HAYDEN, Ala. — On a gorgeous fall night, the West Point Warriors traveled down I-65 to take on the Hayden Wildcats at Robert Reid Stadium. Both teams were coming off disappointing losses from the previous week, but West Point’s defense stepped up and powered the Warriors to a 14-6, road win.
The Wildcats took the opening drive and went 46 yards on six plays where West Point’s defense stiffened and forced Hayden into a fourth and three. Taylor McAdams was stopped after a one-yard gain and the Warriors took over on downs at their own 23-yard line.
West Point used 14 plays to consume the rest of the first quarter and were threatening to score. Four plays later West Point faced a fourth and goal from the one-yard line. On the next play, Kelton Washington scored the first touchdown of the game on a one-yard run. The extra point kick was good by Omar Segundo and the Warriors led 7-0 with 9:44 left in the first half.
On Hayden’s next drive, their drive was stopped by a fumble recovered by Suyeta DrowningBear giving West Point the ball on their own 29-yard line. The Warriors overcame two fourth down plays to finally face a fourth and 12 near midfield. Hunter Hensley’s pass fell incomplete and the Wildcats took over near midfield. Time ran out on Hayden and the first half ended with the Warriors leading 7-0.
West Point ended the half with 104 total yard offense and Hayden had 133 total yards. Washington finished the half with 50 yards on 18 carries and had one pass completion for 18 yards. Hensley was 3 of 5 passing for 35 yards.
West Point got the kickoff to start the second half. Five plays later Hensley was sacked to end the drive and the Warriors punted the ball giving Hayden the ball on their own 13-yard line. 12 plays later, the Wildcats faced a fourth and three from West Point’s 26-yard line. An offside penalty against the Warriors gave Hayden a first down. On the next play, McAdams scored a touchdown on a 21-yard run. The Wildcats attempted a two-point conversion and were stopped short making the score 7-6 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.
West Point faced a fourth and four on their next drive. Washington was stopped short on a three-yard run turning the ball over to the Wildcats at their own 36-yard line. Heading into the fourth quarter, West Point’s lead looked to be in danger as the Wildcats drove deep into West Point territory. A sack of Hayden quarterback Will Vines was negated by a holding penalty against the Warriors. Two plays later, West Point suffered two penalties on the same play, facemask and unsportsmanlike penalties. The Wildcats had the ball at West Point’s 12-yard line. Three runs by McAdams had Hayden facing a fourth and two from the West Point four-yard line. Elijah Smith was tackled for a four-yard loss and the goal line stand by the Warriors preserved their slim lead.
Taking over on their own 8-yard line, the Warriors looked to run out the clock. Strong running by Washington had West Point deep inside the Hayden end of the field and time running out in the game. With less than two minutes left in the game, Hensley completed a 26-yard pass to Eli Sims to give West Point a first and goal from the 3-yard line. On the next play, Washington took a direct snap and scored and extend West Point’s lead to 14-6.
After two quick completions, the Warriors forced four straight incompletions and took over near midfield and ran out the clock to get the win 14-6.
After the game, West Point Head Coach Don Farley was still talking about the goal line stand by his defense.
“That was a great goal line stand by our defense. We’ve been stressing all week to continue to work hard, and the defense came though. We got exactly what we expected whenever we play Hayden, a hard-fought game by both teams.”
The Warriors finished the game with 227 yards total offense led by Washington’s 140 yards on 34 carries. Hensley was 5 of 7 passing for 70 yards.
West Point welcomes the Crossville Lions next week at home.
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