HOISINGTON — It’s full speed ahead for the No. 1-ranked Hoisington Cardinal football team. The Cardinals (9-0) play Lakin (8-1) in Friday’s 2A second-round playoff game.
All-state tailback Wyatt Pedigo leads the charge with 1,823 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns on a 15-yard average. The North Dakota commit has rushed for 4,642 career yards with 65 TDs.
“Wyatt is a special player, who’s enjoyed a great year,” said Hoisington coach Zac Baird. “He gets a lot of defensive attention, but he’s a great lead blocker and when he’s used as a decoy, it helps everyone else in the backfield.”
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 399 yards and 41 ppg.
“It’s a senior group that’s worked in the weight room. The offensive line is where it all starts, and they’ve played great football,” Baird said. “They’ve played progressively better. Our expectations are high that we’ll rush it well.”
Quarterback Mason Haxton has turned the passing game into a threat with 12 touchdown passes, five by Pedigo from a slot position and four by Avery Brewer.
“Mason Haxton has been accurate and has made good decisions,” Baird said. “We’ve been productive with our passing game. It’s been a nice compliment to our running game.”
An aggressive defense has 16 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries. Middle linebacker Pedigo averages 9 tackles per game. Pedigo and defensive end Joshua Ball each have 10 tackles for loss.
Defensively, Wyatt Pedigo is super smart and he gets us into the right check,” Baird said. “He’s good on his pass drops.”
Teams have enjoyed success throwing the football, the only area the Cardinals have struggled from time-to-time.
“We’ve had nights where we’ve struggled, but we’ve seen good quality quarterbacks and receivers,” Baird said. “We’ve also had a few games where we’ve played exceptionally well. I give credit to our guys because they’ve worked on areas we’ve needed fixed.”
Lakin’s threats are TB Kayden Christiansen (923 yards, 12 TDs); RB William Gilliland (595 yards, 8 TDs) and QB Servando Gonzalez (567 yards, 7 TDs). Gonzalez has completed six TD passes for 255 yards the past two weeks.
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—Meade 36-13; Stanton County 44-8; Syracuse 50-0; Ellinwood 60-21; SW Heights 30-6; Cimarron 14-17; Sterling 18-13; Lyons 42-14; Ellsworth 21-14
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
Eureka 31, Hutchinson Trinity 6; Conway Springs 42, Cherryvale 13
Cimarron 36, Minneapolis 0; Norton 41, Sterling 7
Garden Plain 61, Fredonia 7; Belle Plaine 17, Chaparral 14
Hoisington 47, SW Heights 0; Lakin 21, Ellsworth 14
Humboldt 70, Central Heights 8; Cherokee SE 12, Osage City 6, 2 OT
Nemaha Central 49, St. Marys 20; Rossville 42, Atchison Maur Hill 7
Silver Lake 68, Jayhawk Linn 8; Riverton 44, Oskaloosa 14
Riley County 38, Pleasant Ridge 20; SE Saline 47, Riverside 16
FRIDAY’S SECOND ROUND
Conway Springs 7-2 at Eureka 6-3
Norton 6-3 at Cimarron 9-0
Belle Plaine 8-1 at Garden Plain 9-0
Lakin 8-1 at Hoisington 9-0
Cherokee SE 7-2 at Humboldt 9-0
Rossville 7-2 at Nemaha Central 7-2
Riverton 6-3 at Silver Lake 9-0
SE Saline 7-2 at Riley County 7-2