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HIGHLIGHTS: South Downs Hays, Claims District Title

Mike Hammett - October 25, 2013 10:41 pm

For the second straight year, the Salina South Cougars are district champions, following a 56-34 win over Hays at Salina Stadium on Friday night.

The win, coupled with Salina Central’s win over Great Bend, gave the Cougars the district title and playoff berth.

It was a tight game for the first two-and-a-half quarters. The Cougars opened the scoring on Justin Stonebraker’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Zach Nachbar, giving South a 7-0 lead that held for the first quarter.

Hays tied the game on the ensuing 17-play drive, capping it with a four-yard touchdown pass from Alex Delton to Lane Clark, tying the game at 7.

South would regain the lead mid-way through the second quarter on Mike Jones’ 55-yard touchdown run. Hays would answer back on Alex Delton’s 52-yard run to tie the game at 14.

South picked up the final score before halftime on Jones’ 17-yard touchdown run to lead 21-14 at the break.

In the second half, Hays scored on the opening possession as Delton hit Clark for an eight-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 21.

South answered with Justin Stonebraker’s 1-yard touchdown run to go back up 28-21.

The South defense forced a stop, and for the first time all night, the South offense worked with a lead. Backed up inside their own one after a punt, the Cougars needed just four plays to score, as Stonebraker hit Nachbar for an 87-yard touchdown, pushing the Cougar lead to 35-21.

After a Hays three-and-out and a poor punt, South scored on its very next play as Stonebraker hit Mitch Roets for a 32-yard touchdown, going up 42-21.

Hays would pull within two possessions twice, but South never let the Indians get any closer the rest of the way.

The Cougars improve to 6-2 on the season and host Great Bend in the district and regular season finale on Friday. Great Bend is 4-4 and has been eliminated from playoff contention.

Hays drops to 6-2. The Indians host Salina Central on Friday, with the winner taking a playoff spot and the loser’s season comes to an end.

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