Hayden’s homecoming hopes dashed in overtime
Hayden — Rangely overcame an injury to one of its best players Friday night, and despite a crazy fourth-quarter goal line stand and easily their best performance of the season, the Hayden Tigers couldn’t do the same.
Rangely ruined Hayden’s homecoming Friday night, winning an overtime thriller, 20-14.
“It’s terrible,” senior Jack Redmond said, battling his mixed emotions after the game. “We gave our all. That’s all I can ask for. I couldn’t be prouder of this team. We fought our butts off.”
The game seemed a possible mismatch on paper, the Panthers running attack lining up with what’s been a weakness for the Tigers.
Hayden stood up to the ground-and-pound attack, however, and thanks to an opening drive touchdown from Redmond, had an 8-6 lead into the third quarter.
Rangely sustained a huge loss in the first quarter when senior running back and the team’s leading touchdown scorer Ethan Allred broke his leg. The Panthers were moving the ball well again in the second half, however, after shifting tight ends Colt Allred and Jesse Powell into the backfield, giving up any intention of passing.
Still, Hayden was winning, and it added to its lead with another short Redmond run, making it 14-6 in the third quarter.
It all changed in a moment, and somehow on one of Hayden’s best plays of the night.
Hayden quarterback and linebacker Garrett Camilletti, in the midst of perhaps his best game as a Tiger as he recored 10 tackles and rushed for 84 yards, fought off a block, dove for the sideline and just caught the foot of Allred, seemingly on his way for a big, crucial third-down gain.
The play forced an important late game punt, but it cost the Tigers Camilletti, who severely injured his ankle on the play, and soon their hard-earned lead.
The punt stopped at the 2-yard line. With a new quarterback in the game, Hayden muffed the snap on first down and gave up a safety, making the score 14-8.
The Panthers then got the ball back and quickly marched down to score a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, tying the game at 14.
“Our line did really good and opened up everything for us,” Allred said.
Hayden never got its offensive prowess back, but the Tigers clung bitterly to tie the game, setting up a wild series of final plays.
Rangely drove to the 10-yard line, and with 8.6 seconds remaining opted to try a field goal.
It was blocked, but the play was quickly waved off after Hayden drew a flag for hitting the center, not allowed in a long-snapping situation.
So, now at the 5-yard line, Rangely decided to go for it. This time, Tanner Guire came up with the stop, dragging Panther tailback Nych Deleon out of bounds at the 2-yard line as time expired.
“Just the guts of our kids, and making those plays,” Baumgartner said, halting, “I’m almost speechless.”
The Panthers had the momentum from the time Camiletti went out, and eventually in overtime that won the day. Each team got an opportunity from the 10-yard line. Allred drove 9 yards on first down to set up a pass — by his own admission a wonky one — for the touchdown, Allred to Jimmie Sheman.
“That was the ugliest pass that’s ever been seen,” Allred said. “Somehow, he caught it.
“We’ve been in a lot of close games like this. We know you have to win in the fourth quarter. Sometimes it takes a little more.”
Hayden got as close as the 5-yard line as it tried to respond, but another bad snap sealed its fate, ending a wild game that offered the Tigers a mix of heartbreak and pride.
“So close,” Baumgartner said. “This would have been a big win.”
Redmond finished with 85 yards on 19 carries and the two scores. Taylor Lewis led Hayden with 25 tackles.
The result improves Rangely to 4-1 and drops Hayden to 2-3.