Hayden’s Mark Doolin heads for the end zone Friday as the hometown stands erupt. Doolin scored five touchdowns as the Tigers won the Routt County battle, routing Soroco, 49-7.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden’s Mark Doolin heads for the end zone Friday as the hometown stands erupt. Doolin scored five touchdowns as the Tigers won the Routt County battle, routing Soroco, 49-7.

Hayden football team dominates cross-county rival Soroco

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— It seemed as though the week never would come to an end for Hayden football coach Shawn Baumgartner.

Days dragged. He’d sit in his office or teach gym class, urging the clock to get to football practice.

It was homecoming. It was the cross-county rival. He admitted he was as nervous as he’s been in a long time.

“This was the longest week,” Baumgartner said. “I didn’t think Friday was going to get here, and today was the longest day. I was more nervous for this game than any other game in a long time. I just had the playoff jitters. It was such a huge game.”

Well, Coach, this 8-man thing is working out splendidly.

Hayden (3-1) did whatever it wanted whenever it wanted Friday night, blistering Soroco, 49-7.

In the process, the Tigers became a league favorite and jumped to the forefront as a state contender.

And to think, Hayden’s still learning about this 8-man thing.

“I’ve told everybody I thought they were one of the best in the state when they dropped down,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “They proved that. They’re going to go deep in the playoffs. If you can play with that team, you’re good. They’ll make at least the semis. They’re that good.”

Soroco, who came in with an explosive offense, didn’t do itself any favors. The Rams' Nic Paxton threw an interception on the second play of the game, and the Tigers’ Greg Frentress returned it 18 yards for a touchdown and 6-0 lead. On Soroco’s next possession, Paxton again was picked off. Six plays later, Hayden quarterback Mark Doolin took it in from 31 yards out for a 14-0 lead with just half of the first quarter gone.

“The two turnovers in the first half was the difference in the first half,” Bruner said.

After Soroco (3-1) cut it to 14-7 on a 9-yard pass from Paxton to Matt Regan early in the second, it was all Hayden.

Like a mercenary, the Tigers did whatever they wanted. Led by Doolin and running back Dan Engle, Hayden’s offense was the explosive one.

Between the two, Hayden rolled up 340 yards rushing on 24 carries. The team was forced to punt once, a gorgeous 64-yarder in the last minute.

“We were running the jet sweep, and they were flying with it and leaving me open for the cutback,” said Doolin, who had 15 carries for 194 yards, five touchdowns and a big crown after being named homecoming king. “The backside was open all night.”

Maybe even more impressive was the Hayden defense. Soroco came in having outscored its opponents 183-6 in three games.

On Friday, the team struggled to get anything going. Paxton was under pressure all night, completing just 3 of 10 passes for 43 yards. Receivers AJ Anderson and Ryan Jeep came in with 12 catches and eight touchdowns between them.

On Friday, the pair had zero catches.

“We knew we had to fly around and get to (Paxton) right away,” said Baumgartner, whose team out-gained the Rams 354 to 163. “We did a good job and didn’t give him many options. We wanted to be physical with them. We didn’t think they’d been hit.”

Hayden led 28-7 at half and scored on its first three possessions of the second half — a pair of touchdown runs from Doolin and one from Engle — to get to a running clock.

Engle, who had two punt return touchdowns called back because of penalty, finished with 146 yards on nine carries.

In a game most thought would be close, Hayden proved it belongs among the 8-man elite. With each passing game, the Tigers look more at home with eight on the field.

"The kids are feeling comfortable in our system. I’m feeling comfortable in our system," Baumgartner said. "It’s still a learning process, but we did what we wanted to do” Friday.

By the numbers

Hayden 49, Soroco 7

Soroco  Hayden   

12 First Downs 14

40-120 Rushes-Yards 31-332

3-10-2 Comp-Att-Int 3-5-0

43 Yards Passing 22

163 Total Yards 354

3-36 Punts-Avg. 1-64

3-0 Fumbles-lost 1-0

7-50 Penalties-Yards 8-85 

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Soroco 00-07-00-00—7

Soroco 14-14-21-00—49

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

H — 11:11, Greg Frentress 18 yard INT return. (Kick fail). 

H — 5:45, Mark Doolin 31 run. (Doolin run). 

Second Quarter

S — 11:53, Matt Regan 7 pass from Nic Paxton. (AJ Anderson kick). 

H — 7:45, Doolin 2 run. (Doolin kick). 

H — 1:16, Doolin 3 run. (Doolin kick). 

Third Quarter

H — 9:43, Dan Engle 46 run. (Kick fail). 

H — 6:14, Doolin 46 run. (Doolin run). 

H — 3:44, Doolin 39 run. (Doolin kick). 

Fourth Quarter

None. 

 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

S: Ian Palyo 17-69; Paxton 15-45; Regan 3-5; Anderson 2-(-5); Garrett McCullar 1-2; Warren Hayes 2-4. 

H: Doolin 15-194, 4 TD; Engle 9-146, 1 TD; Colton Jensen 3-(-6); Jack Redmond 2-11; Garrett Camilletti 2-(-13). 

Passing

S: Paxton 3-10-2, 43 yards, 1 TD. 

H: Dooline 3-5-0, 22 yards.  

Receiving

S: Regan 3-43, 1 TD. 

H: Frentress 2-16; Isaac Bridges 1-6. 

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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