Wednesday, November 8, 2000
Hayden Out of eight teams left playing for the 1A state football crown, the team from Hayden has the most losses with four.
1 p.m. game, Hayden will have a record of 6-4. They will be taking on a team from Limon High School that has a record of 8-2.
Other teams left in the playoffs are Nucla and Akron, both 10-0, Peyton, Sargent and Wiggins, all 9-1, and Custer County, 7-3.
Although Hayden has lost four games, the Tigers have won four games out of the past five they have played.
Kevin Kleckler, Hayden head coach, believes his team is playing the best they have all year.
The Tigers earned the right to host the quarterfinal game after the Tigers defeated John Mall High School 13-8 this past weekend.
The Tigers defeated the Panthers Saturday afternoon in Walsenburg by playing tough defensively.
The Tigers' defense not only stopped a strong Panther ground game, but the unit scored the deciding points.
The points that proved to be the game winner was a Panther fumble that was recovered by Tiger defensive back Adam Reck. The senior picked up the loose ball in the second period and ran 25 yards for a touchdown to put the Tigers ahead 13-0.
"The defense played wonderful," Kleckler said. "To have the defense score and hold them was phenomenal."
The defense had to withstand two late fourth-period drives by the Panthers. The Panthers, down 13-8, got their last shot at winning the game with two minutes left when junior running back Jacques Denker fumbled at the Panther 30-yard line.
The Tigers' defense was able to stop the Panthers on downs and ended the game with junior quarterback Kevin Miller taking a knee.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard in the first period when Miller threw a pass to senior tight end Matt Miner.
The Tigers took a 13-0 lead into the dressing room at halftime. Both teams were unable to score in the third quarter. The Panthers finally got on the scoreboard in the final period to pull within five points.
Coming into the game, the Tigers knew they had to stop the Panthers' strong ground game run out of the wishbone formation. Kleckler believed the host Panthers came out over-confident.
"They thought they would run over the top of us," he said. "But we have been able to stop the run all year."
Hayden keyed on the Panthers' two starting running backs in senior Jason Wiggins and junior Tyler Quartiero, Kleckler said.
The duo had combined to rush for more than 1,600 yards for the season.
Kleckler was proud of the way his team responded after making the close to seven hour bus drive to the southern town.
"Anytime you are on the road it is tough," Kleckler said. "To have the athletes not sleeping in their own bed is a distraction. I'm extremely proud of the character these 22 athletes showed."