Austin High stuns Hays on Homecoming

By Ryan Mayner

The Austin High Maroons defeated the Hays Rebels 35-34 Friday on homecoming night. 

Maroon quarterback Beau Kahlbacher led his team on a 94-yard drive and scored on a wild play in the waning moments.  

The Rebels scored early and often, but Austin answered every time. 

The difference in the game was two missed extra points. Cody Gandy ran for four touchdowns for Hays, while Braeden Kent ran for a score and converted a passing play for a two-point conversion. 

Before many in attendance had even found their seats, Hays drove down the field and punched in a touchdown. A missed extra point seemed an afterthought at the time.

The teams traded scores the rest of the half, leading to a 21-21 halftime score. Hays took a 34-28 lead in the fourth quarter.

Kent did all he could to deliver the victory, pinning Austin High with a punt at their own six-yard line. 

But he could only watch from the sidelines as the Maroons drove methodically down the field with time ticking off the clock. Kalbacher, running back Marcello Mendoza, and wide receiver Allik Anchado, were the main weapons for Austin. 

Kahlbacher scored with 26.7 seconds left as Mendoza, who was on the verge of being tackled, lateraled him the ball inside the ten-yard line.  

There was a flash of hope on the ensuing kickoff return, but the opposing kicker, who had just scored the winning point, made the tackle.

Fans held hope, but three passes downfield fell to the turf as time ran off. 

Hays now may have to win out to make the playoffs in District 14-6A. It begins on Friday at Westlake. 

“We play a really good team next week, and there’s no time to sit around and feel sorry for yourself in this district,” LaHue said. “We know we have to beat really good teams if we’re going to get to the playoffs, and that’s what’s ahead of us.”

The Austin High Maroons defeated the Hays Rebels 35-34 Friday on homecoming night. 

Maroon quarterback Beau Kahlbacher led his team on a 94-yard drive and scored on a wild play in the waning moments.  

The Rebels scored early and often, but Austin answered every time. 

The difference in the game was two missed extra points. Cody Gandy ran for four touchdowns for Hays, while Braeden Kent ran for a score and converted a passing play for a two-point conversion. 

Before many in attendance had even found their seats, Hays drove down the field and punched in a touchdown. A missed extra point seemed an afterthought at the time.

The teams traded scores the rest of the half, leading to a 21-21 halftime score. Hays took a 34-28 lead in the fourth quarter.

Kent did all he could to deliver the victory, pinning Austin High with a punt at their own six-yard line. 

But he could only watch from the sidelines as the Maroons drove methodically down the field with time ticking off the clock. Kalbacher, running back Marcello Mendoza, and wide receiver Allik Anchado, were the main weapons for Austin. 

Kahlbacher scored with 26.7 seconds left as Mendoza, who was on the verge of being tackled, lateraled him the ball inside the ten-yard line.  

There was a flash of hope on the ensuing kickoff return, but the opposing kicker, who had just scored the winning point, made the tackle.

Fans held hope, but three passes downfield fell to the turf as time ran off. 

Hays now may have to win out to make the playoffs in District 14-6A. It begins on Friday at Westlake. 

“We play a really good team next week, and there’s no time to sit around and feel sorry for yourself in this district,” LaHue said. “We know we have to beat really good teams if we’re going to get to the playoffs, and that’s what’s ahead of us.”

 

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