BUDA – Thirteen fourth quarter points Thursday, paired with critical defensive stands in the final minutes, pushed the Hays football team to a thrilling 41-35 win over the Austin Maroons.
The victory, which ended a two game skid for Hays, pushed the program a win closer to a potential playoff berth with two more district contests remaining.
Both teams went toe-to-toe in a slugfest that featured four ties and two lead changes. Hays and Austin were knotted up at 14-14 at halftime and remained tied 28-28 at the end of three quarters.
Hays gained the upper hand with a go-ahead 18-yard fourth quarter touchdown pass from senior quarterback Durand Hill to senior wide receiver Will Agnew, which pushed the team’s lead to 35-28.
Defense played a pivotal role on the ensuing drive as Hays forced Austin into a turnover on downs, team’s offense momentum.
Hill capitalized with a 26-yard touchdown run to give Hays a 41-28 lead following a missed extra point.
Hill went 12 of 19 for 178 yards and three touchdowns passing and rushed for 106 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Hays senior wide receiver Bryant Lewis caught seven passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Austin High, however, didn’t back down and quickly responded in less than a minute’s time.
A six-yard touchdown pass thrown by senior quarterback and University of Texas at Austin commit Charles Wright pushed Austin back into contention at 41-35 with under a minute to play.
Wright went 29 of 49 for 425 yards and five touchdowns with one interception.
The Maroons quickly seized momentum by successfully securing an onside kick and had one last chance with less than 30 seconds for a game-winning drive.
But Hays’ defense stood firm in the final seconds to escape with the victory.
Hays running back Quincy Jackson rushed for 81 yards on eight carries and a touchdown, with senior wide receiver Michael Boudoin rushing for 46 yards on eight carries with a score. Wide receiver Cory Vester caught one pass for 45 yards and a touchdown and senior wide receiver Will Agnew caught two passes for 27 yards and a score.
After a bye next week, Hays travels to play at Del Valle Oct. 20. The Hays football team returns home Nov. 27 when they host Bowie at 7:30 p.m. for the regular season finale.
District 26-6A standings
Lake Travis 3-0
Del Valle 1-2
San Marcos 0-4