After going 1-9, 2-8, 2-8 and 2-8 in class 5A football, the 2010 edition of the Hayden Wildcats ended the year on a good note with a 26-11 win over county rival Locust Fork Hornets.
The Cats end a 5-5 record, missing the playoffs by one game.
Hayden senior running back Isaac Veitch, who had 187 yards on 26 carries, carried in from two yards out early in the second quarter to break a scoreless tie.
The extra point failed, but the Cats had a 6-0 lead with 9:40 remaining in the first half. Hayden was driving on its next possession when an interception at the 14 foiled the scoring threat.
Locust Fork got on the board late in the first half when Kyle Hornbuckle hit a 20-yard field goal with only 44 seconds lef in the half.
The second half saw the teams exchange punts. Hayden was driving deep in Hornets territory, when an interception at the five killed another scoring threat.
After a short Hornet punt, the Wildcats were in business at the Locust Fork 37. Quarterback Corey Ward connected with senior tight end Aaron Whitt for 12 yards and the score.
The Cats’ attempt for the two-point conversion failed, but Hayden had extended the lead to 12-3 with 2:59 remaining in the third.
After the teams exchanged punts, Hayden’s Veitch scored his second touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run.
The Cats had extended the lead to 20-3 with 7:22 to go in the game. Hayden recovered the onside kick and was in business at the 47, then had its second score in 50 seconds when Vietch dazzled the crowd with a 36-yard run, his third on the night.
Senior linebacker Ethan Hayes intercepted a Hornet pass midway through the fourth quarter.
The Hornets were able to score late into the game when running back Chris Davis ran in from the 2. Josh Biles added the two-point conversion with 1:43 remaining.
Veitch finished the season on a strong note with 187 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns. Vietch passed the 1,000-yard mark rushing for the season .
“Last year’s seniors laid the groundwork, these seniors added another row of bricks,” said Hayden head coach Steve Kerby. “We’ve got to keep working and improving, we can’t go back. It’s like a water pump, you got to keep pumping or the water will run back down hill. We can’t let that happen. We start on next year at 6:15 Monday morning in the weight room.”