LAKEWAY – The inability to suppress a high-octane Lake Travis Cavalier offense Friday sunk the Hays Rebels in a 59-27 loss at Cavalier Stadium.
With the result, Hays (7-2, 5-2) is locked into the second seed out of 25-6A in the 6A, Division I playoff bracket, setting up a possible bi-district match-up against state-ranked powerhouse Converse Judson in two weeks.
Hays jumped out to an early 7-0 first quarter lead aided by a Lake Travis special teams miscue. The Rebels capitalized on the error by orchestrating a five play, 22-yard scoring drive capped off with a one-yard touchdown plunge by quarterback Durand Hill.
The Rebel lead, however, was short lived as Lake Travis flexed their muscle 17 seconds later when quarterback Nate Yarnell tossed a 59-yard strike to wide receiver Kyle Eaves to tie the game at 7-7.
Lake Travis’ offense powered its way for 28 more unanswered points over a 20-minute span to hold a commanding 31-7 lead at intermission. Yarnell went 13 of 16 for 257 yards and four touchdowns passing, three of those scores thrown to Eaves who caught five passes for 136 yards. Cavalier running back Weston Stephens finished with 119 yards rushing on 15 carries and three touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Hays’ offense struggled to bypass a formidable Cavalier defense that limited the Rebels to 97 total yards in the first half.
Hays quickly sprinted out of the gates after halftime by scoring 13 unanswered points that was bridged by a key onside kick recovery. A 26-yard touchdown run by running back Xavier Green, followed by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Hill to running back JoeAngel Carrasco cut Lake Travis’ lead to 31-20.
But Hays drew no closer as Lake Travis’ offense kept the Rebels at arms’ length all evening. The Cavs outscored Hays 28-7 over the final 16-plus minutes.
Xavier Green led the Rebels with 135 rushing yards on 21 carries and two scores. Carrasco finished with 97 yards rushing on nine carries. Hill went 5 of 14 for 64 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception.