Red Devils edge the Wildcats

Hayden’s Brody Kelley avoids Lawrence County defenders.

Hayden’s Brody Kelley avoids Lawrence County defenders.

The Hayden Wildcats opened Class 5A Region 7 play at home against the Lawrence County Red Devils. The Wildcats came up short on a 25-22 game.

Hayden opened the game with a 10-play, 67-yard drive and a score. Andy Woodard ran in from the 1-yard line. Kade Marlin ran the 2-point conversion to give the Wildcats an 8-0 lead with 8:08 remaining in the first quarter. Hayden extended the lead to 15-0 on a 49-yard run by Evan Orr. The score was set up on a fumble recovery by Nick Bates. Jacob Dowd added the point after with :34 on the first quarter clock. Lawrence County scored twice in the last three minutes of the half to cut the halftime lead to 15-12. Garrett Lee caught a 31-yard pass from Austin Blankenship who also hit Jacob Little for 9 yards and a score.

The Red Devils received the second half kickoff and drove 60 yards to go ahead for the first time of the night. Colton Johnson scored from 6 yards. The point after failed, but Lawrence County had an 18-15 lead with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter. Later in the quarter Izayah Fletcher was on the receiving end of a 46 yard pass from Blankenship. George Hill’s point after gave the Red Devils a 10 point lead with 5:28 remaining in the third. Hayden scored with 9:35 remaining in the game on a 2-yard run by Jay Burrow. Dowd’s PAT cut the lead to 25-22. Neither team found the end zone again.

Hayden coach Keith Register said, “We had a chance to win. We just shot ourselves in the foot too much.”

Leading rushers for Hayden were, Brett Chappell and Orr (who had 18 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.) Woodard added 48 yards on 11 carries and a score and Burrow had 30 yards on 9 carries and a touchdown. Leading defenders for Hayden were Brady Green (10 tackles), Cole Goolsby (9), Cam Partington (7), Kade Marlin (8), Nick Bates (6 and a fumble recovery), Collin Chappell (3), and Michael Brumbeloe (2 tackles and pass break up).

The loss drops Hayden to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in region play while Lawrence County evens it record at 1-1 overall and 1-0 in region play. The Wildcats travel to Russellville Friday to take on the Golden Tigers in another Class 5A Region 7 game. The Tigers defeated Corner 24-13 at Corner.