No matter who starts at quarterback for Hays High School (5-1) tonight in the Class 5A District 6 opener against Great Bend (2-3), it probably won’t change the dynamics of the Indians’ run-minded, grind-it-out attack.
“They want to run the ball 85 percent of the time,” Great Bend head coach Bo Black said. “No matter who the quarterback is, that doesn’t take away from what they’ve been able to do and their success.
“All year it hasn’t been throwing the ball. It’s been handing the ball off to (Casey) Sedbrook and (Josh) Balman. They run trap, they run counter and they run leads.
“Whoever the quarterback is, it doesn’t change the dynamics of what they want to be.”
While the Indians might not have any choice but to start junior varsity quarterback Taylor Renz, the bottom line is that Hays’ run game is tops in the WAC because of Sedbrook and Balman, not the guy handing the ball off.
Sedbrook, a 5-foot-11, 184-pound senior, leads the conference with 598 rushing yards and Balman, a 5-10, 187-pound senior, ranks fourth with 395.
“Casey’s going to have to carry a load, there’s no doubt about it,” Hays head coach Ryan Cornelsen said of Sedbrook, who ranks No. 2 in the WAC with seven rushing touchdowns “He’s done a great job and we’re happy how he’s been playing.
“We try to go with our kids and what talent pool they have and what our strengths are. We try to base our offense around what gives us the best chance to win.”
Translation? Just run, baby.
“Anybody that’s followed this league, it’s known that Hays is right in the middle of a great crop of athletes,” Black of Hays, which won the 2009 WAC crown, although the Indians relinquished that mantle to Dodge City after losing to the Red Demons 35-7 last Friday night in Hays. “They’re loaded, and they’ve got a great football team.
“It goes back to the fact that there are 22 players that play and they might be missing one (starting quarterback Austin Unrein, who suffered a knee injury against Dodge), and it might be the least important one on their football team.”
Hays has gained a conference-best 1,814 yards on the ground, whereas it ranks last in the five-team WAC in passing yards (402).
“Their defense is extremely tough,” Black said. “They fly around to the football, they tackle well and they’ve got good athletes.
“We have a huge test this week.”