Heartbreak in Hayden: Simla scores 3 times in final 5 minutes to win over Tigers
HAYDEN — Just 3:29 seconds. That’s how long it took Simla to turn a 16-0 deficit into a 20-16 advantage.
A 62-yard pass from Simla High School junior quarterback Coletin Mazerall to freshman Brayden Glover put the Cubs on the board, but the Tigers still held a 10-point lead and had the ball. Until they dropped it. Twice. Two fumble recoveries led to two more Simla scores that sealed a 20-16 win on Friday, Sept. 13, at Hayden High School.
“It really didn’t come down to the last five minutes. It was what we should have done in the first half, capitalizing on those times we were within 20 or 30 yards,” Hayden head coach Matt Linsacum said. “Those scores in the last five minutes could have happened and it wouldn’t have mattered.”
For the rest of the game, the Hayden defense was spectacular, churning out highlight-reel plays. An interception by junior Wyatt Murphy dazzled the crowd early in the second half, but a later play actually resulted in points for the home team.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Cubs had the ball just a few yards in front of the end zone. A sack by Tigers freshman Israel Santos put Simla on the 1-yard line. On the next play, the Cubs went to punt, but a step out of bounds granted the Tigers two points with a safety.
“Their backs are up against the wall, and that’s a hard place to be as a defense,” Linsacum said. “Our offense has got to capitalize and not give them such crappy field position on the defensive side of the ball.”
The offense had multiple opportunities, scoring just twice.
Hayden started its second possession on the Cubs 33-yard line. A run by junior running back Liam Fentress put the ball on the four. On the next play, senior quarterback Reese Kern handed the ball off to junior back Hunter Slowik who was caught by the ankles by a Cubs defender. He kept moving, falling into the end zone for the game’s opening score with three minutes left in the first frame.
Fentress scored the 2-point conversion, putting the Tigers up 8-0.
- Sept. 7: at Justice, W 68-6.
- Sept. 13: vs. Simla, L 20-16
- Sept. 20: at Gilpin, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 27: vs. Plateau Valley, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 4: at Vail Christian, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 11: at Rangely, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 18: vs. West Grand, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 26: at Denver Christian, 1 p.m.
- Nov. 1: vs. Soroco, 7 p.m.
After the Tigers got the ball on the Simla 35, Kern threw the ball up to senior Hunter Planansky on the far sideline. The 6-foot-1 Tiger brought the ball down to his chest despite coverage from Simla’s Chris Garza. He moved up two yards before coming across freshman safety Jordan Zimmerman, who Planansky stiff armed and rolled past, running free to the end zone.
“Hunter ran really well tonight. He really did,” Linsacum said. “He’s usually in that slot position. He’s usually not our go-to throw guy. Him catching it was critical.”
Simla 20, Hayden 16
S 0 0 0 20 — 20
H 8 6 0 2 — 16
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