Updated November 5, 2006 at 8:47 a.m.
18 First Downs 7
56-272 Rushes-Yards 29-93
0-3-1 Comp-Att-Int 2-8-2
0 Yards Passing 35
272 Total Yards 128
3-43 Punts-Avg. 6-33.2
2-2 Fumbles-lost 1-0
3-40 Penalties-Yards 6-49
SCORE BY QUARTERS
H 5:27, Coy Letlow 10 run. (Aaron Haskins kick).
H 3:19, Russell Waugh 1 run. (Haskins kick).
H: Letlow 32-173, 1 TD; Waugh 10-60, 1 TD; Brandon Ford 12-44; Mitchel Doolin 2 (-5).
S: T.J. VanBibber 15-62; Matt Morgan 7-16; Ubaldo Aguilera 3-12; Bubba Marquez 2-6; Ben Kelloff 1-3; Andrew Price 1 (-6).
H: Doolin 0-2-0 0 yards; Letlow 0-1-1 0 yards.
S: Price 1-6-1 11 yards; Morgan 1-2-1 24 yards.
S: VanBibber 1-11 yards; Aguilera 1-24 yards.
Steamboat Springs Hayden defensive back Russell Waugh guessed that five years from now he will remember one thing about Saturday's first-round playoff game against Sargent - the interceptions.
The first of Waugh's two picks helped Hayden's defense stave off Sargent's best scoring opportunity, and the Tigers went on to win, 14-0.
Both defenses came out strong and shut down one another's initial attempts to establish running games. The Tigers eventually put together a string of first downs behind Coy Letlow and Brandon Ford rushes at the end of the first quarter. Hayden pushed the ball to the Farmers' 20-yard line, but a costly fumble ended the drive.
The Farmers subsequently drove into Tigers territory behind fullback T.J. VanBibber, but penalties forced Sargent to punt. Hayden, starting at its own 20-yard line, used handoffs to Letlow, Ford and Waugh to sustain a 12-play, six-minute scoring drive that put the Tigers on top for good.
"We struggled a little bit there in the beginning of the game, and it took us a little while to get those adjustments made and figure out what we needed to go with," Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said.
That scoring drive was aided by a Sargent personal foul, which turned a fourth-and-eight into a Hayden first down.
Sargent coach Terry VanBibber said before the game that he wanted his players focused on not "shooting ourselves
in the foot." Fulfilling his own prophecy, Van Bibber's conclusion after the game was that "penalties killed us."
Hayden also made some costly mistakes, such as Bran-don Ford's fumble with three minutes to go in the first half. But backed up at its 23-yard line, a Hayden sack by Dave Gullett, followed by Waugh's interception, kept Sargent from capitalizing.
"It showed a lot of heart," Gullett said. "We are a very young team, and when we come out against a team and play like that, it shows we can play against the best teams in the state."
Hayden mounted another of what Baumgartner called "one of those classic" drives in the third quarter. From its 11-yard line, Hayden used eight minutes and 16 plays to move the ball to the Sargent 11, but the Tigers failed to convert on fourth down.
Later in the second half, the Tigers stopped a Farmers' drive and answered with a 55-yard scoring drive of their own to take a 14-0 lead.
With that two-touchdown lead, Waugh picked off a pass from Matt Morgan to end Sargent's final drive and its season.
The Hayden seniors had experienced a postseason win in 2004, but for Gullett, this one felt different.
"It feels so much better," Gullett said. "We were supposed to be sixth in league. We were supposed to do nothing this year. Now, we're in the second round of the playoffs."
The win means Hayden will host a semifinal game against powerhouse Limon next Saturday.
- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253 or e-mail email@example.com