Sportspage Game of the Week
At West Point Stadium
Hayden 7 6 18 6 - 37
West Point 6 6 0 6 - 18
Hay - Levi Snider 7 run (Kade Marlin kick) 7:00 in 1st
WP - Rylan Jones 28 pass to Hunter Appling (kick failed) 4:11 in 1st
WP - Jones 5 run (kick blocked) 11:01 in 2nd
Hay - Austin Turner 35 run (kick failed) 7:31 in 2nd
Hay - Sheridan Miller 80 pass to Marlin (kick failed) 10:48 in 3rd
Hay - Turner 51 run (kick failed) 10:02 in 3rd
Hay - Turner 5 run (kick failed) 4:35 in 3rd
WP - Jones 5 pass to Hunter Persall (pass failed) 9:18 in 4th
Hay - Cole Goosby 35 run (run failed)
FLASH NOTES: Big games kept West Point from a victory last week against Wilson. It did the same Friday night in the 5A, Region 6 opener.
Three big plays early in the third quarter became too much for the Warriors to overcome after they played good in the first half, trailing 13-12 at the half. Two missed extra points following the TDs kept the Warriors from being ahead.
The 80-yard pass from Miller to Marlin was a play after the Wildcats were called for a chop block that sent them back to the Hayden 20-yard line. Hayden completed two passes all night, both accounting for 144 yards.
One in the first quarter was a 64-yard catch and run, but the Wildcats got tackled at the West Point three and fumbled into the end zone. West Point took over and marched downfield, scoring early in the second stanza to the lead for the first time.
After the long pass went for the score to start the third, the Wildcats surprised the Warriors with an onside kick recovery, pouncing on the ball at the West Point 41. A penalty pushed them back across midfield with the Wildcats correcting their mistake and moving out to a 25-12 lead on Turner's 51-yard run to the end zone.
West Point turned the ball over on downs four times on the night. Giving up the ball at the Hayden 35 resulted in a 65-yard march that took less than 3:00 with Turner scoring again and the Wildcats taking a 31-12 lead to the final quarter.
A West Point drive at the start of the fourth was carried into the end zone thanks to the Warriors getting a pair of good runs from Persall and Jones completing four passes on the drive.
But on the second series the Warriors had in the fourth became a mistake with Marlin intercepting plus a personal foul that added 15 yards to the return, setting up the Wildcats at the West Point 37. They needed 42 seconds to get an insurance score and head to Blount County 1-0 in the region and 1-2 for the season.
The Wildcats amassed 178 yards rushing in the second half and finished the final half with 258 yards offense. For the game, Hayden gained 466 yards with Turner rushing for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Hayden netted 16 first downs, seven in the second half.
West Point tallied 112 yards on the ground in the final half and only 42 passing. They gained 120 through the air in the first two quarters. Jones completed 17 passes, had one interception.
Appling hauled in three catches for 48 yards and a score, Kolton Easterwood gathered in six for 57 yards, Raylon Moore three for 47 yards. Persall rushed for 94 yards and caught four passes for 24 yards and a touchdown. West Point netted 324 yards of total offense with 17 first downs.
UP NEXT: West Point @ Springville (5A, Region 6) September 15
West Point defense trying to slow down Hayden attack in the 1st quarter.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton