By Robert Bradford
North Jefferson News
HAYDEN — Joe Bell ran for three touchdowns as Walker — playing out the string in a year where they are banned from post-season play due to the well-publicized fight between their former coach and a Cullman assistant — shut out homestanding Hayden 42-0 on Friday night.
Hayden's defense held Walker on a fourth-down play early in the opening quarter and took over at the 38. The Cats offense showed some life and drove into Viking territory before a fumble, which was returned 71 yards for a score by Walker’s Jaiquavius Caldwell with 7:10 remaining in the first quarter.
After forcing a Hayden punt, the Vikings then scored on a 21-yard pass from Bryant Atkins to Keony Abrom.
The score remained 14-0 until Walker's Joe Bell ran in from the 2 with 3:49 to go in the first half. Bell would score again with only 19 seconds left in the half on a 1-yard run to give the Vikings a 28-0 halftime lead.
Walker would pad the lead in the second half on a 17-yard run by Bell and a 5-yard run by Desmond Young.
Hayden's Dylan Putnam had 73 yards on 15 carries, and also had a great night punting with a 39-yard average and a long 56-yard kick.
The loss drops the Cats to 0-6 overall and 0-4 in the region, officially eliminating them from playoff contention. Walker improves to 4-2.
Hayden hosts Mortimer Jordan next week; the Blue Devils lost to Moody on Friday.