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Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
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Game of the Week -- Ellis looks for strong finish

Published on -10/17/2013, 10:18 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

ELLIS -- Veteran Ellis High School football coach Butch Hayes sat in his math classroom shortly after the Railroaders finished with a film session Monday afternoon. Hayes wore a frustrated and exasperated expression as he discussed the 2013 season. Ellis stands at 2-4, 1-0 in Class 2-1A, District 7, a similar position to the last three falls.

In 2010, Ellis opened 3-3, but finished 5-5 with a district title. Two years ago, the Railers started 2-4, but went 5-5 with a district crown.

Last fall, Ellis was 3-3 and finished 4-5 with an overtime Week 9 road loss to Oakley that kept them from its 10th straight playoff berth and seventh consecutive district title.

This season, though, Ellis has played three quarterbacks, lost speedy junior Jared Pfeifer to a foot injury, used multiple freshmen in key roles and has had trouble playing consistently.

"We know the potential is there, we just haven't played to that potential yet and we are running out of time and we have got to turn this thing around," Hayes said.

The next three weeks will very likely mark whether Ellis posts a strong season or has the worst record in Hayes' ten years on staff, the last seven as head coach. Ellis hasn't won fewer than four games since a 3-7 mark in 2003. Win all three and the Railers have another district title. Win two and it's back to the playoffs.

"We have put some good quarters together, some good plays together, we just haven't been consistent enough throughout the whole game to continue to put points on the board," Hayes said. "On defense, we haven't made plays as much as we have had in the past."

The stretch starts at 7 p.m. Friday at home against St. Francis (2-3, 0-2) followed by tough games against Oberlin (3-3, 1-0) and Oakley 5-1, 2-0 and ranked No. 4 in Class 2-1A.

"They seem to be fairly disciplined in what they do," St. Francis coach Kyle Buffington said. "I know just some of the film that I have seen, they maybe don't tackle in the open field quite as well or make the cut quite as soon as they can."

"They just look like a team that hasn't really put four quarters of their style of football together and they are still searching for that," he added. "As long as those kids are working hard, that can come at any time."

Last season, Ellis had a senior-laden team. Through the first six games of 2012, the Railers rushed for 194 yards a game, averaged 242 total yards, had 22 punts and finished minus-1 in turnover margin.

This year, it isn't much different against the same schedule. The Railers have averaged 178 rushing yards a game, 220 total yards a contest, had 27 punts and minus-3 in turnover margin.

The big difference, though, comes in making key plays. Last year, Ellis outscored its opponents 138-129 after the first six weeks. This season, opponents have the edge 212-77.

"Each week we take steps, we are just not taking big enough steps," Hayes said. "We are taking a play or two type of step. We need to take a game-type of step to where we put a full game together."

In five of the last six games, Ellis has either led or been tied at the end of the first quarter. For the season, the Railers hold a 34-30 edge in the first quarter. Versus Plainville in Week 2, Ellis led 8-0, but lost 45-8. Against Larned in Week 4, Ellis led 7-6, but lost 39-7.

"Our confidence, it just seems to fall," said senior running back Landon Younger, the team's leading rusher with 569 yards. "I don't know if that is coming into the game, some of our guys don't have confidence or they don't think they can win or whatever.

"Then, if they mess up, that's when it really hurts us, because they just kind of hang their heads and after that, other people start hanging their heads, and then (opponents) just start making plays on us left and right," he added.

Ellis' four most experienced players are Younger and senior linemen Skyler Tebo, Brody Douglas and Nick Gehring. Tebo has a team-high 46 tackles; it's rare for a defensive linemen to lead a team in stops. Gehring has 31 tackles and two sacks.

At times, Hayes has seen his seniors "do more than they need to." Hayes has watched linemen chip a defensive end, which allows the linebacker to make the play. Instead, the linemen should have gone straight to the linebacker.

Last week, Hayes said the team did well at doing their jobs. Ellis had some long drives, but then had another problem -- no points. Ellis had the ball inside Leoti-Wichita County's 10-yard line four times, but didn't score.

"We can't have mistakes," Hayes said. "We need to get positive yards every single time. We are not real good when we are second and long and we put ourselves into that position."

The Railers came away with a 13-6 victory against an Indian program that has lost 26 straight games to teams that are not Syracuse. Ellis had defeated Leoti 48-0, 44-0 and 34-14 the last three years.

"We are a game behind where we usually are," Younger said. "The Leoti game is where we really clicked as a team. I think that we have a chance to do the exact same thing that we have in the past."

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