time in the playoffs. The Cardinals lost to Rossville 27-20 in the 2020 state championship game.

HOISINGTON OFFENSE 36 ppg (267 rush, 66 pass)—QB 11 Tony Moore (798 rush, 9 TD; 537 pass, 10 TD); FB 8 Ian Smith (485, 5 TD); WB 4 Mason Alderdice (499, 5 TD); WB 2 Chase Steinert (249 rush, 3 TD; 174 pass, 2 TD); WR 3 Leyton Haxton (147, 4 TD); WR 30 Gage Britt (11, TD); LT 56 Jace Riese; LG 64 Elliott Copp; C 62 Logan Philbern; RG 76 Caiden Hoffman; RT 75 Cole Gilliland

HOISINGTON DEFENSE (11 ppg)—NG 76 Caiden Hoffman; RE 75 Cole Gilliland; LE 61 Braxton Linsner; MLB 8 Ian Smith; MLB 24 Teron Kraft; OLB 30 Gage Britt; OLB 5 M.J. Aylward; CB 3 Leyton Haxton; CB 4 Mason Alderdice; S 2 Chase Steinert; S 11 Tony Moore

SE SALINE OFFENSE 49 ppg (243 rush, 206 pass)—QB 19 Luke Gebhardt (1,999, 21 TD; 825, 17 TD); TB 3 Nathan Friesen (825, 17 TD); WB 7 Landon Allen (620, 4 TD); WB 9 Michael Murray (677, 4 TD); WR 11 Jake Gebhardt (386, 11 TD); WR 22 Tucker Thaxton (199); LT 52 Wade Rutherford; LG 75 Brody Chambers; C 55 Caden Isaacson; RG 56 Mac Chambers; RT 61 Trever Keller

SE SALINE DEFENSE (10 ppg)—LE 61 Trever Keller; NG 50 Josiah Monday; RE 63 Slade Johnson; MLB 55 Caden Isaacson; MLB 56 Mac Chambers; OLB 7 Landon Allen; OLB 13 Cameron Witte; CB 11 Jake Gebhardt; CB 9 Michael Murray; S 19 Luke Gebhardt; S 16 Daniel Kejr


2022—2A—Hoisington 42, Phillipsburg 18; Hoisington 28, Russell 22; Hoisington (8-2) vs. SE Saline (10-0)

2021—2A—Hoisington 35, Ellis 14; Hays-TMP 36, Hoisington 27

2020—2A—Hoisington 47, Ellis 0; Hoisington 1, Cimarron 0; Hoisington 28, Garden Plain 14; Hoisington 26, Beloit 0; CHAMPIONSHIP—Rossville 27, Hoisington 20

2019—2A—Hoisington 47, SW Heights 0; Hoisington 48, Lakin 7; Hoisington 48, Garden Plain 22; Norton 10, Hoisington 8

2018—2A—Hoisington 38, Sterling 13, Hoisington 41, Cimarron 18; Hoisington 30, Hutchinson Trinity 0; Phillipsburg 31, Hoisington 14 

2017—3A—Hoisington 47, Cimarrron 22; Phillipsburg 35, Hoisington 6

2016—3A—Hoisington 56, Lakin 13; Hoisington 20, Norton 0; Hoisington 49, Garden Plain 8; Hesston 35, Hoisington 19

2015—3A—Hoisington 76, Cimarron 19; Hoisington 50, Washington County 6; Halstead 44, Hoisington 6 

2014—3A—Hoisington 48, Cimarron 6; Minneapolis 17, Hoisington 14

2013—3A—Holcomb 21, Hoisington 6

2012—3A—Holcomb 28, Hoisington 7

2009—3A—Hoisington 35, Phillipsburg 6; Scott City 41, Hoisington 7

2008—3A—Beloit 52, Hoisington 20

2007—3A—Hoisington 55, Holcomb 25; Hoisington 45, Sacred Heart 35; Garden Plain 55, Hoisington 7

2006—3A—Hoisington 41, Holcomb 28; Sacred Heart 48, Hoisington 45

2005—3A—Hesston 21, Hoisington 0

2004—3A—SE of Saline 20, Hoisington 19

2002—3A—Phillipsburg 14, Hoisington 13

1998—3A—Smith Center 74, Hoisington 0

1997—3A—Smith Center 50, Hoisington 14

1992—3A—Holcomb 20, Hoisington 14

1990—3A—Hoisington 6, Belleville 3; Chase County 7, Hoisington 6

1986—4A—Andale 21, Hoisington 6