There will be a lot riding on tonight’s Class 3A District 15 high school football tilt between Hoisington and Thomas More Prep Marian in Hays.
A playoff spot and a Mid-Central Activities Association title will be on the line when the Cardinals and the Monarchs kickoff at 7 at Lewis Field Stadium.
Thomas More Prep Marian (2-6, 1-1) has averaged 16.9 points per game, while allowing 40.3.
“They’re going to be a lot like we were last year on offense,” Hoisington head coach Jason Ingram said. “They run the iso, sweeps and traps.
“Defensively, they run a lot of different things, but they always attack.”
Ingram said that they are prepared for whatever the Monarchs defense throws at them.
“We’re preparing for three defenses, and running plays against those defenses in practice,” Ingram said. “But we’ve seen all of their defensive looks at some point this season, and we’ll just have to get there and see what they run.”
TMP’s two wins this season came against Ellinwood (36-20) and Russell (36-26). Those two teams are 1-15 combined this year.
The Monarchs have been shut out three times this season — against La Crosse (50-0), Phillipsburg (59-0) and Scott City (58-0).
Hoisington (4-4, 1-1) is coming off a 42-12 win over Russell.
The Cardinals are led by quarterback Hagan Hanzlick, who has rushed for 937 yards and 11 touchdowns on 127 carries.
Ingram said Hanzlick sat out in the game against Russell, giving him some rest.
“He’s been doing very well,” Ingram said of Hanzlick. “We gave him some rest last week. We let Jacob Warnken run the offense.
“Hagan will be ready to go again.”
With everything riding on the game, Ingram said it won’t be hard for his team to be ready.
“It’s not too hard to get emotionally charged,” Ingram said. “It’s TMP. It’s a rivalry, on top of the league title and a playoff run.
“More than anything, we’re trying to keep things even. We need to stay focused.”
Macksville (4-4, 3-2)
at Fairfield (5-3, 3-2)
With St. John and Kiowa County meeting to decide which will be the Eight-Man D-I District 6 champion, Macksville is still not out of the running for a playoff berth.
If St. John beats Kiowa County, and Macksville tops Fairfield, the tiebreaker for district runner-up goes to the Mustangs, who beat Kiowa County 28-24 earlier in the season.
Mustangs junior quarterback Tanner Tranbarger has rushed for 1,198 yards and 25 touchdowns. He has also completed 55 of 126 attempts for 923 yards, 11 TDs and eight interceptions.
Central Plains (4-4, 3-1)
at Little River (6-2, 2-2)
After last week’s win over Solomon, Central Plains has a chance of advancing to the Eight-Man D-I playoffs.
The Oilers need a District 5 victory over Little River, and they need Solomon to lose against district-leading Pretty Prairie.
Central Plains quarterback Bryce Steiner scored five touchdowns against Solomon — three through the air and two on the ground.
Steiner completed 15 of 23 attempts for 224 yards.
Little River’s Ethan Wright has rushed for 819 yards and 10 scores. Chet Cordell has 811 rushing yards, while scoring 13 TDs.
St. John (7-1, 5-0)
at Kiowa County (6-2, 4-1)
Both teams will be playing for an Eight-Man Division-I District 6 championship.
St. John has clinched a playoff berth, while Kiowa County advances with a win or a Macksville loss.
Tigers senior quarterback Spencer Nusser has completed 71 of 133 passes for 1,113 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Tailback Schuyler Brown has rushed for 1,095 yards and eight touchdowns.
Kiowa County tailback Trevor Powell has a team-leading 1,068 yards and 21 TDs on the ground.
Otis-Bison (7-1, 4-0)
at Sylvan-Lucas (4-4, 3-1)
With a win, Otis-Bison will secure an Eight-Man D-II District 7 title. A loss will open the door for Victoria, which plays Wilson.
Cougars senior tailback Dylan Wissman has rushed for 1,439 yards and 30 touchdowns on 196 carries.
Sylvan-Lucas averages 34.8 points per game, while allowing 31.3.
Pratt (3-5, 0-2)
at Larned (3-5, 0-2)
Both teams will be closing out their seasons tonight.
Neither team has beaten 4A District 14 foes Ulysses and Hugoton, which compete tonight for a district title.
Senior tailback Brady Keith has rushed for 998 yards and 10 touchdowns for Larned.
Junior quarterback Easton Palmer has completed 68 of 136 passes for 1,048 yards and four TDs.
Pratt quarterback Skylar Dean has completed 106 of 209 passes for 1,023 yards and eight touchdowns.
Stafford (5-3, 3-2)
at Attica (2-6, 1-4)
With the Eight-Man D-II District 4 title and runner-up already locked in, Stafford will end its season against Attica.
Trojans junior running back Tristin Paulsen has a team-leading 933 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.
Ethan Johnson has rushed for 829 yards and 13 TDs.
Attica averages 19.8 points per game, while allowing 41.4.
Inman (5-3, 1-2)
at Ellinwood (0-8, 0-3)
Ellinwood and Inman also will close their season.
The 2A District 5 title was clinched by La Crosse, and Sterling secured a playoff berth as runner-up.
Ellinwood senior tailback-turned-quarterback Patrick Ringering has rushed for 778 yards and seven TDs.
He has completed 14 of 44 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns in four games after starting quarterback Jared Oelke had his season cut short with an injury.
Inman senior running back Josh Miller has rushed for 1,270 yards and 13 touchdowns.