2006 Hayden football schedule
- Sept. 1: Hayden 42, Coal Ridge 0
- Sept. 9: Hayden 42, Steamboat JV 16
- Sept. 15: Hayden 38, West Grand 6
- Sept. 22: Hayden 34, Paonia 6
- Sept. 30: Hayden 21, Dolores 6
- Oct. 6: Hayden 28, Soroco 0
- Oct. 13: Grand Valley 28, Hayden 14
- Oct. 20: Hayden 40, Rangely 12
- Oct. 27, at Meeker, 7 p.m.
Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner worked on his team's pass defense all week, preparing for Rangely quarterback Kalen Brady. Considering the three-year starter as one of the league's top passing threats, Baumgartner's game plan crafted to handle Brady was thrown for a loop on Friday morning.
With the Hayden field soaked from the day's rain and snow, what was once projected to be tight-pass-coverage showdown with long plays in the air turned into a muddy battle on the ground.
In case you haven't been following Tigers football this year, opposing teams should not be optimistic faced with running against an offense that's already rushed for over 2,000 yards.
In their final home game of the regular season, the Tigers continued their dominant ground attack, rushing for 327 yards in a lop-sided 40-12 win over the Panthers (2-6 overall, 0-5 in league).
After turning down the Panthers opening drive, the Tigers answered with their longest scoring drive of the evening.
Burning a mere 3 minutes and 40 seconds, the Tigers drove 75 yards on nine plays as Mitchel Doolin distributed carries between Coy Letlow, Russell Waugh and Brandon Ford.
Letlow capped off the drive on a 23-yard touchdown.
Hayden's defense needed only three plays to stop the Panthers ensuing drive.
Then taking the ball over on their own 43-yard line, the Hayden offense took only three plays to get Letlow in the end zone again.
Letlow broke open a 48-yard rush on the right side to give the Tigers a comfortable 12-0 lead.
Rangely finally answered with Brady's passing game. After the Hayden defense tipped Brady's pass, it fell into the arms of Stephen Boleng for a 53-yard completion.
Brady followed it with another 9-yard pass to Tim Willis, putting Rangely on the Hayden goal line.
But as Brady ran in the Panthers' touchdown, the snow started to dump, helping put an end to their offensive display.
Unable to muster any more offense, the Panthers repeatedly left the Tigers in prime scoring position.
Hayden added another pair of rushing touchdowns from Letlow and Waugh.
After a botched Panthers punt, Hayden snuck a 17-yard passing touchdown from Doolin to Aaron Haskins with 9 seconds in the half, Doolin's only completion of the evening.
The Tigers opened the second half with Letlow and Waugh carrying the ball 55 yards on three plays, finished with an 11-yard Letlow touchdown, his fourth on the night.
Up 40-6, Baumgartner gave some of his junior varsity players a chance to play.
Although the back-ups gave the Panthers more offensive chances, they were only able to capitalize on a fumble recovery in the Hayden end zone late in the fourth quarter.
"We needed this after last week," Baumgartner said, pleased with how his players responded on both sides of the ball after their loss to Grand Valley.
Now 7-1 overall, 5-1 in league, Baumgartner was already looking ahead to next week's crucial match-up in Meeker, one that will determine the Tiger's post-season seeding.
As long as the Tigers can stay focused and execute like they did on Friday, Baumgartner said he has nothing to worry about.