CONVERSE – The Hays Rebels’ 2018 season came to an end Friday in a 49-14 loss to the state-ranked Converse Judson Rockets in the bi-district round of the 6A, Division 1 playoffs.
Hays (8-3) struggled on both offense and defense against a physical Rockets program, which is ranked No. 3 in Class 6A.
Judson jumped out to an early 21-0 lead in the first quarter aided by explosive plays on offense. A 10-yard rushing touchdown by running back Sincere McCormick, followed by a 50-yard pass from Mike Chandler II to Kameron Lopez and a 54-yard touchdown run by De’anthony Lopez, set up the Rockets with a large lead in the second frame.
McCormick tallied an additional 1-yard run in the second frame, giving the Rockets a 28-0 lead only 14 minutes into the contest.
While Hays’ defense struggled to keep Judson out of the end zone, the Rebel offense couldn’t move the ball against the Rockets’ stout defensive line.
It wasn’t until late in the second quarter that the Rebel offense got into scoring position, mostly due in part to multiple personal foul penalties on the Judson defense. A 1-yard touchdown run by running back Devin Hines placed Hays on the scoreboard at 28-7. The Rebel offense mustered only 75 yards of total offense in the first half.
The Rebel offense fared better in the final two quarters as they sustained multiple drives down the field However, Hays only came away with seven points on a 19-yard touchdown run by running back Xavier Green.
Meanwhile, Judson’s offense continued to march down the field at-will and put up 21 more points on Hays’ defense. McCormick scored his third touchdown of the night on a 6-yard run in the beginning of the third quarter, while Lopez showed off his speed for a 31-yard score one drive later.
The Rockets scored a final fourth quarter touchdown via a 32-yard pass from back-up quarterback Lucas Coley to Davion Wilson when the game was already out of reach.
Despite the loss, Hays completes its first season with a record above the .500 mark since 2013. It also marks the first time since the 2012 and 2013 seasons the Rebels have reached the playoffs in consecutive years.