Hays grinds out win over Eisenhower to open season
GODDARD, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - At Hays in 2020, expectations are as high as they’ve ever been.
Ranked 7th in Class 5A in the Catch it Kansas Preseason Rankings, the Indians have a target on their back after winning their first playoff game since 1993 last season.
Thursday night, lead by a stout defense, the Indians started their year with a win on the board, topping Goddard-Eisenhower 19-10.
One of just three contests held statewide to open the 2020 season Thursday, the Indians fell behind quickly, with Eisenhower forcing an early safety for a 2-0 advantage.
But after trading turnovers, the Indians took advantage of a fumble recovery inside the 10 yard line with a 6 yard score from Roy Moroni to get it to 6-2.
Later in the half, the biggest offensive play of the day came on a busted play, when Hays QB Dylan Dreiling mishandled the snap but was still able to find Jaren Kanak for a 47 yard touchdown, the junior creating a lot of space to get open for the big score.
Kanak, who would add a second score, is one of the reasons behind the hype for the Indians entering 2020. The 6′2 receiver ran a 4.41 40 yard dash at the Sharp Performance Combine over the summer, earning offers from both Kansas and Kansas State in the process.
He was joined by two defensive standouts in earning major offers; senior Gaven Haselhorst has committed to Kansas State, while Gavin Meyers has earned offers from the likes of KSU, Nebraska, and Colorado.
Both were major keys in locking down the win, with Meyers coming away with the game clinching INT after Haselhorst forced the bad throw from the Tigers. That just one of the plays made by a team that was giving Eisenhower QB Nick Hogan fits all night long.
“Our defense is awesome,” head coach Tony Crough said after the game. “That’s what we build our team around is that defense. They’re fun to watch, it’s a lot of good players over there.”
Hays will keep things going with back-to-back road games, clashing with league rival Great Bend. Eisenhower will stay at home, looking to bounce back against Salina Central.
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