Hayden routs Duncan in season opener, 38 – 8

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Hayden Lobos after a win over the Duncan Wildkats.

  The Hayden football team completed one of its most successful seasons in recent memory, finishing 8 – 4 with a berth in the state playoffs in 2016.

  The Lobos continued to perform well in their season opener versus Duncan last Friday night, defeating the Wildkats, 38 – 8.

  Duncan scored its only points on an 80-yard kickoff return to start the game, but it was all Lobos after that as they scored 38 unanswered points on the way to the lopsided victory.

“They got away from us on the opening kickoff,” Hayden head coach John Estrada told the Copper Basin News. “But we gained our composure after that.

A Lobo defender works to bring down the Duncan ball carrier. Joel Rodriguez (#80) rushes in to assist.

  “We worked hard and have been for more than a month,” he added about his team’s performance in the opener. “We made a lot of mistakes but we just have to keep climbing that hill and keep getting better.”

  The Lobos tied the game on a Mario Mariscal five yard touchdown pass to Robert Bohrn and Joel Rodriguez’ two-point PAT.

  Rodriguez later scored on a 35-yard touchdown run and converted his second PAT, giving the Lobos a 16 – 8 lead.

  Mariscal and Bohrn hooked up again, this time on a 23-yard touchdown before Omar Lopez converted the two-point PAT, extending the lead to 24 – 8, where it remained as the teams headed to the locker room for halftime.

  “Mario threw some good passes,” Estrada said about his senior signal caller.

  Lopez scored one of two second half touchdowns for Hayden on a 30-yard run. Rodriguez tallied the other, his second of the game, on a 36-yard rush. Frankie Valencia converted the two-point PAT following Rodriguez’ touchdown.

Hayden’s Omar Lopez evades a tackle by a Wildkat late in the game.

  The Lobos’ defense was superb throughout, essentially posting a shutout as the Wildkats’ only touchdown came on special teams.

  “Our team came to hit,” Estrada said. “By the third quarter Duncan felt the hits, it was real hesitant. It was unfortunate for (Duncan), they lost some key players from last season.”

  The Lobos travel to Williams this Friday.

  “If we continue to do our jobs and work hard we can be successful,” Estrada said, looking ahead to this week’s game. “We are going to have to stay composed, Williams was state runner-up last year.

  “They’re big and physical,” he continued. “They like to power the ball off of that unbalanced line that they run, and now they’re spreading teams out like Superior does. It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Andy Luberda (1029 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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