The Hayden Wildcats traveled to St. Clair County Friday night to take on the Springville Tigers and lost a heartbreaker to the Tigers by a score of 21-20.
Hayden scored on their first two drives to take an early 14-0 lead.
The first came after a seven-play, 65-yard drive as senior running back Austin Turner scored from 2 yards away. Turner ran the two-point conversion in to give the Wildcats an 8-0 lead with 10:32 left in the first quarter.
After forcing a Springville punt, the Wildcats drove 66 yards for the second touchdown of the quarter. Senior receiver Dylan Frasier, in his first game back following an injury in the season-opener, was on the receiving end of a 35-yard pass from senior quarterback Sheridan Miller. The run for two failed but Hayden had a 14-0 with 7:59 remaining in the first quarter.
Neither team would score until Hayden’s Turner broke loose for 62 yards and his second touchdown of the night. Again the try for two failed but the Wildcats had a 20-0 lead late in the first half.
After forcing a Tiger punt to start the second half, Hayden drove to the Springville 10 before turning the ball over on a fumble. The Tiger offense came alive and drove 90 yards for the score, capped by a 34-yard pass from Austin Hutcheson to Bradlee Cole. Ross Standford added the point-after to cut the lead to 20-7 with 5:45 on the third quarter clock.
Hayden drove 68 yards to the Tiger 2-yard line and fumbled again. The Tiger passing game struck again when Hutcheson hit Jace Hayes for 55 yards and a score. Stanford’s PAT was good and Springville had cut the lead to 20-14 with 8:36 left in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers took the lead with 39 seconds left in the game when Hutcheson scored on a 3-yard run. Stanford added the kick to give the Springville their only lead of the game.
The leading rusher for the Wildcats was Turner, who had 154 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Senior running back Cam Nelson, the Brett Chappell ALFA Insurance Player of the Game, added 77 yards on 13 carries. Nelson also had one catch for 19 yards and added 34 yards in kickoff return yards. Senior fullback Caleb Wilson had 71 yards on 17 carries.
Leading the Wildcat defense was junior Kade Marlin, who had nine tackles. Sophomore Nick Purvis added eight stops, while senior Curtis Burkett had five tackles, including three sacks. Junior Cole Hawkins had five tackles, and a sack, and Frasier had five stops. Freshman Colin Chappell had four tackles, one for loss, and two pass break-ups, and sophomore Cole Goolsby had four tackles and an interception.
The loss drops Hayden to 2-3 overall, 2-1 in 5A Region 6, while Springville moves to 1-5, 1-3. Friday, the Wildcats host rival Corner which defeated Curry 32-13 last week to improve to 4-3, 2-2.