Hays High football experience uncertainty vs. Maize South


Cayden Sanders

Junior wide receiver/ quarterback Jaren Kanak out runs opponents to find the endzone on October 16th at Maize South.

Hays High had more of an uphill battle versus their depth chart and the referees more than their competition against the Maize South Mavericks on Oct. 16.

Hays High lost their starting quarterback and running back duo juniors Jordan Dale and Dylan Dreiling, along with senior linebacker Bill Scott to coronavirus quarantine protocols. Hays High also did not have junior Ashton Thomas due to a hip injury and lost senior defensive end Trey Adams in the first quarter with a foot injury.

The Indians started with the ball, and with the quarterbacks out, junior Jaren Kanak took leadership of the offense, but they did not get a first down. Junior Carson Kiefer was run into during the punt, but no penalty was called on the Mavericks.

Mavericks quarterback Colin Shields fumbled the football to senior Trey Adams, and the Indians got the ball at the Mavericks’ 25-yard line. Kanak found the endzone on a quarterback keeper on an option play, giving the Indians a 7-0 lead.

The Mavs rushed the ball down the field, and Sheilds found a wide receiver for the score to make the score 7-7. Hays High’s coaching staff tested the arm of Kanak on a third and 15 play, as he connected with senior wide receiver Kyler Beckman for a gain of 39 yards. The Indians pushed the ball down to the 19-yard line at the end of the first quarter with the score still tied.

Kanak found the endzone on the first play of the second quarter, but a late flag was thrown on the Indians. The Indians attempted a 39-yard field goal that was unsuccessful.

Maize South also ran the ball with an offensive lineman holding senior Gaven Haselhorst that was not called on the Mavericks but was called on the Indians. The Mavs converted on fourth down twice on the drive before finding the endzone again to push the lead to 14-7. Maize South scored one more time before the half, making the score 21-7.

On the first Maverick drive of the second half, Hays High intercepted the ball and scored with a Kanak run cutting the lead to seven points, 21-14.

The Mavericks and Indians traded unsuccessful drives up until the Indians’ final drive. Kanak and company drove the ball down the field 98 yards to score a touchdown to make the score 21-20 with less than three minutes in the game, and head coach Tony Crough and coaching staff decided to go for two points, but the team was unsuccessful, leaving the Indians to face their first loss of the season, 21-20.

The Indians moved to 5-1 on the season, with one final game in the regular season at home against the Kapaun Mt. Carmel Crusaders on Oct. 23 at Lewis Field. For both teams, this is another important match up for seeding in the playoffs for a shot at hosting West half of 5A games at home.

Stats of the Game

Hays High defense allowed a touchdown score in the first quarter versus their opponents for the first time since last season.

Maize South is the first team the Indians have faced this season that held the lead against the Indians at halftime.

The Indians fell four yards short of tying the 2014 team of having the best record (6-0) in recent years.

The Indians entered the game against Maize South ranked third in the West half of 5A, and after the loss, they fell to the 6th seed in the west half of 5A.