Hays tops Great Bend with 33-7 win

Hays High coach Tony Crough pumps up his squad prior to the kick Friday in Great Bend. The...
Hays High coach Tony Crough pumps up his squad prior to the kick Friday in Great Bend. The Indians are 2-0 after a 33-7 win. (photo by Mike Courson)(Mike Courson)
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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GREAT BEND, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - There’s no better way to end a losing streak than against a rival. Great Bend entered Friday’s game against Hays riding an 18-game skid, but the Panthers put up 27 points against No. 4 McPherson (4A) in week one. The Indian defense responded to Junction City in a week-one rally, and the defense did it again Friday, keeping the Panthers off the board until late in a 33-7 win.

“We’re playing great,” said Hays coach Tony Crough. “Coach (Kip) Keeley has them playing at a good level right now. Without Remy Stull tonight, we were a little worried bad things could happen. Guys stepped up and filled in and did a really good job.”

The Hays offense, meanwhile, did its thing early on. Junior running back Malik Bah and senior quarterback Kyreese Groen rushed for nearly 400 yards in week one. Bah took Hays’ second play from scrimmage 48 yards to the house for a 7-0 lead just two minutes in.

After another Great Bend punt, Hays marched the field before Groen found senior Keamonie Archie in the corner of the end zone on a 13-yard strike. The lead was 14-0 with still 3:11 to play in the opening frame.

Then Indian defensive lineman Wyatt Waddell took over.  The 6-4 senior picked off back-to-back Cayden Scheuerman passes. One play after the first interception, Groen found Archie across the middle for a 75-yard touchdown completion.

“There are some players there,” Crough said. “Keamonie can really play. Trent (Summers) had an opportunity to get one there, we got Bryce (Salmans) the ball. We’ve got some guys who can make plays.”

Bah tacked on a 14-yard touchdown run with 8:09 to play in the half for a 26-0 score. The offenses stalled after that. Bah ran 45 yards on a play but the Hays drive stalled. Late in the half, a long touchdown run from Bah was called back on a hold.

The Hays varsity stayed in the game for one possession into the third quarter. Groen capped that drive with a 5-yard touchdown score to put the Indians ahead 33-0.

Great Bend was able to capitalize on a fumble, finally getting on the board early in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run from the quarterback Scheuerman. He completed 10 of his 15 pass attempts in the first half but finished the night with just 82 passing yards and two interceptions. The Panthers finished with 107 rushing yards on 27 carries.

Bah rushed for 186 yards on 11 carries in the first half alone, finishing another big night with 223 yards and two scores on 18 attempts. Groen added 47 yards on his 12 carries and also threw for 109 yards and two scores on 5-of-7 passing. Junior Cyrus Johnson ran the ball four times in the second half, piling up 78 yards.

Great Bend drops to 0-2 on the season and moves its skid to 19 games. Hays improves to 2-0 on the season.