After running the table in the Western Athletic Conference, the Hays High football team will now set its sights higher.
The 5-0 Indians will have two tough tests to close the regular season, starting with Friday’s 7 p.m. road game at Maize South (3-2).
Having already accomplished their first major goal in winning an outright WAC championship, Hays High coach Tony Crough said the Indians are now getting themselves into playoff mode.
"We’ve been kind of telling our kids, ’Hey guys, we need to go win a WAC championship and then pretty much the playoffs have started,’ because now we’re setting ourselves up for seeding in the playoffs," Crough said. "I expect the next two weeks to be very, very tough. We’re excited to kind of see where our program is at."
The Indians, who wrapped up the WAC title with a 29-6 win over Dodge City last week, will be looking to avenge last season’s second-round Class 5A playoff loss to Maize South. The Mavericks are coming off a 42-38 loss last week to Maize High.
Maize’s South’s other loss was a 34-33 setback to Hutchinson in Week 3. The Mavericks have lopsided wins over Great Bend (56-0), Salina South (62-6) and Newton (30-10).
Hays High quarterback Jordan Dale has rushed for 459 yards and a WAC-best seven touchdowns while throwing for 337 yards. Dylan Dreiling, who has played both running back and quarterback, has rushed for 392 yards and six touchdowns in four games.
Defensive end Gaven Haselhorst has 52 tackles including a whopping 18 tackles for loss with five sacks. Linebacker Gavin Meyers has 51 tackles and four sacks with eight stops for loss. Defensive end Trey Adams has 10 tackles for loss and three sacks.
The Indians will close out the regular season next week at home against Wichita Kapaun.
TMP looks to extend win streak
Thomas More Prep-Marian will look to notch its sixth straight when the Monarchs play host to Cimarron at 7 p.m. Friday at Lewis Field Stadium.
At 5-1, the Monarchs are enjoying their best start since the 1988 season, when TMP won its first seven games.
The winner of Friday night’s game will move into the driver’s seat to win district, with the Monarchs and Bluejays sitting 3-0 in district play.
Cimarron (4-2) opened the season with losses to Holcomb (29-19) and Colby (21-8) before winning four straight against Scott City (22-13), Southwestern Heights (52-8), Syracuse (36-14) and Lakin (45-12).
The Monarchs are coming off a 48-6 win over Southwestern Heights.
TMP quarterback Kade Harris threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more last week, while Lance Lang also had two touchdowns on the ground.
Cimarron quarterback Braxton Harrison has thrown for 660 yards and seven TDs while rushing for 506 yards and six TDs.