The Hays Rebels (2-5) extended its winning streak to 12 games against the cross-town rival Lehman Lobos (1-6) after a 55-20 win Friday at Bob Shelton Stadium.
Rebel senior running back Cade Powell was the catalyst behind Hays’ strong rushing attack as he carried the ball 10 times for 93 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns. Another key contributor to Hays run game was junior running back Thailand Mayberry, who added 11 carries for 111 yards on the ground. The Rebel offense accumulated a total of 312 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on the night.
“Offensively we thought we could run the football and we did,” Hays head coach Neal LaHue said. “I thought that was the key to the game.”
Hays opened the game with a 22-yard touchdown run by Powell on the team’s first offensive possession. A few plays later, Rebel senior cornerback Darian Moore intercepted a pass and took it back 35 yards for a touchdown. After converting a pair of two-point conversions, the Rebels seized an early 16-0 lead on the Lobos after only two minutes of play.
Lehman freshman quarterback Bryant Lewis sparked the only explosive play of the night for the Lobo offense with a 66-yard touchdown run mid-way through the first quarter. Lewis finished the game with 17 carries for 84 yards and one rushing touchdown, while also completing 9 of 19 pass attempts for 82 yards.
“We let the quarterback get away one time, but other than that I thought our defense played really well,” LaHue said.
Hays responded with a 22-yard passing touchdown on a screen pass from junior quarterback Xavier Martinez to junior wide receiver Nathan Tate. After a 34-yard field goal late in the first quarter, the Rebel offense stayed hot with multiple rushing touchdowns in the second frame. The first touchdown was on an 8-yard run by Martinez, while Powell added another from four yards out.
“Honestly we just got each other’s back,” Powell said. “We’ve been practicing all week getting ready for this, repping it so many times. We came out here and just wanted to win so bad.”
Powell recorded his third rushing touchdown of the game on a 24-yard run to start the third quarter of play. The Lobo defense made a big play later in the quarter with a sack, fumble recovery that was returned 72 yards for a touchdown by senior linebacker Joshua Weusi-Barrera.
Hays sophomore back-up quarterback Desmond Young and Lehman senior running back Derrick Gomez both scored late fourth quarter touchdowns, but neither score impacted the game.
“This is a huge win,” Powell said. “We are trying to make the playoffs this year, so we need to win out every single of these games. And this is the first step to getting our goals. This is a really big win for us.”
Hays looks to keep its playoff hopes alive next week at home against the Leander Lions. Lehman will go on the road to face a tough Lake Travis team.
“You know 1-2 in district kinda gets us back in the race,” La Hue said. “We’ve got three more games left.”