GAME OF THE WEEK: Hayden Versus West Point

by | Sep 9, 2017 | Blount, County News, Cullman, High School Football, Sports

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The second game of the Cullman Today Week 3 GAME OF THE WEEK doubleheader took place in perfect football weather. The kick-off temperature was around 70° under crystal clear skies with the smell of frying chicken wings in the light breeze.

As expected, the hosting West Point Warriors and the Hayden Wildcats came out in the warm-ups looking very evenly matched. Both squads seemed inspired for an outstanding effort.

If the pre-kick-off festivities were a determining factor in the outcome, West Point might never lose a game:

Also, there is nothing quite like the WARRIORS HEDGE underneath the south end zone scoreboard:

The first half of this contest played out like the touchdown slugfest it was.

The Wildcats coasted down the field on the opening drive with Levi Snider punching the ball in for a 7-yard touchdown. Kade Marlin‘s only successful PAT of the night was good giving Hayden a 7-0 lead with just 5 minutes gone in the 1st quarter.

The Warriors responded in blitzkrieg-like fashion. In less than a minute, junior quarterback Rylan Jones found Hunter Appling on a breathtaking 28-yard pass play. The PAT was no good making the score 7-6.

The non-stop scoring continued with another Rylan Jones involved 5 yard TD run and a blocked PAT with less than a minute gone in the 2nd quarter.

All Cullman Today Sports Reports are made possible by the Jason Neal Liberty National Life Insurance Agency.

They have been insuring student-athletes and their parents against on and off field accidents and injuries for 25 years:

Not to be out done, OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME Austin Turner reeled off an outstanding 35 yard run midway through the 2nd frame giving the Warriors the lead. PAT failed.

Hayden nursed a 13-12 margin into the halftime locker room. The two teams looked VERY evenly matched at this point. Everyone in the stands assumed the second half would provide a close game with plenty of drama.

Meanwhile, the two schools’ Marching Bands put on State Championship level performances during half time.

The Pride of the Wildcats wowed the crowd with one of their award-winning performances:
The 97-person Warrior Marching Band put on a stunning show of their own:

Opening the 2nd half were three big plays quickly determined the outcome, silencing the raucous West Point sideline and east bleachers:

1. Sheridan Miller > 80-yard pass to Marlin
2. Austin Turner > 51 run
3. Austin Turner > 5 run

This scoring flurry all occurred within the first 8 minutes of the quarter ending the anticipated gridiron drama. Even though all three PAT’s failed, the 18 points proved too much for the game West Point team to overcome.

West Point attempted a comeback highlighted by a short Rylan Jones pass to Hunter Persall on a convincing drive to get their score to 18.

On the Warriors next possession, some hope existed until the Wildcat’s Kade Marlin executed a midfield interception in the 4th quarter.

This play sealed the fate of the game.

This play alone earns Marlin the coveted DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME award.

A garbage time run of 35 yards by Hayden’s fast Cole Goolsby finished the scoring and sealed the win for the Wildcats at 37-18.

Hayden goes on the road next week against Blount County with a 1-0 region record and 1-2 for the season. This win may be a turning point for the Wildcats.

The West Point Warriors take a 1-2 season record on the road to Springville (5A, Region 6) on September 15th for their next game.

GAME OF THE WEEK: Hayden versus West Point

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West Point Warrior Stadium

GAME OF THE WEEK: Hayden Versus West Point

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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