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Cardinals hit the road for semifinal
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Hoisington High School’s Holt Hanzlick carries the ball for the Cardinals during a game this season. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

HOISINGTON — The Hoisington Cardinals hope the fourth time will be the charm.

No. 2 ranked Hoisington (11-0) plays its fourth road football semifinal in school history at Beloit at 6 p.m. Friday.

The Cardinals are 0-3 in past semifinal games.

Four-time state football champion Beloit (5-6) has qualified for the state semifinals 10 times with a 5-5 record.

It marks the second consecutive year the Cardinals hit the road in the semifinals. Last year, the Cardinals downed Norton 38-7 and lost the rematch 10-8 on a snow-covered field.

This time, Hoisington outlasted Beloit 26-20 in week 8. The Trojans ran 63 offensive plays to 39 snaps by Hoisington. Holt Hanzlick scored three touchdowns and gained 95 yards. Beloit’s Anthony Henke gained 111 rushing yards and Owen Eilert completed touchdown passes to Brycn Corbett and Hunter Prohaska.

“You’ll see two physical football teams,” said Hoisington coach Zach Baird “Beloit is athletic, big and physical up front. It’s a tough game. It’ll come down to execution.”

Baird (70-12) all-time at Hoisington would love to make school history.

“Our formula is simple. It’s hard work, sacrifice and dedication,” Baird said. “To have our guys have an opportunity to play for a chance to play in the state championship has been a special ride. It would mean a lot, especially our past players. We’ve playing for the groups before us.”

The Cardinals average 308 yards rushing keyed by Holt Hanzlick (959, 14 TDs), Cole Steinert (385, 6 TDs). Mason Haxton (327, 1 TD) and Cade Mason (283, 3 TDs). QB Haxton has thrown for 671 yards and eight touchdowns.

WR Dylan Richards (202), WR Chase Robinson (161, 4 TDs) leads the receivers.

LB Hanzlick (6.6 tpg) has 10 tackles for loss, Steinert (5.9 tpg) and Joshua Ball (4.7 tpg) and Chase Robinson (4.5 tpg) lead the defense. Robinson and Richards each have two interceptions. Ball has four fumble recoveries.

“It’s been a total team effort,” Baird said. “Our offensive line has done a great job adjusting on the fly. We’ve got 12 great seniors and we’ve had great leadership all year. They’re hard working kids. Our assistants coaches do a fantastic job.”

Beloit is the surprise of the playoffs after entering 1-6 against playoff qualifiers. The Trojans surprised Hays Thomas More Prep 55-14 and Haven 32-26 in double overtime after entering with a four-game losing streak.

“We’ve played a tough schedule. We’re a battle-tested team,” said Beloit coach Brad Gober. “All the adversity we’ve gone through made us a better football team.

Beloit RB Benson Berndt (1,161 yards, 8 TDs), QB Owen Eilert (614 yards, 8 TDs) and RB Anthony Henke (600, 11 TDs) lead the Trojans.

“We’re excited about playing Hoisington again. Hoisington is a good, disciplined football team. Everyone has to do their job against their Flexbone offense. We played really good

defense. Offensively, we chewed up time and earned a lot of first downs.”

 CARDINAL OFFENSE—LT 51 Joshua Ball, 5-11, 190, 12; LG 70 Nolan Wilborn, 5-11, 202, 12; C 62 Logan Philbern, 6-0, 225, 12; RG 76 Caiden Hoffman, 6-3, 275, 9, RT 69 Legend Robinson, 6-0, 180, 12; SB/WR 3 Cole Steinert, 5-11, 167, 12; QB 7 Mason Haxton, 6-1, 177, 12; FB 27 Holt Hanzlick; SB; SB/WR 1 Cade Mason, 5-10, 157, 12; WR 15 Dylan Richards, 5-8, 150, 12; WR 22 Chase Robinson, 6-2, 188, 12

CARDINAL DEFENSE—DE 51 Joshua Ball; NG 62 Logan Philbern/76 Caiden Hoffman; DE 70 Nolan Wilborn; LB 3 Cole Steinert; OLB 1 Cade Mason; OLB 27 Holt Hanzlick; LB 69 Legend Robinson; 7 Mason Haxton; CB 15 Dylan Richards, 5-8, 150, 12; S 6 Wyatt Wikum, 5-11, 155, 11; S 22 Chase Robinson 



2019—2A—Norton 10, Hoisington 8

2018—2A—Phillipsburg 31, Hoisington 14

2016—3A—Hesston 35, Hoisington 19 



2013—3A—Beloit 36, Scott City 13

2012—3A—Scott City 42, Beloit 26

2010—3A—Conway Springs 59, Beloit 22

1996—3A—Beloit 28, Scott City 22

1986—4A—Norton 28, Beloit 7 

1977—2A—Beloit 35, Oberlin 0

1976—3A—Beloit 28, Silver Lake 20

1975—2A—Beloit 20, Garden Plain 0

1974—2A—WaKeeney 28, Beloit 3

1970—3A—Ottawa 26, Beloit 0