November 13, 2013 Edition

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Hoxie advances to state
as conference champions

Hoxie's Gunner Cook picks up yardage for the Mustangs in Thursday night's 49-7 victory over Harrisburg. The win gave Hoxie the outright conference championship and a regular season record of 10-0. Teammate Chase Spradlin is in the background.
Submitted Photo ~ David Dobbs
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Hoxie senior high football team completed the first undefeated regular season in school history with a 49-7 victory over Harrisburg Thursday night at Crider Field. The win also gave the Mustangs their first ever outright conference championship with a 7-0 record in 3A-3 play and lifted their overall record to 10-0.

"I am extremely proud of our season to this point. To start the season at 10-0 is a tremendous accomplishment for our players and coaching staff," said head coach Tom Sears. Hoxie will host Elkins in the first round of the 3A state playoffs on Friday. The Elks finished fifth in 3A-1 with a 4-3 record and were 5-5 overall.

"We are taking the season one week at a time. However the rest of the season turns out, it has been an honor to coach these young men. We have our sights set high," added Sears.

The game against Harrisburg was competitive for a half, but a 28-point third quarter by the Mustangs broke the game open.

Hoxie led 14-0 at halftime on the strength of a pair of touchdowns from Gunner Cook. Cook scored on a three-yard run in the first quarter, and followed with a five-yard score with just 14 seconds remaining in the first half. Casey Middlecoff provided the PATs after each score.

The Mustangs used big plays to pull away from the Hornets in the second half. Hunter Wilson scored on a 64-yard reception from Cole Sears to give Hoxie a 21-0 lead with 9:31 to play in the period.

Harrisburg responded with a big play of their own when Connor Haag passed to Ayson Lamb for a 59-yard touchdown. The extra-point brought the Hornets to within 21-7.

Sears answered Harrisburg's score with a 52-yard run on Hoxie's next possession to extend the Mustangs' lead to 28-7. Cook scored his third touchdown on a 24-yard run with 1:32 to play in the quarter to make the score 35-7.

Hoxie's defense contributed to the rout when Slade Sullens intercepted a Hornet pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown and a 42-7 Mustang advantage.

Robert Ivy scored on a 25-yard run on his only carry early in the fourth quarter for Hoxie's final touchdown. Middlecoff, who was seven-of-seven on extra-points, provided the game's final point.

Hoxie outgained the Hornets on the ground 332-62. Cook led the Mustangs with 138 yards on 19 carries, while Sears finished with 126 yards on 15 carries.

Sears was five-of-nine passing, for 144 yards.

Sullens caught three passes for 77 yards, and Wilson caught one pass for 64 yards. Jacob Henson had a three-yard reception.

"I'd like to thank our fans and our former players for their tremendous support. Our former players helped lay the foundation for what these young men have been able to accomplish," said Sears.

Kickoff for the game with Elkins is set for 7 p.m.

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