Hayden football falls to No. 1 Yuma

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— The Hayden High School football team was out to prove to itself that it could play with the top teams in Class 1A.

For 41 minutes Saturday, No. 10 Hayden was every bit the team top-ranked Yuma was.

But the Indians, winners of last year’s state championship, scored two late touchdowns in the last seven minutes to walk out of Idaho Springs with a 21-14 win against the Tigers.

“I think we proved that we can play with some of the top-level teams,” Hayden coach Shawn Baum­­gartner said. “We came up short (Saturday). We just wore out in the fourth quarter.”

Yuma jumped to a 6-0 lead before Hayden quarterback Graig Med­­­vesk broke a long run in the second quarter to knot things up at 6.

The two teams battled back-and-forth in the third before Yuma scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter with 7 minutes left. The Indians got the ball back and scored with 2:30 remaining in the game to push the score to 21-6.

Medvesk returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, and the Tigers added a 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 21-14.

But Hayden (1-1) couldn’t cover the onside kick, and Yuma (2-0) was able to run out the clock.

“We were right where we wanted to be,” Baumgartner said. “They wore us out a little in the fourth quarter with some long drives. But we caused two fumbles, and defensively, we really stepped up and played well.”

Hayden plays at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Grand Valley.

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