Points aplenty in title games for Craig Parks and Rec Doak Walker football
From a first-year team that took the crown by the narrowest possible margin to a season-long dynamo that finished stronger than ever, the final games for Doak Walker tackle football were anything but boring.
Out-of-town teams reigned supreme in Craig Parks and Recreation’s youth pigskin program as Baggs, Wyoming took the championship to end the year undefeated in the third- and fourth-grade division and the Hayden Tigers earned a monster win as part of a sweep through the fifth- and sixth-grade league.
Playing under the Packers mantle, the Baggs team’s first year saw them go 5-0 overall, complete with a 27-26 Monday win over Hayden on the Moffat County High School Bulldog Proving Grounds.
With multiple buses heading southward, a high percentage of the small Wyoming town’s populace was in the stands for the end of the season, swarming the gridiron once the clock ran down.
“It’s just awesome. These kids all did great,” said coach Brandon Perry.
Perry, originally from Craig, said that although the Baggs group only had nine players, their fortitude showed throughout the season.
“These kids all wanted to play, they all showed up at practice and worked hard,” he said. “We’ll be back next year to defend the title.”
Hayden nearly closed the gap against the Packers late in the game, but a failed conversion at the goal line kept them one point behind.
The Tigers opted for an onside kick attempt to make up the difference.
Though no actual kickoffs take place in the program’s format, Tigers started from deep in their own territory with one shot at a first down, and an end run by Christian Planansky wound up going all the way to the Packer end zone.
Unfortunately, though they maintained possession, the onside rules didn’t allow for a touchdown, and the Tigers couldn’t score from there.
“It’s just like an NFL onside kick; they can recover it, but they can’t run or advance it,” said Hayden coach Jerry Davis. “It was an intense game. We had a good team, just had a couple miscues, that’s it.”
With the second title game of the week on Wednesday, the older Hayden group struck back and then some to win the fifth- and sixth-grade division in a 51-6 rout of the Cowboys.
Though the Craig group avoided a shutout — with Chance Knez gaining a breakaway run early in the second half that was stopped short of the goal line with the drive later finished on a quarterback sneak by Tanner Musgrave — the Tigers exploded out of the backfield again and again for the highest-scoring game for any team this season.
With a TD on nearly every drive, coach Nate Campbell said his team followed the game plan precisely.
“Every time we touched the ball, we needed to punch in a touchdown,” he said. “It was teamwork, man. Those guys came along from the first of the year. We’ve got guys who come from not playing at all, and they’re charging down the field out there. It took all 11 dudes we had.”