A 28-point second quarter swing on Homecoming night earned Hays (5-0) its fifth win of the season in a dominating 56-21 victory over Austin Akins (3-3) Friday at Shelton Stadium.
“It felt great, you know last year, I think we played Dripping Springs on Homecoming and, if I’m correct, that was a big loss,” said Hays senior quarterback Xavier Martinez. “We wanted some redemption for Homecoming and it felt really good, especially for us seniors.”
After giving up an opening drive touchdown to the Eagles, Hays put up 35 unanswered points in the first and second quarters, thanks to some key turnovers on defense and the offense being able to finish off drives.
Senior tailback Sam Scott got things going with a 10-yard score in the first quarter, which was followed up by another 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter by senior Devin Hines. Martinez, Scott and senior fullback Nash Danford all tallied touchdowns in the second quarter to give Hays the 35-7 halftime lead.
“I give a lot of credit to them (offensive line), they block for me and they make it happen,” Scott said. “I see the hole and I hit it as hard as I can.”
As the Rebel offense was putting up points on the board in the first half, the Rebel defense came up big at the end of the second quarter with back-to-back interceptions by senior free safety Jaidon Bialaszewski.
“A couple of interceptions … it kept them from putting more points on the board before half,” said Hays head coach Les Goad. “Then us being able to score twice right before half and put those touchdowns on the board, it really gave us some momentum going into halftime.”
Hays’ rushing attack fed multiple running backs throughout the game, but it was Scott who led the team with 78 yards on 9 carries and three touchdowns. Danford added two touchdowns of his own, while Hines rushed seven times for 66 yards and one touchdown.
Hays’ seldom-used pass attack also had success on the night. Martinez completed 10 of 11 passes for 158 yards, while senior wide receiver Nathan Tate led the team with two catches for 85 yards, including a 68-yard catch in the first half.
“Xavier as a returning quarterback had a great year last year, and he has proven to us that he’s plenty capable,” Goad said. “We feel confident with him and multiple receivers, and that’s kind of the way we play. We have multiple running backs and multiple receivers, and we try to get everybody involved and that’s what we were able to do tonight.”
Akins scored two more touchdowns in the second half, but the Hays lead was too large to overcome as rushing touchdowns from Danford, Scott and junior Joeangel Carrasco lifted the Rebels to the 56-21 win.
“This 5-0 record, we’ve been wanting this for a long time, we haven’t done it in a while,” Scott said. “It’s been a couple of years since Hays has done this so we are real excited to see what we got going for us.”
Hays faces Austin High Thursday at 7 p.m. at House Park in Austin. The Rebels then return home Oct. 19 for their game against Lehman.