Hayden football draws Monte Vista

Tigers likely to play on road Saturday

Class 1A football playoffs

1. Wray (9-0)

16. Rocky Ford (6-3)


8. Monte Vista (7-2)

9. Hayden (5-4)


4. Limon (8-1)

13. Yuma (6-3)


5. Rye (8-1)

12. Paonia (4-5)


3. Burlington (8-1)

14. Wiggins (4-5)


6. Byers (7-2)

11. John Mall (6-3)


7. Lyons (7-2)

10. Akron (6-3)


2. Hotchkiss (8-1)

15. Lutheran Parker (6-3)

— As of Sunday afternoon, Hayden High School football coach Shawn Baumgartner didn’t know much that couldn’t be gleaned from a quick Google search.

He knew the important part, though: His Tigers were officially in the Class 1A playoffs.

Hayden, assigned the No. 9 seed in the 16-team tournament, likely will play at 1 p.m. Saturday, at Monte Vista.

“We’re pleased with the spot,” Baumgartner said. “We’re definitely happy to be in.”

Hayden finished 5-4 on the season, winning four of its final five games to lock up second place in the Western Slope League. That didn’t ensure the team a spot in the playoffs, however. The team got in with one of several at-large berths available.

In Monte Vista, the Tigers will find a team that pieced together a similar late-season roll but never was sweating whether it’d make the postseason.

The Pirates, 7-2, won the Southern Peaks League, running undefeated through that five-game schedule.

Not only was the team undefeated, it appeared to be unchallenged. Monte Vista averaged more than 40 points per game in those five wins and allowed just 42. Total. That’s an average of little more than eight points per game.

The only game that was even close, relatively, was an early October 36-15 win against Ignacio.

“You look at how they ran through their league and you know they’re a pretty good team,” Baumgartner said. “They handled everyone pretty easily.”

Hayden and Monte Vista have one common opponent. The Pirates traveled to win at Meeker, 14-10, early in the season. The Tigers, meanwhile, beat the Cowboys, 48-16, two weeks ago.

Just what that score differential means, Baumgartner wasn’t willing to speculate. He still was trying to learn what he could and had found nothing but disconnected phone numbers in his attempts to contact the Pirates coaching staff.

“We just need to gather as much information as we can, get some film and start putting a game plan together,” he said.

Saturday’s winner likely will face off against the tournament’s No. 1 seed, undefeated Wray, likely on Nov. 13.

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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