Tigers football loses to Paonia | SteamboatToday.com

Tigers football loses to Paonia

Hayden High School falls short at goal line

Hayden quarterback Graig Medvesk tries to get away from a pack of Paonia defenders Friday night. He was often successful, and his scrambling set the team up on the 1-yard line late in the first half. The team couldn't ever take advantage, however, missing on that opportunity and losing, 20-0.

It wasn’t that the Hayden football team couldn’t move the ball or stop Paonia in Friday night’s homecoming game in Hayden.

It’s that the Tigers could only manage to do those things in spurts, and those spurts weren’t nearly long enough.

Paonia went to the air to get past Hayden, throwing for 279 yards en route to a 20-0 victory against the Tigers.

“It’s upsetting – real upsetting,” Hayden junior Treyben Letlow said. “You get so pumped up for homecoming, play so hard, and the other team still gets the best of you. That really hurts.”

Big plays have plagued Hayden (2-3) throughout the season, and one big 40-yard-touchdown pass helped sink the Tigers on Friday.

But the Screaming Eagles took control of Friday’s game on the strength of quarterback Casey Gillenwater’s ability to connect time and time again on shorter passes.

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Paonia ran a spread offense and spent the night torturing Hayden’s defensive backfield.

The Tigers tried to blitz to pressure the at-times shaky signal caller, but often that only made the problem worse as Gillenwater frequently – and almost always on long third downs – seemed to find the one man left open.

Paonia converted on four of five third downs in the first half, three of which required plays 10 yards or longer.

“They brought a lot of blitzes so just tried to hit the spots they were blitzing from,” Paonia coach Craig Cerise said.

All that first-half offense resulted in a 14-0 halftime lead for the Eagles, but had a season-long reoccurring problem not risen up to bite the Tigers, the game could have been tied.

Hayden didn’t struggle to move the ball – just to score. Letlow filled in for a sick Jake Walker at tailback and picked up 105 yards. Quarterback Graig Medvesk found room to scramble on several occasions.

It all amounted to two trips inside the 6-yard line in the first half.

Hayden missed on the first opportunity with a fourth-down incompletion. Meanwhile, Medvesk came up a hair short of the goal line on a quarterback sneak as time ran out on the first half.

“That killed us right there,” Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “We had a chance to match their score at halftime, and we just couldn’t get it done.”

Hayden girls volleyball falls in four Friday night

The Hayden High School volleyball team lost in four games Friday night, falling to Paonia, 25-15, 25-17, 25-21 and 25-18.

“We had a lot of hitting errors, and that really hurt us,” coach Greg Johnson said. “We missed a lot of kills and serves.”

After an ugly first game, the team managed to pass the ball better and was close in the second before a late Eagle run set the final score. Hayden then dug deep to win the third game.

Sisters Erin Koehler and Rachael Koehler led the team. Erin Koehler had 8 blocks and 5 kills and Rachael Koehler finished with 11 kills.

“There were a lot of positives tonight,” Johnson said. “That was one of the better teams in the league, and our girls fought them hard.”

Game statistics


First Downs: 21


Comp-Att-Int: 16-36-2

Yards Passing: 279

Total Yards: 405

Fumbles-lost: 2-1

Penalties-Yards: 5-42


First Downs: 17

Rushes-Yards: 31-244

Comp-Att-Int: 9-25-1

Yards Passing: 94

Total Yards: 338

Fumbles-lost: 3-1

Penalties-Yards: 5-45

Score by quarters

Paonia: 7-7-6-0-20

Hayden: 0-0-0-0-0

Individual statistics


P – Adrian Lopez 13-75: Gillenwater 5-34: Bradford 4-17.

H – Graig Medvesk 9-55: Treyben Letlow 11-105: Brian Hoza 9-61: Ryan Domson 2-23.


P – Gillenwater 16-35-2 279 yards: 2 TD; Bradford 0-1-0 0 yards.

H – Medvesk 9-25-1 94 yards.