By JIM MISUNAS
LAKIN (7-2) AT LARNED (5-4, 2-0)
Larned coach A.B. Stokes likes how his team has prepared and performed phases of the game better while winning three district games for the first time in 32 years.
“Your goal at this point is to extend your season one game at a time,” he said. “I’m as confident as I can be before a game, knowing that we have one day to get better as a football team. We focus on our preparation.”
Stokes liked how the Indians beat NCAA champion Ellsworth 50-0 one week after winning a crucial District game 29-22 over rival Hoisington.
“What I saw was our team worked on things from the week before and gave our team a chance to be a better football team,” Stokes said. “One advamtage our Central Kansas League gives us is you have to play at a high level every week to compete. We’ve got a pretty confident football team.”
RB Anthony McConnell (1,081 yards, 12 TDs) leads the Larned Indians.
Lakin features a Flexbone offense that employs the quarterback and wingbacks in the running game, similar to schemes used by Nickerson and Hoisington. RB Clay Michel scored three touchdowns and rushed for 151 yards against Syracuse in a 44-6 victory. Quarterback Clay Kirby threw for two touchdown passes.
LARNED PLAYOFFS (3-7)
2016—3A—Larned 35, Cimarron 30; Phillipsburg 14, Larned 7
2013—4A—Andale 60, Larned 0
1985—4A—Larned 10, Haven 6; Norton 35, Larned 7
1982—4A—Chaparral 23, Larned 14
1977—3A—Goddard 6, Larned 0
1972—3A—Goodland 24, Larned 14
1971—3A—Larned 30, Pratt 28, OT; Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 28, Larned 14
HOISINGTON (6-3) AT CIMARRON (7-2)
It’s be a fast football game at Cimarron with Hoisington averaging 282 yards rushing and Cimarron 351 yards rushing per game. The teams combine for nine pass attempts per game. The Cardinals own six consecutive playoff trips.
TB Sean Urban (1,225 yards, 16 TDs) rushed for 179 yards and scored two TDs against Lyons. RB Wyatt Pedigo (586 yards, 7 TDs) and RB Rudy Gearhart (369 yards, 6 TDs) provide backfield depth.
Cimarron employs a double tight, double wing formation that takes advantage of Seabolt’s ability to run cutback plays.
“This is our type of football game, a knockdown type of game,” said Hoisington coach Zach Baird. “Hopefully, we’ll show we’re the faster team. We’ve been a good road team that likes that type of challenge.”
Cimarron’s best athlete is Kansas State recruit Jaylen Pickel (6-5, 260), who plays fullback and defensive end. TB Josh Seabolt (1,488 yards, 16 TDs) and Tate Seabolt (408 yards) lead the Bluejays, who employ tight offensive line splits.
“Pickel is a big, physical player. With a big offensive line and no splits, it’s hard to get defensive penetration,” Baird said. “Their back is looking to cut back. They do a good job controlling the football and the clock when they’re running it well.”
Cimarron’s losses are 34-6 to No. 1 ranked Scott City and 15-12 to state-ranked Holcomb. The Bluejays gained 168 yards rushing against Scott City and 265 yards rushing against Holcomb, which beat Cimarron on a tochdown reception from Andrew Morss, a former Great Bend Panther.
HOISINGTON PLAYOFFS (11-17)
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