Vista Ridge (2-5, 1-2) @ Hays (3-5, 2-2) , Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Vista Ridge was thwarted by Vandegrift (4-4, 3-1), 31-17, in a rematch of a 5A Division I state quarterfinal game from last year. It would have been Vista Ridge’s most significant win of the season, but Vandegrift rallied late to win. The game was tied at 17 after the third quarter before a 30-yard touchdown run by Mack Parker gave the Vipers a 24-17 advantage. Vandegrift put the game away on their next drive, a time-consuming affair that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Smallwood. The win kept Vandegrift’s aspirations for a District 25-6A title alive.
Hays (3-5, 2-2) won its second consecutive game by knocking off Leander (2-6, 1-2), 31-24, behind 127 rushing yards from Cade Powell. The win came on the heels of a healthy 35-7 victory over Lehman that snapped a five game losing streak.
Hays pushing for even record
The Vista Ridge/Hays match-up could be interesting from the angle that Hays is making a late-season push to finish the season with a 5-5 record. The Rebels started the year 1-5, but have won back-to-back games against Lehman and Leander. They could conceivably knock of Vista Ridge, too, which enters on a two-game losing streak. Should the Rebels end the year at .500, it will be their second straight non-losing season after going 4-6 in 2014.
Vista Ridge searching for positives
It’s been a challenging transition to 6A for Vista Ridge in 2016. The Rangers advanced to the 5A Division I semifinals last season, but haven’t found the same success in the UIL’s highest classification. They’ve been beaten handily by Westwood (34-0) and Leander (44-28), though the Rangers were much more competitive last week, heading into the fourth quarter against Vandegrift with the game tied at 17. If they can apply the intensity they showed over the first three quarters against Vandegrift for the entire game against Hays, the Rangers will have a chance to get back on the winning track.
Vista Ridge and Hays have not met in recent UIL history.
Vista Ridge’s final two weeks are brutal, as it hosts Lake Travis (6-1, 3-0) on Oct. 28 and travels to Westlake (5-2, 2-1) for the season finale on Nov. 4.
Hays will wrap up its season by traveling to Vandegrift on Oct. 28.