The Hayden Wildcats opened Class 5A Region 6 play on the road at rival Corner. The Wildcats came away with a 27-20 victory over the Yellow Jackets.
Hayden running back Collin Chappell returned the opening kickoff to the Corner 26 yard line. Then, on the first play from scrimmage, Carson Rickels raced 26 yards for the score. The point after failed, but the Wildcats had a 6-0 lead with only 25 seconds off the clock. The Hayden defense held the Jackets out of the end zone after two first quarter turnovers by the Wildcats.
Early in the second quarter, Corner QB Colin Daniel ran in from 9 yards. The point after failed, but Corner had tied the score at 6 with 10:48 remaining in the first half. The Wildcats would take the lead for good on their next possession. Rickels scored his second TD on a 39-yard run. Jacob Dowd hit the point after and the Wildcats had a 13-7 advantage with 9:18 on the second quarter clock.
Corner’s next score came on a 38-yard interception return by Cameron Blalock. The try for two failed, and Hayden held a 13-12 lead with 1:51 to go in the first half. Another great kickoff return by Chappell put the Wildcats in scoring position and they took advantage. Rickels got his third score of the first half on a 2-yard run. Dowd’s point after extended the lead to 20-12 with only :15 seconds left in the half.
The second half only had two scores. Hayden QB Silas Miller hit Kason Marlin for 67 yards and a score. Dowd’s point after gave the Wildcats a 27-12 lead with 3:36 on the third quarter clock.
The Jackets scored midway of the final quarter on a 12-yard run by Daniel. Daniel hit Tyler Trawick for the two-point conversion to cut the final margin to 27-20. The Hayden defense came up big late in the game and stopped Corner on a fourth down deep in Jacket territory.
Rickels led all rushers with 151 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns; he now has 473 yards on 43 carries for six touchdowns through three games. Rickels has added 140 yards on kick returns and 6 yards receiving for 619 all-purpose yards. Marlin had one catch for 67 yards and a score. Miller was 1-of-4 with one touchdown for 67 yards and one interception.
Leading the Hayden defense was linebacker Taylor McAdams who had 12 tackles; Korbin Register had nine; Braden Hodges added eight; Brody Kelly had six; and Jason Witt, Trevor Lauminick, and Ashton Hicks added five each.
The win improves Hayden to 2-1 (1-0) while the loss drops Corner to 1-2, (1-1). Corner will travel to undefeated Alexandria while Hayden will host Leeds Friday night. Leeds is 3-1 (2-0) and coming off a 55-20 win over Moody.