Apparently tired of pulling out close victories, the Hays Rebels came out smoking Friday night and decisively broke a first-place district tie at Manor with a 51-13 victory.
The Rebels put together their most dominant half of the season by scoring 30 unanswered points for a 30-7 halftime lead. The Rebels (5-3 overall, 3-0 District 17-4A) neutralized Manor’s speed by enforcing a physical football game, throwing only four passes in the first half.
The victory not only put the Rebels all alone in first place, but clinched a playoff spot. Even if the Rebels lose their next two games against Del Valle and Lehman, their worst possible outcome is third place, with the top four teams going to the playoffs.
Under the most interesting scenario, Hays would lose its last two games, while Lockhart and Elgin win each would win their last two games. In that case, Hays, Del Valle, Lockhart and Elgin would be in a four-way tie for first at 3-2. If that tie is broken entirely by head-to-head meetings, Hays and Del Valle would both be 2-1, and Del Valle would win the district for beating Hays. If it’s broken by point differential, the outcome is yet to be determined.
In short, and to make matters much less complicated, the Rebels would clinch the district title by beating Del Valle next Friday night.
The win also extended the Rebels to 23 straight years without a losing regular season, going back to a 3-7 record in 1985. One more win would clinch that streak overall, just in case of a first-round loss in the playoffs.
Manor (3-5, 2-1) opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown pass from Riley Beecher to Donte Moore, but the Rebels came back with four straight touchdowns, including runs of 21, 26 and 12 yards by sophomore running back Torrance Smith.
Smith turned in his best night on the varsity, rushing for 170 yards and four touchdowns in 18 carries. Billy Gandy also broke 100 yards with 104 yards in 14 carries.
The Rebels finished the night with 537 yards of total offense, including 446 on the ground. Hays threw seldom, but effectively, with Paul Breyfogle and Trey Berry combining to complete six of nine passes for 107 yards.
Hays is off the road now for at least the next two weeks. The Rebels play Del Valle next Friday night at Bob Shelton Stadium, then complete the season at the same location against Lehman, for which that event will be counted as a home game.
Following the Rebels in the district standings are Manor and Del Valle (3-5, 2-1). Lockhart (5-2, 1-2) moved into a fourth-place tie with Elgin (4-4, 1-2) after a 28-26 win against the Panthers Friday night. Lehman, now 0-17 historically in district games, brings up the rear at 3-5, 0-3.Email | Print