Hays head coach and LHS graduate Ryan Cornelsen received an introduction and a nice ovation from the Redskin Field crowd Friday night before the game. But it was his teams' two interceptions and one fumble recovery which made for an even better gift in his return to Redskin Field. Liberal out-gained the Indians amassing 371 yards, but the three turnovers haulted Liberal's momentum while Hays did not commit a turnover in the Hays 21-17 win. Liberal's final drive ended with an interception with 48 seconds remaining after LHS advanced to the 13. Liberal scored first on a six play 56 yard drive capped with a three yard run by Slader McVey with 8:13 remaining in the first. Hays quarterback Bryant Bombardier ran it 30 yards for a score on a drive kept alive by an LHS offsides on fourth and one. Michael Cummins returned a punt 88 yards for paydirt in the second quarter to make it 14-7. That was the halftime score after Liberal missed a 33 yard field goal. LHS missed a 35 yard field goal in the third quarter. A Bombardier three yard run with 2:58 remaining in the third tied the game. In the fourth quarter, LHS had it first and goal from the two but after a delay of game on second down had to settle for a 32 yard field goal by Jesse Quintero. But the ensuing line drive kick was fielded by Hays junior Casey Sedbrook who raced up the middle for a 75-yard touchdown. Liberal head coach Wade Standley says his team improved, but were their own worst enemies. "I feel like we were a better team tonight than the first two weeks," Standley said. "We had some costly mistakes and we let the game slip away because of those mistakes." Standley says Hays was a quality team as expected. "I knew coming in that Hays had a very good football team," Standley said. "They had physical offensive and defensive lines and a good quarterback. We have a good football team. We eliminate those mistakes and we win the football game."
It marks the third win for Hays over Liberal since 1990. It's the Indians' first win over LHS since 2006 and first in Liberal since a Marcus Watts led Hays team won in 2001. Liberal is 1-2 and 0-1 in the WAC. Hays is 3-0 and 1-0 in the WAC. The Redskins travel to Dodge City Friday.