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Manning, Broncos pound 49ers -10/20/2014, 10:26 AM

Charles the Chiefs' all-time leader -10/20/2014, 10:17 AM

'Boys move to 6-1 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

K.C. kicks past Chargers -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Jump back to 1985 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive with win at Talladega -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women earn shutout, set record -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

Early mistakes sink Jayhawks -10/19/2014, 6:41 AM

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

Knights secure district, playoff spot -10/19/2014, 6:34 AM

TMP claims MCL tourney title -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Monarchs take team to Class 4A state -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

HHS has high expectations for 4A golf finale -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Buhler hands Hays High first loss in blowout -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

FHSU men win eighth straight -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

FHSU Tiger Open XC results -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Tiger volleyball wins third straight match -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

HHS soccer falls to Bishop Carroll -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

FHSU men's soccer wins seventh straight -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Tigers look to climb back above .500 -10/17/2014, 10:38 AM

HHS fourth in WAC meet -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP boys 2nd, girls 3rd at Lakeside -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP volleyball goes 2-0 in first day at MCL -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Indians' Forinash in 4A state field -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Wichita State's Darius Carter shows off his jumper -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 15 -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP drops close one to Liberal -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

TMP gets Beloit in district opener -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

K.C. headed to first World Series since 1985 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Selden ready to step into bigger role -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Big district game for Hays High -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 16 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Royals sweep O's, headed to World Series -10/15/2014, 7:17 PM

Tigers fall in three -10/15/2014, 11:39 AM

Chiefs' Johnson sheds weight in hopes of return -10/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants win walk-off on throwing error in 10th -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Wildcat running backs looking to break out -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Royals one win from World Series -10/15/2014, 11:44 AM

Chiefs' Charles with eyes on the prize -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Parsons, Boxberger qualify in 3-2-1A golf -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Royals getting it done old school -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

KSU prepares for OU -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

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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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Ellis looking toward big game with Oberlin, playoffs

Published on -10/22/2013, 10:12 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

ELLIS -- One of the hallmarks of Ellis High School under coach Butch Hayes is improvement throughout the season, especially in district play. In 2009, Ellis ran mainly a jumbo, run-heavy package after a second week loss, set a school record for offense and went 9-3.

In 2010, the Railers opened 0-4, but finished 5-5 as Riley Hunsicker cut down on his turnovers, led the area in offense and delivered a huge second half at quarterback. Ellis narrowly lost to ranked Johnson-Stanton County in the playoffs.

Last season, Ellis opened 1-3 before an overtime Week 9 loss to Oakley - which finished No. 5 in Class 2-1A - kept the Railers from their tenth straight playoff appearance and seventh consecutive district title.

This fall, Ellis could be on the same path again after its best game of the year in a 26-0 home district victory versus St. Francis last Friday. Multiple players, especially junior quarterback Sean Lee and sophomore lineman/linebacker Dylan Haas, had great improvements.

"We struggled in the beginning, and we changed some things up," senior lineman Skyler Tebo said. "Practices have been good the last several weeks, and we are getting the ball rolling now."

On Friday, Ellis (3-4, 2-0) travels to Oberlin-Decatur Community (3-4, 1-1) in a critical district contest. An Ellis victory clinches a postseason berth. An Oberlin victory makes things very difficult for the Railers. Ellis closes the regular season hosting Oakley, currently ranked No. 5 in the classification.

"We are pumped, and we hope we get that win to keep our season going," Haas said.

Oberlin lost 12-6 to Oakley last week in a contest decided on a Plainsmen fumble recovery in the end zone. Oberlin has outscored opponents 125-123 against the classification's No. 6 strength of schedule.

"We needed this win," Hayes said. "We needed to play well. We did. Oberlin is going to be a tough matchup."

Ellis has played the No. 24 SOS. In preppowerindex.com's rankings, Oberlin stands No. 10 in scoring defense and No. 15 in overall rating. Ellis ranks No. 23 overall.

The Railers are 5-0 against Oberlin in the last five years, but two of the last four meetings are within a score.

Last season, Ellis won in Week 8, but Oberlin qualified for the second berth on points behind Oakley.

"Decatur, they are kind of a physical team," St. Francis coach Kyle Buffington said. "Decatur, I don't think they match up real well as far as speed on the edge and different things. I think that will be a pretty good game really."

Lee finished 5 of 8 for 105 yards and three scores against no interceptions. His 146 passer rating was more than three times better than his previous best.

It tied the record for passing efficiency in the seven-year Hayes era, according to MaxPreps. In a 48-0 victory against Osborne on Oct. 30, 3007, Ellis also finished with a 146 rating.

"He threw it good tonight, that is the best game that he has played this season," Tebo said.

"Our passing game has really come along this game compared to the last two weeks," Haas added.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Haas had suffered a summer collarbone injury in a biking accident.

Haas has played in just four games and struggled greatly in his first contest, a 39-7 loss to Larned. He had several plays in the backfield Friday and wreaked havoc across the field.

"Reading that fullback as my key really helped me get around and see where I should go and make the play," he said.

Since Larned, Haas has 23 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception.

"He has been making mistakes out there, taking wrong shoulder on blocks, and we talk about it each week," Hayes said. "Each week, he gets better, and I think this week, it all came together for him, he had a great game."

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