Steamboat Springs The Hayden High School football team kept its playoff hopes alive Friday night, beating league foe Rangely, 40-24.
Rangely took the lead into the fourth quarter before Hayden's Jeremy Engle picked off a pass in the flats and returned it two yards for the go-ahead score.
Coy Letlow and Russell Waugh added late fourth quarter touchdowns to break the game open for Hayden.
"They are a good team," Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said of Rangely. "They were only 2-5 going into this game, but they're definitely a team we worried about. They'd been in every ball game this year."
Rangely took an 18-13 lead into halftime, thanks in part to the play of running back Tim Willis.
Baumgartner said Rangely spread the offense out and was able to get the ball in Willis' hands.
"They found different ways to get him the ball, and he's a great little back," Baumgartner said. "He broke loose a few times and got us a couple of times for a touchdown."
While the score was a lot closer than Baumgartner wanted, he was pleased with the way the running game surfaced.
Letlow ran for 138 yards, Waugh added 120 and Zathan Bark chipped in 82 yards. Mitch Doolin also finished 3-of-4 passing on the night.
"We're bound for one of those breakout games," Baumgartner said. "We stepped up when we needed to and moved the ball fairly well."
The win sets up a showdown Friday night in Hayden against Meeker.
The winner of Friday's game will most likely earn one of the four wild-card positions in the Class 1A playoffs. The loser will be in a precarious position.
"Going into this last week with Meeker, we're going to have to play better on both sides of the ball," Baumgartner said.