Hayden running back Dan Engle looks up the field Friday in a 48-6 victory against Rocky Mountain Lutheran. The win bumped the Tigers to 2-1 on the season and set up a big showdown with Soroco next week in Oak Creek.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden running back Dan Engle looks up the field Friday in a 48-6 victory against Rocky Mountain Lutheran. The win bumped the Tigers to 2-1 on the season and set up a big showdown with Soroco next week in Oak Creek.

Hayden football cruises to win Friday; Soroco up next week

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— If Hayden High School football was busy looking ahead to next week’s showdown at Soroco, it certainly didn’t show Friday night.

A week after being dismantled by 54 points, the Tigers made quick work of Rocky Mountain Lutheran, 48-6, in their home opener.

A 24-0 first quarter lead swelled to 38-0 by halftime for Hayden. Five minutes into the third quarter, a running clock was in effect. Rocky Mountain Lutheran finally got onto the board with 8:05 left in the game, but by then, the contest was all but wrapped up.

A heavy dose of Dan Engle, Isaac Bridges and Greg Frentress in the run game chewed up the Eagles defense. Bridges opened the game with a 50-yard touchdown, and Frentress followed it up with a 10-yard scoring run and 22-yard catch. A pair of long touchdowns by Engle blew the game wide open.

“We live off the run game,” Tigers head coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “That sets up our play action pass. We have to get that run game going to set that up. If we can get a couple guys loose, we’re going to be OK.”

Bridges was 3-of-5 passing for 63 yards and tacked on another team-high 102 yards rushing. Baumgartner said his team had one of its best weeks of practice leading up to its first chance to play at home in front of friends and family.

“It was the best feeling in the world, playing under the lights,” lineman Taylor Lewis said. “That’s why they call it Friday night lights, right?”

Engle, a senior, couldn’t agree more.

Friday's "win really meant a lot to the town,” Engle said. “We got crushed last week, but it was nice coming back and kicking some butt.”

The taste of playing on their home turf will be short lived for the Tigers (2-1) who will travel to Soroco next Friday in a critical league rivalry. Baumgartner said he expects the focus to continue with his squad, which cruised to a 49-7 win against Soroco last year.

“It’s a huge rivalry, and it always has been,” Baumgartner said. “We’re going to be ready to go. It doesn’t matter up, down, whatever, who’s supposed to be the better team, we’ve always had good games with Soroco.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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