A threat to score every time he touched the ball, Hayden Brown had never personally experienced a game like Friday’s performance against Wichita South.
The same can probably be said for most players in Hays High program history.
Brown was that good against the Titans, scoring six touchdowns to lead the way in the Indians’ 53-20 rout at Lewis Field Stadium.
“It’s an amazing feeling to feel like that,” Brown said. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that in a game before.”
Brown rushed for five touchdowns and also scored on a 77-yard kickoff return. He did most of his damage in the first half, accounting for the Indians’ first five TDs.
“That’s an Al Bundy kind of a game,” Hays High coach Tony Crough said, using a “Married with Children" reference. "He’s going to be talking about that one for the rest of his life and bragging about it. He deserves it. He’s even a better kid than he is a football player, so it’s fun to watch him succeed.”
Brown, who finished with 154 yards on 16 carries, put the Indians on the board on their first possession with a 2-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal. Wichita South then knotted it up on a 3-yard run from Jordan Huggins.
Brown immediately put the Indians back in front after running the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown.
“I went off the edge and my friend Will Sennett had a great block out there,” Brown said. “I just turned it up and tried to get to the end zone did.”
Brown then scored on runs of 42, 5 and 25 yards to give him a five-touchdown first half.
"Our O-line has done a great job all season," Brown said. "(The run game) is always there for them. They just kill it every game."
Running the ball has turned into a strength for the Indians, starting three games ago against Liberal.
"Man, coach (Nathan) Howard and our O-line are doing a great job," Crough said. "We just have a bunch of seniors. They may not have played a bunch and played O-line a lot together, but they're starting to gel."
An interception from Sennett helped set up the final TD of the half, a 1-yard plunge from freshman Roy Moroni. The Indians (2-3) led 40-12 at the break.
Brown scored his sixth TD on a 4-yard run in the third quarter. Moroni finished off the Indians' scoring with a 63-yard touchdown off a screen pass from quarterback Palmer Hutchison early in the third quarter.
“It was just so fun to go out there and get a win like that,” Brown said. “Everyone played great out there tonight.”
Crough said he was pleased with the Indians' performance in all facets, particularly on defense.
"Defense was awesome," Crough said. "... Our defense, they've been getting better every week. I know it's huge for them to step in and play a Wichita South team that's been putting up points and hold them relatively quiet all night."
The runaway win was another step forward for the Indians, Crough said.
"We've been talking about it all week," he said. "It was time for us to show some sense of urgency, come out early in the game and then get up on a team and put them away.
"We felt like that if we were able to get up on Wichita South that we would have a chance to put them away. I told them, 'If we're going to be a good team some day, we have to learn how to do this.' And they did, so I'm really proud of them for accepting that challenge and doing it."
Crough said he has continued to be encouraged by the progress of the Indians' underclassmen.
"Are young pups are good," Crough said. "We forget sometimes that Trey Adams (defensive end) is a sophomore. ... And the freshmen are really good. We're starting to mix more in on defense."
Antwain Scales finished with 150 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans, who fell to 3-2.
Hays High will play host to Dodge City next Friday for homecoming.
"Big confidence boost, but we got to look forward to next week and got to build on this," Brown said. "We got to get better the next week."