Push for the playoffs

Hayden, Rangely meet up tonight

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Hayden season statistics

Rushes-Yards 368-2,023

Comp-Att-Int 31-52-1

Yards Passing 372

Total Yards 2,395

Punts-Avg. 19-42

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Hayden 35-84-41-57-217

Opponent 18-06-23-15-62

INDIVIDUAL SEASON STATISTICS

Rushing

H: Coy Letlow 178-1,165, 12 TD; Brandon Ford 87-538, 7 TD; Russell Waugh 50-247, 2TD; Mitchel Doolin 30-44, 2 TD; Zathan Bark 4-17, 1 TD; Jake Walker 12-10; Mitchell VeDepo 6-2; Jeremy Engle 1-0.

Passing

H: Doolin 25-40-1 294 yards, 1TD; Engle 4-7-0 33 yards, 1 TD; Letlow 2-2-0 45 yards, 1TD.

Receiving

H: Dave Gullett 6-86, 1 TD; Aaron Haskins 14-156; Ford 2-11; Waugh 4-74, 2TD; Letlow 2-23; Chuck Hines 1-12; Zed Wheelock 1-2; Sam Kopsa 1-9.

— Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner knows what his team has to do to make the state playoffs.

"Really, for us, we control our own destiny," Baumgartner said. "We have to win out."

Hayden (6-1, 4-1 in league play) is in a three-way tie for first place with Grand Valley and Paonia. Meeker sits one game back in the win column.

The Tigers' push for the playoffs starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight when they take on the Rangely Panthers in Hayden.

The Panthers (2-5, 0-4 in league play) have competed with teams but haven't been able to pull out a victory.

"We need to find a way to win," Rangely Coach Mark Jansen said. "We've been in games against everybody except Paonia. It's just finding that way to win."

Rangely is led by quarterback Caleb Brady. Brady, a three-year starter, leads a team that likes to spread the ball. Baumgartner said if the Tigers give Brady time to throw, he has the ability to light up the scoreboard.

"He's probably the best passing quarterback in the league," Baumgartner said. "He's got the ability, if he has time, that he can pick you apart. We've got to try not to give him that time to throw."

Coming off their first loss of the year, the Tigers have become more determined in their quest to make the playoffs, Baumgartner said.

"Obviously it hurt," Baum-gartner said of the 28-14 loss to Grand Valley. "Everybody was down after Friday night, but everybody came back and we had a good film session, a good workout and two really good practices : After watching film, we played really well. Our guys have nothing to hang their heads on. They're disappointed because of the loss, but they can't be disappointed in the way they played."

Jansen said it's no secret what Hayden will try to do. The Tigers' ground attack, led by sophomore Coy Letlow's 1,165 yards and 12 touchdowns, has amassed more than 2,000 yards and 24 of the 27 offensive touchdowns.

"For us, we have got to stop their running game," Jansen said. " (Brandon) Ford and Letlow can run all over defenses. We have to stop the run and force them to pass."

With two guaranteed league playoff spots and a possible wildcard selection up for grabs, Baumgartner knows Hayden's real season starts now.

"After this week (the playoffs) will be a little clearer," he said, "but it doesn't matter if we don't win."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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