EHS Tigers pick up fourth straight win

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By Travis Mounts
TSnews

With several players handling running duties, the Eisenhower Tigers took the sting out of the Valley Center Hornets in a 42-7 road victory last Friday.
The Tigers started their season 1-3, struggling after losing their starting running back in the season-opener, a loss against Wichita Heights. But a win against crosstown rival Goddard when the teams had combined for just one victory between them sparked a 4-0 run through the second half of the season.
The Tigers ran for 188 yards against the Hornets, and more importantly did not commit any turnovers. The Tigers also managed the ball well.
“We ran the ball really well,” said Eisenhower head coach Darrin Fisher. “We took control of the line of scrimmage.”
It was not just the offense that contributed to the 35-point win. Cody Hawks scored on a pick-6 interception return. Cade Schuber found the end zone on a scoop-and-score, picking up the ball after the Hornets muffed a punt.
Schuber scored the Tigers’ first touchdown, and Max Brown added a score for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The Hornets struck for a 68-yard touchdown pass before the quarter ended.
Hawks’ touchdown happened in the third quarter, and was followed by Schuber’s score on the botched punt.
Lucas Dickman added a 38-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Eisenhower schedule was a little more manageable in the second half of the regular season, but the Tigers also started to figure out how to play without their top running back. They lost their identity late in the season-opening game at Heights, and then had to start building a new one.
The answer was in sharing the ball, with four running backs and two quarterbacks all touching the ball regularly.
“We challenged our guys, asked them to put much more work in. We made practice more difficult. We just asked for more,” Fisher said. “I commend our seniors for leading the way.”
The Tigers gained 212 yards while limiting the Hornets to just 108. Eisenhower’s defense gave up just 3 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, the Tigers barely threw the ball, gaining just 24 yards on two completions. They did not need to throw, with seven different rushers gaining yards. Dickman had 56 yards and Hawks added 45 to lead the way.
The Week 1 loss to Heights gave the Falcons the tiebreaker over the Tigers, dropping Eisenhower to the 10th seed in Class 5A West. The Tigers will play this Thursday on the road against the Hays Indians, who are 6-2. Hays lost 61-40 last Friday at Wichita Northwest.
Fisher noted the Indians have talent, including their quarterback who has committed to Clemson and a linebacker who plans to play at Kansas State.
“Their quarterback is one of the best athletes in the state of Kansas,” he said.
The Tigers are familiar with the Indians. Hays knocked the Tigers out of the playoffs in the first round in 2019. The teams then faced off in the 2020 season opener, another win for Hays.
Eisenhower’s plan for victory is fairly simple. The Tigers want to establish their run game early, run for first downs and be physical. Defensively, EHS needs to slow down the Indians, who like to run a lot.
“It will be a battle at the line of scrimmage,” Fisher said. “It we win that battle, I think we win the game.”