By JASON GORDON
Granger Studdard had already cemented himself as the best receiver in Hays history as the Rebels kicked off the 2012 playoff season.
Friday night at Shelton Stadium, he put on a show.
Studdard hauled in a school-record five touchdown catches to lead the Rebels to a 60-7 bi-district Class 4A Division I playoff win over San Antonio Highlands.
“Granger has got the best set of hands I’ve ever seen,” Hays head coach Blake Feldt said. “When you put into the mix we have a quarterback like Caleb Kimbro throwing him the ball that’s a pretty good combo.”
Studdard increased his season record to 55 receptions and his career Rebel mark to 108. He finished the night with eight catches for 128 yards.
“I’ve known Granger since the sixth grade,” said Hays cornerback Christian Rodriguez. “It’s nice to know we have one of the best wide receivers in the state on our team.”
Studdard hauled in touchdown passes of 22, 9, 23, 13 and 8 yards to help the Rebels cruise to victory.
Hays (10-1) advances to play Leander (10-1) next Saturday at The Palace Stadium in Round Rock in the area round beginning at 2 p.m.
Rebel running back Taven Mayberry was also too tough to handle for the Owls (4-7). Mayberry racked up 122 rushing yards on only nine carries, including touchdown runs of 64 and 6 yards, and finished with seven catches for 100 yards.
Hays built a 39-0 halftime lead and Feldt pulled his starters late in the third quarter.
Kimbro finished the game 21-of-30 passing for 287 yards for the Rebels. Running back Dylan Kasper came off the bench and rushed for 138 yards for the Rebels, including a 45-yard touchdown run.
Hays had 633 total yards against overmatched Highlands. Kimbro gave credit to the Rebel starting offensive line rotation of Reed Darragh, William Trevillion, Jose Vasquez, Connor Lanfear, Alex Key, Jacob Abrego and tight end Banner Steele.
“Those guys up front do an excellent job week in and week out,” Kimbro said. “They deserve all the recognition we can give them.”
The Rebels know the matchup against Leander, which has been ranked in the top-10 in Class 4A all season, will likely be their toughest test so far this year.
“Leander is a championship-caliber team, but we believe we are too,” Rodriguez said. “To be the best you have to beat the best. We plan on coming out and playing our game next Saturday.”