Hayden football team needs win to host crossover game | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden football team needs win to host crossover game

Luke Graham

— There is nothing murky about what the Hayden High School football team has to do.

A win against Vail Christian would mean a home game in the Week 9 cross-divisional game.

A loss means the Tigers take to the road.

"It's a big one for us," Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said. "We're playing for second place and to host a crossover game."

The winner of a game at 7 p.m. Friday with Vail Christian — the game is going to be played at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum — would finish second in the league and host. The crossover game — win or lose — will be against Kiowa or Simla.

Comparative scores suggest Hayden should be a heavy favorite. Vail Christian is coming off a pair of losses, including a 60-18 beatdown from West Grand last week.

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Hayden lost to West Grand, 32-28, earlier this year.

The Tigers also have had an extended week. After South Park had to forfeit because of a lack of players, Hayden will not have played a game since Oct. 5.

"It feels like a month since we've played a football game," Baumgartner said. "We've had time to prepare for Vail Christian, but at the same time, it would have been nice to have that football game."

Vail Christian brings in a balanced attack. The Saints’ struggles have come when they haven't been able to protect the quarterback, something Baumgartner is well aware of, having seen Vail Christian play twice.

The Tigers will have to get back to finding success in the running game. Against West Grand, Hayden struggled to run the ball. It also didn't help that Hayden turned the ball over four times, including three in the second half.

"We have to focus on not who (Vail Mountain) has played or who they beat or the scores," Baumgartner said. "We're playing to host a crossover game. There is something at stake now."

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

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