Indians put on show in scrimmage
By AUSTIN COLBERT
If it looked like the players were showing off at times, they probably were.
After all, that's largely the reason for Hays High School's Maroon and Gold Kickoff Classic on Friday at Lewis Field Stadium.
"It's kind of for the parents to let them see their sons out here being part of the team," Hays High football coach Ryan Cornelsen said.
The football team's scrimmage was the capstone of a full evening of events dedicated to the fall sports programs at Hays High on the Fort Hays State University campus.
While no scores were kept and it looked more like a team running drills in practice than a true scrimmage, there were many aspects of the night important for the players as they get ready for their season opener on Friday against Junction City.
"It's always good to get in front of the crowd and get a game-type atmosphere," junior quarterback Alex Delton said. "Out here everything is full speed. Just good to finally get out here against the defense, throwing blitzes at us.
"We needed this."
And if Delton wanted to add a few highlight-reel plays to his growing resume, then mission accomplished.
It didn't take long for Delton to start dazzling the crowd, the first highlight being an 80-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout Hayden Kreutzer, allowing Delton to show off his arm strength in the Indians new-look offense.
"It's completely different from what we've been doing in the previous years," Kreutzer said. "We've thrown in a whole bunch of stuff we didn't have last year and our receivers are starting to learn that really quick."
This year's offense is based more on the spread and passing the football than previous Cornelsen offenses. The reason for the change is mostly to accommodate the team's individual talents, especially that of Delton.
Delton has received a lot of national attention this summer for both his speed and passing ability, and was recently given a 4 out of 5 star ranking by Rivals.com and named to its Top 250 players list for the class of 2015.
And after watching Delton blow by defenders for a touchdown run nearly the length of the field on Friday, it was easy to see why.
"It's amazing," Kreutzer said of having Delton at quarterback. "If you have a bad quarterback back there you have to worry about the throw. Instead you know the throw is going to be there. Your job is to catch the ball and score the touchdown."
Delton had a second touchdown pass, this time to senior Kord Albers late in the scrimmage, which finished off his night.
"We had a few incompletions -- a bunch of things we need to work on -- but in all it was a pretty good day," Delton said. "Tonight we showed that we have potential to be the best team in the state. We just have to keep working."
Junior running back Adam Klaus was responsible for a 10-yard touchdown run to open the scrimmage, which ended with a big play from the special teams when senior kicker Lane Clark showed off his leg by drilling a 50-yard field goal through the uprights.
Now the focus turns toward Friday's game against Junction City, a team Hays High lost to 44-43 in overtime in last season's opener.
"It's getting better," Cornelsen said of his team's progress. "We got a lot of things to work on. Now it's time to start executing and try to get better and be ready for game one."