Maize outlasts final effort by Hays to advance to state semis
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Three games out from a possible 5A state championship, so both of these teams came out firing. Hays and Maize battled back and forth in an offensive explosion the first half of the game. It was a close game going into the locker room but Maize put up two touchdowns in the first four minutes of the second half. It would be enough to give them the 48-36 win over Hays.
Maize head football coach Gary Guzman said, “Not just defense, offense, special teams, we all did what we needed to do tonight. We knew we had to come out and play well in all three phases and defense stepped up when they needed to step up. That’s a good football team. Obviously, we’re having a hard time stopping the run and when we needed to, we did.”
“We stopped them really well at the end. We really just got after it as a unit and we didn’t fall apart whenever it mattered the most,” said Maize junior defensive back McKinley Joynes.
“Really just playing together as a team, and really that’s it,” said Maize junior running back Tayveon Williams.
“We just have to take this week one day at a time, make sure we have good practices, make sure we get after it,” said Guzman. “The state championship is a long way away, we’ve got to win the next game.”
Maize will advance to the sub-state round next week taking on Kapaun Mt. Carmel.
In the first quarter of this 5A quarterfinal with Maize hosting Hays, Avery Johnson handed it off to Daeshaun Carter who went up the middle and ended up underneath the pile. Carter crossed the line for the first score of the game to give Maize the lead 7-0.
The Indians answered back with Roy Moroni taking it outside and cutting down field. He turned up the sideline and into the end-zone, putting Hays on the board. A successful two-point conversion gave Hays the 8-7 lead.
Carter on the carry again, weaving around defenders and found the end-zone again to make it 14-8 Eagles.
Then probably the best scoring play of the game, Jaren Kanak kept the ball. He ran out wide and plowed through one Eagle defender after another, all the way down the sideline. They couldn’t bring him down, totaling six broken tackles as Kanak strolled into the end-zone. Indians went up 16-14.
But the Indians didn’t have an answer for Maize’s passing game. The Eagles took a 27-22 lead into halftime. With a five-point lead, Maize would ultimately hold off a final attempt by Hays to take the lead with an interception by Joynes. Two plays later, Williams would run the ball the length of the field for one last touchdown to seal the win for Maize, 48-36.
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