Desperate times call for desperate measures, it’s said. Or, is it truer that desperate times call for a return to the basics?
Hays High School football coach Bob Shelton chose the latter last week, as the Rebels broke their first 0-5 start since 1970 with a 52-14 drubbing of Elgin at Bob Shelton Stadium. The win put the Rebels on track in District 17-4A, which is where they need to win for advancement to the playoffs.
The Rebels are 1-0 in the league and 1-5 overall as they go to Lockhart Friday night attempting to keep a six-game winning streak alive in District 17-4A. Lockhart (4-2, 1-0) fell, 31-14, at Del Valle last week after star running back Dominique Hardaway hurt an ankle and was limited to six carries for 26 yards.
Hays went back to doing it the old way against Elgin, running the ball on 45 of its 48 offensive snaps. The Rebels rushed for 373 yards of their 467 total yards.
“Our line has kind of come together,” Shelton said. “We really haven’t had them all healthy for most of the year … We’ve had a lot of trouble with having guys healthy. We finally got them all in there against Lamar Consolidated.”
That was on Sept. 26, in the Rebels’ final non-district game before a bye week. Shelton said the Rebels started playing better in that game, though they lost, 28-14.
When they returned for the Elgin game, the Rebels dominated on the line of scrimmage. Trace Gandy rushed 10 times for 143 yards, Torrance Smith ran 10 times for 102 yards and four touchdowns, and Anthony Garza ran 12 times for 59 yards.
The Rebels only threw three passes in the game, but they went to good effect. Quarterback Sam Breyfogle winged touchdown passes of 17 yards to Chris Wise and 10 yards to Michael Romero. The other pass went 67 yards to Kamien Carpenter.
After running the Slot-T offense in recent seasons under former head coach Troy Moses, Lockhart has changed this year to a spread arrangement under new coach Robin Rapp.
The new offense has taken some productivity away from Hardaway, who rushed last year for 1,974 yards and has carried this year for 762 yards six games into the season. However, the new offense has added to the passing attack. The Lions, who passed for only 446 yards all of last year, have thrown for 817 yards in six games this year.
Quarterback Tyler Tolley has accounted for all of those passing yards, completing 66 of 121 passes. Tolley also has rushed this year for 234 yards after notching 111 yards on 24 rushes last week, when Hardaway missed most of the game.
New offense or not, though, Shelton is with just about any other football coach in his emphasis on stopping the run. And that means Hardaway remains the main point of focus for the Hays defense.
“Hardaway is one of the top backs in the district,” Shelton said.
In another Hays County game, the San Marcos Baptist Academy will try to rebound from two straight losses Friday night when the Bears travel to Victoria St. Joseph. The Bears have lost two consecutive close games, 34-31 two weeks ago during homecoming against Shiner St. Paul and 21-17 last Friday night at San Antonio Christian.
The Bears are 4-2 overall and 0-1 in TAPPS Division II District 3. St. Joseph is 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the same league.
Dripping Springs can end a five-game losing streak and move out of the District 25-4A cellar Friday night with a win at home against Lampasas. The Tigers are coming off a 35-10 loss at Hutto after close district losses at Marble Falls (14-7) and at home against Killeen (48-42).
The Tigers are 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the district, which puts them in last place. Lampasas is 0-2 in the district and 1-5 overall.
Wimberley, the leader in District 8-3A, is taking a bye this week. The Texans are 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the district. The Texans will play next Friday night at Liberty Hill.