Hoisington 0 6 6 0—12
Ellsworth 8 0 14 8—30
Ellsworth — Hudson 37 run (Froese run)
Hoisington — Stumma 3 run (run failed)
Ellsworth — John Kubick 31 run (run failed)
Hoisington — Broeder 5 run (run failed)
Ellsworth — Froese 1 run (Froese run)
ELLSWORTH — The Hoisington High School football team’s season came to a close Thursday night, losing its Class 3A district finale to the Ellsworth Bearcats at Shanelec Field.
“We did well,” Hoisington head coach Lonnie Irvin said. “We had a good season ... 6-3 isn’t bad. We just ran into tougher competition at the end then we did in the first part of the season.”
Both Hoisington and Ellsworth immediately showed their hands offensively.
The Bearcats received the ball first, and as Irvin said before the game, they put the ball into their quarterback’s hands (Jacob Froese).
“He ran the ball 30 times so you knew what they were going to do,” Irvin said. “We stopped him some and sometimes he beat us. That’s part of the game.”
Froese kept the ball for a 2-yard gain to begin the game. He followed it immediately with a 6-yard completion to McGregor Jones.
But the Redbirds were able to stop the Bearcats’ offense, when Taylor Stumma broke up a pass intended for Jones on a fourth-and-six.
Hoisington immediately put the ball in its playmakers’ hands — running back Stumma.
Stumma finished the first half with 12 carries for 47 yards.
The Bearcats struck first on a 37-yard touchdown sprint by junior Chyler Hudson. The 2-point conversion was good to put Ellsworth up 8-0.
On the Cardinals’ next drive, they threatened to tighten the score, moving the ball to within 18 yards of scoring but quarterback Luke Becker threw an interception in the end zone to Jake Kubick.
However, Hoisington did get on the scoreboard on its next drive, advancing 67 yards and capping it with a 3-yard smash into the end zone by Stumma.
The Cardinals failed on their conversion, and the Bearcats took a 2-point lead into the half.
The Bearcats started the second half by shutting down the Cardinals’ rushing attack, forcing a three-and-out and then driving 53 yards to score on a John Kubick 31-yard tear for six points.
After another short three-and-out for the Cardinals, Hudson ran for a 61-yard touchdown on the first play of the Bearcats’ ensuing drive, raising the lead to 22-6.
The Cardinals responded by taking the ball 61 yards on 11 plays to score on a Dustin Broeder carry from five yards out.
The touchdown cut the lead to 22-12, but the Bearcats weren’t done.
Ellsworth put together one more scoring drive, comprised of 11 rushes for 65 yards. Froese finished the drive with a 1-yard plunge across the goal line to make the final score 30-12.
The Cardinals entered the game on the rebound from a 36-6 loss to Sterling that prevented them from clinching a berth in the state playoff. After the loss, Hoisington was tied with Sterling at 1-1 with zero points in the district point system.
Ellsworth sat at the top of the four-team district with a 2-0 record and plus 26 in the district point system with a 30-8 win over Sterling and a 28-0 blanking of Lyons.
The win clinched the district for the Bearcats and dropped Hoisington’s playoff hopes were dashed. Sterling advances as the No. 2 team in the district after its win against Lyons.
“This is the first time that this has happened to Hoisington in a long time,” Irvin said. “We are always playing on Tuesday and sometimes back again on Saturday and this year we will be sitting at home, wathcing. It’s difficult and it’s very hard on the kids.”
Solomon 34, Claflin 32
CLAFLIN — The Claflin High School football team fell two points short of finishing its final season with a win against Solomon.
The Gorililas struck first on a 51-yard rushing touchdown by Brandon Saliba.
The Wildcats Benn Kirmer responded by taking the ball 47 yards to put Claflin on the scoreboard 20 seconds after Solomon scored.
Solomon scored again. This time on a 45-yard run by Keaton Black to make the score 14-6 after one quarter.
Claflin running back Dylan Prosser scored the only touchdown in the second quarter on a 1-yard romp into the end zone to close the gap 14-12 at half.
Kirmer scored three more touchdowns in the second half — two on the ground and a third in the air from quarterback Kevin Klug, but the Gorillas also scored three touchdowns to stay ahead of the Wildcats.
Inman 54, Ellinwood 14
ELLINWOOD — The Ellinwood Eagles finished their season 2-7 after losing at home to Inman on Thursday.
Patrick Ringering found the end zone twice to score the only touchdowns for the Eagles on 4- and 2-yard rushing plays.
Marcus Brown led the Eagles in rushing yards with 81. Brown also threw for 128 yards and one interception.