SAN MARCOS – A methodical ground game, mixed with an effective defense, paid dividends for the Hays Rebels in a 28-17 season opening win over the San Marcos Rattlers Friday.
Hays first year head coach Les Goad said securing a win to start the season goes a long way toward building momentum.
“Football is a game of momentum and we’ve got to get that thing going. These guys are seeing the confidence in what they’re doing right now, seeing the hard work is paying off,” Goad said. “The sooner you start getting in that win column, the better their mindset is to getting back to work.
Hays (1-0) utilized its punishing Slot-T offense early and often to limit San Marcos’ time on the field. Hays held the ball for roughly half of the 48 minutes in the contest.
The Rebels jumped out to a 7-0 first quarter lead via an eight yard touchdown pass from Xavier Martinez to Sam Scott. The play, which was one of only a handful of Rebel pass attempts on the night, capped off a 13 play, 68 yard drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock.
After a Rattler field goal, Hays’ offense went back to work and orchestrated another time-consuming scoring drive, capped off via a four yard touchdown run from running back Nash Danford.
Hays led the Rattlers 14-3 early in the second frame. However, San Marcos responded right before halftime when quarterback Alex Garcia lobbed a 10 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mhyson Williams, cutting the Rebel lead to 14-10.
The Rebel defense quickly responded by forcing a fumble on the opening play of the third frame. Hays’ offense took advantage and increased its lead to 21-10 in the third quarter following a 13-yard touchdown run from Scott, who finished with 104 yards rushing and two scores.
The Rattlers got revenge several minutes later by capitalizing on a Rebel fumble late in the third frame. A 68-yard touchdown run from running back Takai Madgett pulled the Rattlers within four points at 21-17. Madgett led San Marcos with 94 rushing yards.
Hays put the game away on the very next drive. Led by Green, Danford and Scott, Hays orchestrated another lengthy 10-plus play drive that ended when Scott punched in a one-yard touchdown run, giving Hays a 28-17 fourth quarter lead.
Hays finished with 247 total yards rushing; Green led the team with 111 yards rushing on the night.
The Rebels host Dripping Springs Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Shelton Stadium.