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Cardinals survive 49-42 over Southeast of Saline
Hoisington's Tony Moore runs for a thirty yard gain.jpg
Hoisington's Tony Moore runs for a thirty yard gain versus Southeast of Saline on Friday night. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

Cardinals’ offense sparks playoff win


HOISINGTON – In a playoff game that featured 91 points and 990 offensive yards, you knew Hoisington’s offense had to save the Cardinals’ playoff fate.

Sure enough, Cardinal standout Teron Kraft capped a dazzling night when he froze Southeast of Saline defender Cameron Witte on a 20-yard reception for a game-clinching first down.

“That’s the most agile move I’ve ever made,” said Kraft, who will wear his playoff shoes another week at Norton. “It was nice to come back and win after we lost to them last year.”

The Cardinals survived a wild shootout 49-42 over the Trojans, who eliminated Hoisington in last year’s 2A football playoffs. The Trojans' Wyatt Boyd scored on an 18-yard touchdown with 4:45 left. Cardinal Gage Britt preserved a 7-point lead by tackling Grady Gebhardt on the 2-point play.

The Cardinals converted a pair of first downs to clinch the victory. Kraft crashed the 1,000-yard barrier as he rushed for 161 yards and two scores on 1- and 2-yard runs. He converted a 10-yard run for a first down, then escaped Witte’s tackle on a 20-yard pass reception.

Hoisington (11-0) scored touchdowns on seven consecutive drives fueled by 334 yards rushing. Kraft set the tone with aggressive runs and dives forward to consistently gain extra yards.

“We executed perfectly,” Kraft said. “Our offensive line played great, which we needed against a good defense. I felt great to contribute. I like the opportunity to help my team.”

The Cardinals led 35-28 at halftime and drove 66 yards for a 2-touchdown lead on the opening second-half drive.

Quarterback Tony Moore was the Cardinals’ wild card with 132 yards rushing and 171 yards passing. Moore scored on 3- and 43-yard runs. He completed a 17-yard scoring strike to Carson Mason, who made a leaping catch. Mason Alderdice and Jason Robinson scored rushing touchdowns. Alderdice caught three passes for 80 yards.

“That’s the most exciting football game I’ve played in and we made the state championship game my freshman year,” Moore said. “Our strategy was to lull them to sleep with the run game and throw it over the top. I’ve gained a lot of confidence throwing the football. I love running the football. That’s my favorite part of the game.”

Trojan quarterback Daniel Kejr completed 19 passes for 396 yards and five touchdowns. Nathan Friesen caught two touchdown passes and Tucker Thaxton, Grady Gebhardt and Wyatt Boyd caught touchdown passes. The Trojans scored on three consecutive screen passes.

Hoisington defenders Moore and Jason Robinson stopped a pair of Trojan drives with leaping interceptions.

“That game lived up to its billing,” said Hoisington coach Zach Baird. “Both offensive teams made plays. Defensively, we didn’t execute very well. We tried to do a few different things and it backfired. Our secondary went haywire a little bit.”

Baird said the Cardinals held strong despite yielding 42 points.

“It came down to who wanted it more,” Baird said. “Our guys were emotionally invested the entire time. They did a good job.”

Baird said the offensive line of TE Gage Britt, LT Brayden Stevenson, LG Exavier Chambers, C Caleb Birzer, RT Colin Mater and RG Caiden Hoffman set the tone for his two key offensive players. Brady Reif replaced Stevenson after an injury.

“Tony Moore is a heck of a football player,” Baird said. “Teron is as tough as nails. He’s polite and respectful. He’s a bad dude when he puts his helmet on.”

Hoisington finished as 2A state runner-up in 2020 and reached the semifinals before losing to Hesston (2016), Phillipsburg (2018) and Norton (2019). 

SE Saline 16 12 8 6 – 42

Hoisington 14 21 7 7 – 49

H—Teron Kraft 2 run (Taylen Morales kick); SE--Tucker Thaxton 27 pass from Daniel Kejr (Grady Gephardt run); H—Tony Moore 43 run (Morales kick); SE—Nathan Friesen 25 pass from Kejr (Wyatt Boyd pass from Kejr); H--Alderdice 7 run (Morales kick); H—Kraft 1 run (Morales kick); SE—Friesen 32 pass from Kejr (pass fails); H—Carson Mason 17 pass from Moore (Morales kick); SE--Kejr 5 run (run fails); H—Moore 3 run (Morales kick); SE—Grady Gebhardt 37 pass from Kejr (Gebhardt run); H—Jason Robinson 1 run (Morales kick); SE—Wyatt Boyd 18 pass from Kejr (run fails)

RUSHING—SE—22-107; Kejr 12-59; Gebhardt 4-27; Friesen 4-18; Cameron Witte 1-3; Watkins 1-0; H—52-334; Kraft 31-161; Moore 13-132; Alderdice 6-42; Robinson 2-(-1).

PASSING—SE—Kejr 19-32-2, 396; H—Moore 8-11-0, 171.

RECEIVING—SE—Tucker Thaxton 6-120; Cameron Witte 4-96; Friesen 3-83; Gebhardt 1-37; Evan Watkins 3-34; Boyd 2-26; H—Alderdice 3-80; Mason Martin 2-35; Carson Mason 1-17; Kraft 1-20; Ian Smith 1-19.


ELLSWORTH – Norton quarterback Eli Jones scored two rushing touchdowns and completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Roman Hauser in a 20-6 quarterfinal football victory over Ellsworth. The Bluejays (11-0) scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes.

Jones has passed for 1,802 yards and 16 touchdowns with 708 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Tyce Melvin has 669 yards receiving and five touchdowns. Hauser has 514 yards receiving and four touchdowns.

Norton 0 6 0  14 – 20

Ellsworth 0 0 0  – 6

N–Eli Jones 1 run (run fails); N–Jones 1 run (Roman Hauser pass from Jones); N–Hauser 35 pass from Jones (run fails); E–Loden West 35 pass from Will Cravens (pass fails)

HOISINGTON (11-0)—Hesston 39-7; Halstead 38-14; Lyons 60-0; SW Heights 63-6; Pratt 27-19; Lakin 63-15; Larned 34-6; Cimarron 67-20; Phillipsburg 46-8; Beloit 35-6; SE Saline 49-42

CARDINAL OFFENSE—QB 11 Tony Moore; FB 5 Teron Kraft; WB 8 Ian Smith; WB 4 Mason Alderdice; 30 TE Gage Britt; 2 WR Mason Martin; 72 LT Brayden Stevenson/Brady Reif

; 60 LG Exavier Chambers; 69 C Caleb Birzer; RT Colin Mater; 76 RG Caiden Hoffman

CARDINAL DEFENSE—6 S Jason Robinson; 17 S Carson Mason; 2 CB Mason Martin; 4 CB Mason Alderdice; 5 MLB Teron Kraft; 8 MLB Ian Smith; OLB 20 Taylen Morales; OLB 30 Gage Britt; NG 76 Caiden Hoffman; 69 DE Caleb Birzer; 72 DE Brayden Stevenson

NORTON OFFENSE—1 WR Tyce Melvin; 10 QB Eli Jones; 17 TE Roman Hauser; 21 WR Bodie Pfannenstiel; 32 SB Logan Pfannenstiel; 35 TB Brennen Pfannenstiel; 55 LT Traven Enfield; 57 RT Colton Stover; 60 RG Corbin Puga; 69 LG Brody Mullins; 70 C Connor Schoenberger

NORTON DEFENSE—1 OLB Tyce Melvin; 3 CB Jatin Weigel; 6 S Dominic Vahling; 10 MLB Eli Jones; 17 RE Roman Hauser; 21 CB Bodie Pfannenstiel; 35 MLB Brennen Pfannenstiel; 55 LE Traven Enfield; 57 RT Colton Stover; 60 LT Corbin Puga; 69 NG Brody Mullins


2023—Hoisington 46, Phillipsburg 8; Hoisington 35, Beloit 6; Hoisington 49, SE Saline 42; Hoisington (11-0) vs. Norton (11-0)

2022—Hoisington 42, Phillipsburg 18; Hoisington 28, Russell 22; SE Saline 44, Hoisington 21

2021—Hoisington 35, Ellis 14; Hays-TMP 36, Hoisington 27

2020—Hoisington 47, Ellis 0; Hoisington 1, Cimarron 0; Hoisington 28, Garden Plain 14; Hoisington 26, Beloit 0; CHAMPIONSHIP— Rossville 27, Hoisington


2019—Hoisington 47, SW Heights 0; Hoisington 48, Lakin 7; Hoisington 48, Garden Plain 22; Norton 10, Hoisington 8

2018—Hoisington 38, Sterling 13, Hoisington 41, Cimarron 18; Hoisington 30, Hutchinson Trinity 0; Phillipsburg 31, Hoisington 14

2017—Hoisington 47, Cimarron 22; Phillipsburg 35, Hoisington 6

2016—Hoisington 56, Lakin 13; Hoisington 20, Norton 0; Hoisington 49, Garden Plain 8; Hesston 35, Hoisington 19

2015—Hoisington 76, Cimarron 19; Hoisington 50, Washington County 6; Halstead 44, Hoisington 6

2014—Hoisington 48, Cimarron 6; Minneapolis 17, Hoisington 14

2013—Holcomb 21, Hoisington 6

2012—Holcomb 28, Hoisington 7 

2009—Hoisington 35, Phillipsburg 6; Scott City 41, Hoisington 7

2008—Beloit 52, Hoisington 20

2007—Hoisington 55, Holcomb 25; Hoisington 45, Sacred Heart 35; Garden Plain 55, Hoisington 7

2006—Hoisington 41, Holcomb 28; Sacred Heart 48, Hoisington 45

2005—Hesston 21, Hoisington 0 

2004—SE of Saline 20, Hoisington 19

2002—Phillipsburg 14, Hoisington 13

1998—Smith Center 74, Hoisington 0

1997—Smith Center 50, Hoisington 14 

1992—Holcomb 20, Hoisington 14

1990—Hoisington 6, Belleville 3; Chase County 7, Hoisington 6 

1986—Andale 21, Hoisington 6