Wildcats claw Bears

After three straight road games, the Hayden Wildcats were finally back in the friendly confines of Robert W. Reid Stadium for Homecoming 2020. Hayden came away with an exciting 35-20 victory over the Lincoln Golden Bears in a Class 5A Region 6 game. The win also puts head coach Keith Register at 34 wins as he becomes the coach with the most wins in Hayden history.

The Wildcats took charge early on an 80-yard drive capped by Carson Rickels’ 4-yard run, the first of his three scores on the night. Jacob Dowd added the point after to give Hayden a 7-0 lead with 7:45 to go in the opening quarter. After exchanging punts, Lincoln got on the board with an 8-yard run by Latavious Wilson. Collin Chappell blocked the point after, but the Golden Bears had cut the lead to 7-6 with 0:35 remaining in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Hayden extended the lead to 14-6 on a 2-yard run by Rickels. Dowd’s kick was good. A little more than three minutes later and after a Lincoln punt, Rickels got his third TD of the night on a 2-yard run. Dowd’s PAT was good extending Hayden’s advantage to 21-6. Lincoln, however, cut the score to 21-12 on a 5-yard pass from Jack Poarch to Jafrondric Davis. Chappell blocked his second extra point attempt of the night with 0:45 on the clock. Hayden wasn’t done, though. The Wildcats struck again on a 54-yard pass from Silas Miller to Chappell. Dowd’s kick was good and the Wildcats took a 28-12 lead into intermission.

Lincoln’s only score of the second half came on a drive that ate up half of the third quarter. Poarch hit Davis for 7 yards and the score. Poarch hit Brian Garrett for the two-point conversion cutting the lead to 28-20.

The Wildcats scored on the opening play of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard sneak by Miller. Dowd’s point after extended the lead to 35-20 with 11:55 remaining in the game. With 4:20 left on the game clock, Jason Witt intercepted a pass and returned it to the end zone, but a penalty during the return nullified the score. Hayden’s offense took over and ran the clock out for the 35-20 victory.

Rickels led all rushers with 134 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. Taylor McAdams had 96 yards on 12 carries, while Ashton Hicks had 54 yards on eight attempts. Miller was 1-for-3 passing for 54 yards and a score. Chappell had one catch for 54 yards and a score.

Leading the Wildcats’ defense was the trio of Brady Green, Braden Hodges, and McAdams who recorded 10 tackles each. Chappell had eight while Trevor Lauminick and Korbin Register each had six. Owen Gooch recorded five on the night.

The win improves Hayden to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in Region 6 play. The Wildcats were scheduled to play another region game against St. Clair County at home Friday, but the Saints were forced to forfeit. Therefore that win improves Hayden to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in region play. The two wins put Register at 35 wins in his eight years at Hayden.

Hayden, however, was able to find another opponent for this week. They will host the Winfield Pirates Friday night. On Oct. 30, Moody is coming to Robert W. Reid Stadium in a make up game.