By Robert Bradford
North Jefferson News
HAYDEN — Coach Keith Register is officially off the schneid at Hayden.
The Wildcats won their first game of the season with a convincing 54-31 homecoming-night victory over Curry.
The Cats scored early and often. Fullback Walter Finley opened the scoring on a 1-yard run with 8:35 remaining in the first quarter. Quarterback Tim Curry connected with Blake Adams for the two point conversion to put Hayden up 8-0.
Hayden's defense came up with a turnover on Curry's next possession when Finley (at defensive end) forced the fumble and linebacker Reid Trimble recovered at the 48. Adams capped the drive with a 1-yard run with 4:22 left.
Ben Baldwin recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to put the Cats back on offense at the 46. Patrick Hargett finsihed the drive on a 1-yard run. The point-after kick failed again, but Hayden was ahead 20-0 with 1:26 still to play in the first quarter.
Hayden's denfense forced a Jacket punt that was muffed and recovered by the Jackets at the Hayden 10-yard line. But Clay Hogeland intercepted a pass at the goal line and returned it to the 23, thanks in part to a big block by J.J. Jinright. Hogeland later scored from the 2, and the hosts led 26-0 with 6:42 to go in the first half.
Curry finally got on the board when Tristan Warren ran 34 yards for a touchdown, to cut the lead to 26-7 with 3:40 remaining before halftime.
The Wildcats answered in less than two minutes when Tim Curry hit Adam Payne for a 30-yards touchdown pass. Patrick Ward added the point after to increase the lead to 33-7 with just over two minutes left in the first half.
Hayden took the second half kickoff and drove 60 yards for the score, with Tim Curry carrying it in from a yard away. Ward's point after was true and the Cats lead was 40-7 with 6:37 in the third.
The Wildcats scored again when Hargett ran it in from the 3 with 11:55 remaining in the game.
Warren got his second touchdown of the night for ther Jackets on a 7 yard run with 9:39 remaining.
After a Hayden fumble on the kickoff, Curry would score again, this time on an Eric Niles 10-yard run. That cut the margin to 47-19 with 6:53 to go.
Wildcat freshman running back Leonard Johnson had the big run of the night on a 41-yard scoring dash with 5:47 remaining.
Curry's Tristan Westbrook got into the end zone on a 1-yard run with just over three minutes to go, then Trew Woodley hit Chath Morgan on a 10-yard score with :56 remaining.
Adams who had 125 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown to lead the rushing attack for Hayden. Finley added 95 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Payne had two pass receptions for 67 yards and a score, while Zachary Bradford had three catches for 42 yards.
The win improves Hayden to 1-8 overall and 1-6 in the region, while Curry drops to 1-8, 0-7.
Next week the Cats travel to Arab to take on the Arabian Knights, who beat Columbia on Friday and are 2-7 on the season.