Class 2A state football preview: Hoisington vs. Rossville

Class 2A

Who: Rossville (12-0) vs. Hoisington (12-0)

When: 1 p.m., Saturday

Where: Salina District Stadium

Hoisington Cardinals

Coach: Zach Baird

Top offensive and defensive players

“I think it is a complete team effort this year.  I feel like we have to get good play from all 11 if we’re going to be successful at a really high level.  So it makes it hard to point out individuals.”

Key players

Offense

Rushing: Holt Hanzlick 1,044 yds on 140 carries.  14 TDs 0 fumbles

Passing: Mason Haxton 36 of 73 for 778 yds.  10 TDs vs 1 INT.

Receiving: Chase Robinson 10 catches for 236 yds and 5 TDs

Defense

Tackles: Holt Hanzlick 72 total, 11 TFL

Interceptions: Chase Robinson/Dylan Richards 3 a piece

Sacks: Cole Gilliland 3

What makes this team special?

“This group has a great understanding of each individuals role and will fight to do there job to the best of their ability.  We have a bunch of weapons offensively so it’s tough to key in on one guy.  Defensively we have good team speed and do a good job of knowing where their fits are and being sound tacklers.”

Who have been your key players?

“We’ve got a lot of really good football players but I think this group’s leadership has been the difference this year.  So our team captains have been huge for us and that’s Holt Hanzlick, Mason Haxton, Cole Steiner and Nolan Wilborn.”

Have any players been a surprise?

“We knew we had a really great senior class, but were going to have to depend on some of the younger kids on our team up front.  So not that I’m surprised that our young linemen have played at the level they are, because they are really good football players, but just impressed with how quickly they’ve adapted to varsity football.”

What got this team to the state championship game?

“Hard work, coachability, football IQ and expecting to be successful.”

What does your team have to do to win the state championship?

“We have to do what we do.  Be sound defensively and make plays in space.  Offensively we need to communicate, play fast, and make good decisions.”

Rossville Bulldawgs

Coach: Derick Hammes

Top players 

QB-DB Torrey Horak Jr. (84-138 passing, 1,352 yards, 24 TDs; 140 carries, 1,460 rushing yards, 27 TDs)

RB Woodrow Rezac Sr. (78 carries, 873 yards, 12 TDs)

WR-DB Bo Reeves Sr. (456 receiving yards, 10 TDs; offers from Emporia State, Pittsburg State, Central Missouri State)

LB Kaiden Brown (61 tackles)

Keys to Victory 

“Stop the running game of Hoisington and limit offensive mistakes.”

“This is a special group because of experience, talent, and chemistry.

“We arrived at the state championship because of a consistent offensive and defensive play throughout a competitive year.”