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Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 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

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SPOTLIGHT
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Hoxie up for another challenge

Published on -11/14/2013, 10:31 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Hoxie High School football team lost to Wallace County, undefeated in Eight Man Division II, 36-28, in the season's second contest. Then, the Indians rolled off six straight wins and faced modest challenges from just two teams, Dighton and Ness City.

In Week 9, Hoxie faced rival and then undefeated-Atwood. The Indians led just 6-0 after the first quarter, but opened it up to a 54-28 victory. Hoxie rushed for 339 yards, 47 more than the Buffs, had an 82-3 edge in passing yards.

"We never got down," Hoxie coach Lance Baar said. "We were always ready to fight and ready to keep going."

The following week, Hoxie played Spearville in the first round of the Division I playoffs. The Indians fumbled, the Lancers picked the ball up and scored. But Hoxie didn't flinch. Spearville held a 30-28 lead entering the fourth quarter and the Indians rallied for a 44-38 victory. At that point, Baar knew his team could accomplish something special. His squad had overcome adversity and delivered quality wins, traits that form deep playoff runs.

"You know that they are going to be tight games," Baar said.

Last week, Hoxie built its resume further and continued a remarkable turnaround in Baar's five-year tenure. Hoxie defeated Kiowa County 38-8, moved to 10-1 and into this Friday's sub-state championship game against Jetmore-Hodgeman County (11-0). Game time is 6 p.m. in Jetmore.

Eight-Man Division I has had several surprise state game participants the last two years with Mankato-Rock Hills and Montezuma-South Gray. Neither Hoxie nor Hodgeman County were ranked in the preseason or during the regular season. The Longhorns have outscored teams 530-132 and rank No. 1 in scoring defense.

"They stack their defense in there," Baar said. "They have five, six guys right up there, right around that line of scrimmage. They definitely want to stop that inside run game, and be tough and physical up front."

Hoxie has played the No. 8 strength of schedule and has a collective score of 502-170, according to preppowerindex.com. Senior quarterback Chase Kennedy has 928 rushing yards and 609 passing yards. Junior running back Connor Katt has 1,905 all-purpose yards (1,516 rushing) and 26 rushing scores.

"He runs harder and harder every game," Kennedy said.

Hoxie has enjoyed the third-best season in school annals; the Indians earned runner-up finishes in 1978 and '81.

"I think that's just the mental toughness and just believing in themselves and knowing that they are never out of a ballgame as long as they keep fighting as hard as they can," Baar said.

Baar, in his first head coaching job, came to Hoxie after a 1-8 season. The Indians finished 2-7 in the program's last year of 11-man football. Then, Hoxie finished 6-3, 6-3 and 7-3 with a first round 50-12 loss to Hodgeman County last year. Baar is proud of his players for the turnaround, hard work and a changed mentality. Even in his second and third seasons, if Hoxie didn't score early, the game turned.

"You would just feel it," Baar said. "All of the air in our guys is out. At that point, we were pretty much defeated. We don't have that anymore. Once we get down, we have our battle gear on, and we are ready to go. We want to do whatever it takes to get back into the ball game."

Against Kiowa County, the Indians' defense corralled Maverick senior quarterback Trever Powell and held him to 37 carries for 194 yards. Powell has rushed for 2,474 yards this season. On film, Baar noticed opponents playing aggressive with Powell.

Opponents rushed Powell hard and took themselves out of the play. Instead, Hoxie focused on containment. If a lineman pulled, Hoxie stayed close. That allowed Powell to come to Hoxie. Then, the linebackers and defensive backs flowed well.

"Just kind of slow played it," Baar said.

Senior Chance Hoeting had missed several games with a concussion, but responded with a game-high 12 tackles and two sacks. Hoeting starts at linebacker and goes to the line when Hoxie plays a four-front. Senior Mitchel Johnson has played well at nose guard (team-high 85 tackles) and juniors Tanner Smith (Indian-best nine tackles for loss) and Tyler Ewers are at defensive end. Senior Tyler Kaus moved back to linebacker and Katt sometimes comes down from safety to play linebacker.

"They are all physical, tough kids who have a lot of fight in them," Baar said. "That's what it takes to be in the trenches there. I have been really proud of them, and I have been telling them all week at practice that we have got another challenge this week."

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