Hayden football plays host to Grand Valley tonight | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden football plays host to Grand Valley tonight

— Hayden football coach Shawn Baumgartner said four quarters of intense football wore his team down. That’s why it lost last week to one of the best teams in the state, defending Class 1A champions Yuma.

They might have come up just short a week ago, but he’s confident his Tigers can find enough energy from such a strong performance against a great team to power them through the next part of their schedule.

That quest starts at 7:30 p.m. today as Hayden welcomes Grand Valley to town for the Tigers’ first home game of the season, the second part of a volleyball-football doubleheader. The volleyball team plays North Park starting at 6:30 p.m.

Baumgartner said the key to bumping his team’s record to 2-1 will be a staunch run defense and an awareness that burned the Tigers a year ago in a game against the same team.

In that game, the Cardinals scored two all-important touchdowns early when Hayden bit hard on a pair of play-action passes. Cardinals went on to win the game, 28-17.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Those play-action passes worked well because Grand Valley runs the ball so well, but learning to be more sound on assignments has been a theme in Hayden’s practices.

“We need to be aware of that this time,” Baumgartner said. “They’re a really good running team, so we have to watch that, but we can’t give up those big plays. We have to play our responsibilities.”

Grand Valley also enters the game 1-1, having beat up Paonia last week, 22-7, after dropping a close game in its opener, 20-19, to Rifle.

“We’re really excited,” Baum­gartner said. “That game last week was a battle between two really good teams. Now, we’re going to take the positives from that game into this week.”

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