Indian football duels with No. 1 team in 6A Kansas

The Hays High Indian football team played against the No. 1 team in Class 6A in Kansas, the Manhattan Indians, on Sept. 16 at home. Both Hays and Manhattan entered the game with a record of 2-0.

On the first play of scrimmage, the Indians came out firing on all cylinders, as junior running back Malik Bah ran for an 80-yard touchdown through the heart of the defense. After a missed extra point, Hays led 6-0 early in the game. After a defensive first quarter, the score remained 6-0.

In the second quarter, Manhattan stormed back and scored a touchdown to take the lead, 7-6. After a quick stop, Manhattan increased the lead to 10-6 after a made field goal. The Hays offense continued to struggle; however, the defense picked it up for them, as senior Evan Lind recovered a fumble and returned it for a 21-yard touchdown to retake the lead, 14-10, after a two-point conversion by Hays High. The score remained 14-10 as both teams entered halftime.

Looking to increase their lead and finish the upset, Hays came out of halftime feeling strong. However, Manhattan completely took over the momentum of the game, forcing turnovers and scoring twice in the third quarter to make the score 24-10 as they entered the fourth quarter.

Manhattan began to pull away, scoring again in the beginning of the fourth quarter to make the score 31-14. Hays continued to battle, as senior Kyreese Groen found Bah for a 73-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. However, the effort was not enough, as Manhattan remained the top-ranked team in the state with a victory of 31-21.

Hays High’s record moved to 2-1 as they looked to win against Garden City on Sept. 23.