HESSTON — Ulysses was too big, too strong, and too fast for Hesston on Saturday. But not just the conventional kind of fast.
The Tigers hustled to the line and executed their plays with a rapid precision.
They were fast in a more common way, too. Josh Jarnagin rushed for 223 yards and two touchdowns and caught two more scores in Ulysses' 47-21 win in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
"We knew they were physical," Hesston coach Marc Marinelli said. "I don't think it was their physicality that caught us off-guard, I think it was their tempo. We hadn't seen that on film. We pride ourselves on our tempo, and they out-tempoed us, that's for sure."
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Jarnagin and quarterback Braden Langston were commanders of Ulysses' quickness. Normally a strict running team, Ulysses has expanded its offense to create more balance in the postseason.
The juniors in the Tiger backfield complemented each other well. Jarnagin helped Ulysses take a 27-7 halftime lead with 173 rushing yards and Langston relied on Jarnagin for big passing plays.
The two connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass to put Ulysses ahead for good in the first quarter, and Jarnagin caught another touchdown with 15 seconds left in the first half that deflated the Swathers.
"In the playoffs, you have to be able to run the football," Ulysses coach Jason Kenny said. "We established the run early and supplemented it with our passing game and that was huge for us tonight, also."
After Hesston's opening series, a 69-yard touchdown drive, Ulysses amped it up defensively.
Hesston's next most productive drive until the fourth quarter got the Swathers to Ulysses' 36-yard-line thanks mostly to two personal foul penalties.
Ulysses, which will travel about 375 miles to next week's quarterfinal game at Holton, hit hard and Hesston was slow to respond until the final quarter. By then, the Tigers had scored 40 straight points.
"Smash-mouth football," Jarnagin said. "We're taught to come up and hit them in the mouth. ...We don't like the penalties, but if we get them we react good. We react with a mean attitude."
Ulysses (9-2) 14 13 20 0 — 47 Hesston (8-3) 7 0 0 14 — 21
U—Jarnagin 4 run (Sanchez kick)
H—Petrocci 2 run (Roth kick)
U—Jarnagin 14 pass from Langston (Sanchez kick)
U—Simpson 30 pass from Langston (Sanchez kick)
U—Jarnagin 27 pass from Langston (run failed)
U—Jarnagin 1 run (pass failed)
U—Sandoval 2 run (Sanchez kick)
U—Jarnagin 36 run (Sanchez kick)
H—Roth 8 pass from Pauls (Roth kick)
H—Petrocci 4 run (Roth kick)
Rushing — Ulysses, Jarnagin 24-223, Sandoval 9-88, Mills 2-14, Rodriguez 2-9, Neidert 1-3, Degollado 2-2, Langston 5-(-1); Hesston, Petrocci 23-80, Pauls 5-21, Duran 2-8.
Passing — Ulysses, Langston 7-9-143-0; Hesston, Pauls 18-27-186-3, Petrocci 1-1-21-0
Receiving — Ulysses, Simpson 3-53, Zirkle 2-49, Jarnagin 2-41; Hesston, Roth 7-86, Weaver 4-41, Jensen 3-53, Petrocci 2-2, Ferguson 1-12, Jenkins 1-8, Voth-Gaeddert 1-5.