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BATTLE OF THE BIRDS
Hoisington, Garden Plain to meet Friday night
Cole Steinert
Cole Steinert (3) sacks Lakin's quarterback Servando Gonzalez (3). - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

jmisunas@gbtribune.com


HOISINGTON — The No. 1-ranked Hoisington Cardinals. The Cardinals (10-0) play perennial qualifier Garden Plain (10-0) in Friday’s 2A quarterfinal playoff game.

An overflow crowd is expected at Elton Brown Stadium with McPherson the only other playoff game within a two-hour drive. 

“Elton Brown has the best atmosphere and our community does a great job supporting us,” said Hoisington coach Zac Baird.

It’s the third playoff meeting between the teams. Hoisington dominated the Owls 49-8 in 2016 after losing 55-7 to the eventual state champions in 2007. The Owls, 54-33 all-time in the playoffs, won a 2A state championship in 2007. 

The Cardinals, 17-19 all time, lost in the 2018 semifinals to Phillipsburg 31-14 and the 2016 semifinals to Hesston 35-19.  

Hoisington all-state tailback Wyatt Pedigo leads the Cardinals with 2,008 yards and 31 rushing touchdowns on a 15-yard average. The North Dakota commit has rushed for 4,827 career yards with 68 TDs. 

Pedigo needs 69 yards to pass Hunter Hanzlick as Hoisington’s all-time leading rusher. He needs 174 yards to surpass 5,000 career rushing yards.

“Wyatt is tough to catch because he’s blsssed with speed,” Baird said. “He’s a big back with great vision.”

The senior quartet of center Chandler Blackwell, guards Riley Philbern and Cade Boxberger and tackles Kameron Schneweis and Jacob Specht have helped the Cardinals average 403 yards and 41 ppg.

Pedigo is also the top receiver with 13 catches for 325 yards and seven scores. Senior Avery Brewer has enjoyed his best season with nine grabs for 76 yards and four TDs. Hoisington has committed 11 turnovers and is plus-16 in turnover margin. 

“A key for us is we’ve scored early,” Baird said. “Defensively, we’ve played well. It’s our final home game for a special group of seniors. They’ve played better football each week.” 

Garden Plain QB Matt Pauly has completed 36 passes for 898 yards and 23 touchdowns. Pauly (854 yards, 12 TDs) and  Brock Long (819 yards, 13 TDs) lead a rushing game that averages 305 yards. Wide receiver Trey Smith has 16 TDs on 24 catches. The Owls have forced 30 turnovers and are plus-23 in turnover margin. The Owls operate with a wingback from a shotgun formation. 

“Garden Plain is athletic and physical,” Baird said. “Their quarterback is a dual threat and their receiver Trey Smith is really good. Garden Plain gives Smith a chance to make plays down the field. They like to run the sweep play.”

HOISINGTON—Pratt 37-13; Nickerson 40-13; Larned 41-19; Hays-Thomas More Prep 42-12; Ellsworth 49-7; Minneapolis 55-19; Phillipsburg 56-28; Norton 38-7; SW Heights 47-0; Lakin 48-7

GARDEN PLAIN—Cheney 35-19; Douglass 51-3; Wichita Trinity 49-0; RemingtonW 61-14; Hutchinson Trinity 48-0; Chaparral 57-21; Wichita Independent 64-8; Conway Springs 32-21; Fredonia 61-7; Belle Plaine 56-0

CARDINAL OFFENSE—QB—Mason Haxton; FB—Wyatt Pedigo; WR—Avery Brewer; WB—Cade Mason; WB—Hunter Morris; TE—Joshua Ball; C—Chandler Blackwell; LG—Cade Boxberger; LT—Jacob Specht; RG—Riley Philbern; RT—Kameron Schneweis

CARDINAL DEFENSE—NG—Jevon Mogbo; DE—Chandler Blackwell; DE—Joshua Ball; MLB—Wyatt Pedigo; MLB—Kameron Schneweis; OLB—Jacob Specht; OLB—Cole Steinert; CB—Quincy Cross; CB—Hunter Morris; S—Cade Mason; S—Avery Brewer

 2A FRIDAY’S QUARTERFINALS

Conway Springs 8-2 at Norton 7-3

Garden Plain 10-0 at Hoisington 10-0

Humboldt 10-0 at Nemaha Central 8-2

Silver Lake 10-0 at Riley County 8-2

HOISINGTON PLAYOFF HISTORY (17-19)

2019—2A—Hoisington 47, SW Heights 0; Hoisington 47, Lakin 8; Hoisington vs. Garden Plain

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