BUDA – While it took some effort to get there Friday, the Hays High football team is now officially playoff bound.
A 21-point Hays High blitz – 15 of those points scored in the final quarter – catapulted the program to a come-from-behind 21-14 victory over the Bowie Bulldogs.
Hays’ win qualifies the team to the 2020 6A, Division II playoffs, which begin Dec. 11-12; it also is the program’s fourth straight trip to the playoffs in as many years.
The path toward playoff qualification proved difficult early on as Bowie, which needed a victory to squeak into the postseason themselves, leapt out to a commanding 14-0 second quarter lead. Guiding the Bulldogs was wide receiver Jason Gaines and Noah Camacho who helped Bowie amass 251 total yards of offense on the night.
A 19-yard second quarter field goal and a 24-yard third quarter field goal, both kicked by Thomas Skrovan, helped Hays cut Bowie’s lead to 14-6 going into the final frame.
Hays’ offense, led by quarterback Durand Hill, wide receiver Michael Boudoin and running back Austin Sanchez, continued the comeback with a six play, 47-yard scoring drive early in the fourth quarter, capped off by a Hill 13-yard touchdown run. A successful two-point conversion tied the score at 14-14. Aiding the drive was a Bowie penalty that wiped out a Bulldog punt that would have pinned Hays deep in its own territory.
Armed with momentum, Hays’ defense stood firm and limited Bowie’s offense in the final minutes. That included a critical interception by Hays defense back Chris Bruce, one of two interceptions Bruce snagged on the evening.
Bruce’s pick set up an eight play, 51-yard Hays go-ahead scoring drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Nate Green, which gave the team a 21-14 lead. Hays’ defense stepped up from there and shut down Bowie in the final minutes for the victory.
Hill went 3 of 13 for 56 yards passing and rushed for 72 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. Sanchez ran the ball 20 times for 80 yards, while Boudoin rushed for 34 yards. Hays’ Will Agnew led the team with 35 yards on one reception in the game.
Meanwhile, Hays limited Bowie quarterback Diego Tello to 145 yards passing, one touchdown and three total interceptions.
With the victory, Hays will finish third in 26-6A and will be the district’s top seed in the Division II playoffs.
District 26-6A standings
*Denotes playoff berth
Lake Travis 5-0*
Del Valle 2-5
San Marcos 1-6
26-6A Division I playoff representatives
26-6A Division II playoff representatives