By Robert Bradford
North Jefferson News
Curry was celebrating both homecoming and senior night, but Hayden spoiled both with a 35-7 win Friday.
Hayden's defense forced the first of six turnovers on the night on Curry’s first possession, when Luke Wall recovered a Yellow Jackets fumble. Wall caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Corey Ward to cap the four-play, 37-yard drive with just two and a half minutes elapsed.
The Jackets offense coughed up another fumble on their next possession and the Cats' Reid Trimble recovered at the 28. The deadly combo of Ward and Wall hooked up for a 16-yard scoring pass midway of the second quarter. Hayden led at the break 14-0.
The Wildcats opened the second half with a bang. The Ward-to-Wall connection was working, but on a long pass play Wall fumbled. Lineman Steven Ballard caught the ball and mid-air and rumbled 25 yards down to the Curry 8-yard line. The play covered 49 yards in all. John Smith took over from there and ran in for the score with 9:25 left in the third quarter.
The teams swapped punts until late in the period. Hayden's Parker Sims ran in from the 29 to put the game out of reach. Ward hit Wall for the two point conversion, and the Cats had a commanding 28-0 lead with only two minutes to go in the third quarter.
Curry's passing offense finally started clicking, and the Jackets drove 80 yards in just under two minutes when wide receiver Jarrod Owens took in a 3-yard pass from Bradley Loggins. That cut the lead to 28-7 with 20 seconds left in the period.
The Cats added a score late in the game when Sims ran in from 67 yards with 4:04 to go.
Sims led all rushers with 114 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns. Wall had five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns, and also had an interception and and fumble recovery on defense.
Curry's Tyler Hill caught eight passes for 70 yards.
The Hayden rush defense held Curry to only 33 yards on the ground, with 14 of that coming on the final drive. "The kids played hard, several where playing out of position due to injures but still play great,” Wildcat defensive coordinator Kim Hargett said. “Austin King stepped up and played well getting his first playing time this year."
The win improves the Cats to 2-7 overall and 2-5 in the region, while the loss drops Curry to 1-8, 0-7.
Next week the Cats host Arab while Curry travels to Cordova.