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Hoisington Cardinals clinch district title
Hoisington Cardinal Cole Steinert tackles Norton quarterback Jonah Ruder in Friday's 2A District football game. - photo by Photo by Dan Witt


cNORTON — The Hoisington Cardinals gained payback 33-6 after losing 10-8 to the Norton Bluejays on an ice-covered field in last year’s semifinal. The Cardinals (7-0, 4-0 District) clinched first place in 2A, District 8 while keeping Norton (3-3, 0-3) winless in District play.

The Cardinals dominated 27-0 after halftime while outgaining the Bluejays 257-49 in the second half. The Cardinals have outscored the past four teams 94-7 after halftime.

"We played with the right mentality that second half," said Hoisington coach Zach Baird. "We played harder and executed better. We wanted better execution and went out and had fun."

The Cardinals rolled up 296 yards rushing. Cole Steinert scored two touchdowns and Joshua Ball, Holt Hanzlick and Hunter Morris scored rushing touchdowns. Hanzlick gained 106 yards to spark the second-half rally.

"Holt ran the ball extremely hard," Baird said. "He had physical runs that changed the game. We were at our best when Holt was running the football."

The Cardinals shut down Norton quarterback Jonah Ruder, who passed for 130 yards and rushed for 46 yards. Hoisington's Dylan Richards intercepted a pass.

"We found out what they wanted to do and took it away. All three levels were playing well," Baird said. 

Hoisington plays Beloit (2-5, 1-2) at home next week and clinches a 2A home playoff game against Ellis (3-4).

Hoisington 6 0 14 13 — 33

Norton 0 6 0 0 — 6

H—Cole Steinert 2 run (kick failed)

N—Sean Anderson 5 pass from Jonah Ruder (kick failed)

H—Steinert 3 run (run failed)

H—Holt Hanzlick 2 run (Hanzlick run)

H—Joshua Ball 13 run (run failed)

H—Hunter Morris 23 run (Ball kick)


RUSHING—H—48-296; Hanzlick 9-106; Morris 6-68, Steinert 5-38, Ball 11-40, Mason Haxton 13-31, Cade Mason 4-13; N—24-57; Jonah Ruder 16-46, Gavin Sproul 6-11, Garrett Urban 1-2, Silas Jones 1-(-2) 

PASSING—H—Haxton 3-6-0, 49; N—Ruder 11-22-1, 130

RECEIVING—H—Richards 1-35, Chase Robinson 1-13, Ball 1-1; N—Jones 2-56, Ryan Schrum 3-40, Anderson 3-19, Sproul 2-14, Urban 1-1