CONVERSE – A big first half from the Judson Rockets’ offense, mixed with Hays’ struggles on both sides of the ball, brought the Rebels’ 2019 campaign to a close in a 56-21 loss Friday at D.W. Rutledge Stadium.
The result marks the second straight season Judson has eliminated Hays from the playoffs in the bi-district round.
Judson jumped out to a 28-0 lead by halftime aided by strong performances by senior quarterback Mike Chandler II and junior running back De’Anthony Lewis. Chandler got things going for the Rockets offense with a 4-yard touchdown run on their opening drive of the game, and then completed two touchdown passes in the second quarter to wide receivers Antony Shelton (11-yards) and Davion Wilson (16-yards).
The Rockets rushing attack was led by Lewis, who racked up 82 yards on nine caries in the first half, which included a 11-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
Hays’ offense was taken out of their comfort zone as the Rocket defense stifled the Rebels’ ground game. Judson held the Rebels to 88 total yards in the first half, including just 31 yards rushing on 20 carries.
The Rebel offense woke up in the third frame via explosive plays in the passing game with multiple, long touchdown passes from junior quarterback Durand Hill to junior wide receiver Bryant Lewis. Hill hit Lewis for a 61-yard catch-and-run with 5:32 left in the third, then followed it up on their next possession with a 58-yard touchdown pass.
But just as the Rebels offense showed of life, the Judson offense halted momentum with another touchdown. Lewis and Chandler each scored a rushing touchdown in the third quarter, with Lewis’ coming on a 23-yard run and Chandler’s on a 5-yard quarterback keeper.
The Rebels added a 1-yard run by running back Christian Garcia in the fourth quarter, but the game was already out of reach as they ended up falling behind 56-21.
Chandler finished the game by going 9 of 15 passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns, while also contributing seven carries for 38 yards and two scores. Lewis rushed for 14 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
For Hays, Hill went 9 of 16 passes for 261 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Lewis had three catches for 149 yards and two scores.