HOISINGTON — Hoisington tailback Hunter Hanzlick and the Cardinals’ powerful offensive line paved the way for a 31-22 victory over Wichita Collegiate in a battle of state-ranked football teams.
Hanzlick capped a 251-yard ground game with a clinching 2-yard touchdown that was followed by Tyler Specht’s 2-pointer for a 31-22 lead. The Cardinals scored 23 points after trailing 22-8 in the third quarter. Brenner Dovovan clinched the victory with a late-game interception.
“Hunter was special tonight,” said Zach Baird, Hoisington coach. “He ran the ball extremely hard.”
The Cardinals overcame three turnovers and 10 penalties that either extended Spartans drives or slowed Hoisington drives.
“This victory ranks right up there. The atmosphere was really fun with two great football teams. The guys fought adversity and stuck together, and I really proud of that aspect,” said Baird. “Collegiate made plays like we knew they would. But we came back and made plays too.”
The Cardinals rushed for 381 yards. Cameron Davis added 89 yards rushing and an 18-yard touchdown. Rudy Gearhart rushed for 29 yards and the tying 11-yard touchdown.
Hanzlick’s 23-yard dash set up Davis’ 18-yard run. After the Spartans turned back the Cardinals with a goal-line stand, the Cardinals had just 14 yards to cover after a poor punt. Rudy Gearhart scored and Spanish exchange kicker Inigo Barena-Carpio added the go-ahead extra point.
Center Bright, guards Urban and Justin Bradley and tackles Ben Schneider and Grant Dolechek dominated the line of scrimmage.
“We’re as good as our offensive line – our season is up to them and I was really pleased by their play against a really good Collegiate defense,” Baird said. “It’s an experienced group that has played together.”
The Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 CKL) are state-ranked in Class 3A while the Spartans (1-1) are state-ranked in Class 4A-Division 1 after finishing as 3A state runner-up in 2015.
Spartan receiver Jad Hourani delivered a 22-8 lead on back-to-back touchdown passes from quarterback Cody McNerney. His first 17-yard TD came after McNerney spun to escape a sack by Jared Curtis. The Spartans converted a fumble recovery into a 49-yard scoring toss.
“That Hanzlick is a tough runner,” said Mike Gehrer, Collegiate coach. “Their offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage. We were not able to control the line of scrimmage.”
CARDINALS 31, SPARTANS 22
WC 7 8 7 0 – 22
HHS 8 0 15 8 – 31
HHS—Tyler Specht 3 run (Specht run); SC—Nick Flowers 3 run (Addison Harris kick); WC—Jad Hourani 17 pass from Cody McNerney (Larsen pass from McNerney); WC—Hourani 49 pass from McNerney (Harris kick); HHS—Cameron Davis 18 run (Davis run); HHS—Rudy Gearhart 11 run (Inigo Barena-Carpi kick); HHS—Hunter Hanzlick 2 run (Specht run)
RUSHING—WC—McNerney 16-57; Flowers 7-15; Carder 4-10; HHS—Hanzlick 35-251; Davis 10-89; Gearhart 3-29; Specht 8-12.
PASSING—WC—McNerney 16-28-1, 170; HHS, Specht 2-4-1, 14; Dovovan 1-1-0, 2.
RECEIVING—WC—Hourani 5-105; Larsen 3-19; Flamini 3-12; Root 2-21; Carder 2-14; Flowers 1-(-1); HHS—Gearhart 2-22; Lang 1-10; Pedigo 1-2.