Bayfield’s defense forced five turnovers, the offense rushed for 334 yards, and the Wolverines overcame a slow start to beat Delta 45-0.
The Bayfield High School football team went into halftime Friday at Wolverines Country Stadium with a 3-0 lead thanks to a 22-yard field goal by senior Chris Mooney. It was Bayfield’s first made field goal since 2011.
While Bayfield’s offense was able to rush for 136 yards in the first half, the Wolverines (8-0, 4-0 IML) stalled three times in Delta (3-5, 2-2 IML) territory without scoring points. A talented group of seniors led a charge out of halftime and helped send Bayfield to a convincing victory.
“The confidence of those young men and the seniors to go into halftime 3-0 and everybody being together and the seniors leading the team in the second half to that kind of performance is outstanding,” BHS head coach Gary Heide said. “It is evident what those seniors and everybody on this team is made of.”
Hunter Killough had two interceptions in the game, including one returned for a touchdown with 11 minutes, 44 seconds to go in the fourth quarter that gave BHS a 24-0 lead.
Killough returned the interception 15 yards and was stood up at the goal line trying to score, but the entire BHS defense rallied behind him and pushed him into the end zone.
“The second one, I had just told Dax Snooks they were gonna try to dump it to (Gage Lockhart) because it worked in the first half and they were pinned back,” Killough said. “It was a lot worse of a pass than I expected. I broke on it and started running and thought I was gonna be down at the 1, and I hit their linemen to see if I could push them in. They stood me up, but I guess I had stronger guys at my back because they pushed me while I was in the air.”
Carl Heide and Keyon Prior also had interceptions in the game for BHS, and every interception led to points. Max McGhehey also recovered a fumble by Delta running back Brendon Starr, who entered the game with more than 1,000 rushing yards and an average of 150 yards per game. He finished Friday’s game with 36 yards on 11 carries. It was the second consecutive year Bayfield’s defense has limited a Delta running back who had more than 1,000 yards entering the game to fewer than 40 yards.
“It feels really good to know our run D is that good,” Killough said. “(Ryan) Phelps had a great game, and the whole defense played lights out both halves. That’s what we do and that’s how we make our stands.”
BHS got the ball to open the second half, and the Wolverines marched 65 yards in seven plays and scored on a fourth down pass of 12 yards from Hayden Farmer to Snooks, the duo’s 10th TD connection of the season and Farmer’s 21st TD pass. The ball was tipped in the end zone by Killough and then a Delta defender before it floated into the hands of Snooks.
“The first drive of the second half, we were really set on doing something on that first drive,” coach Heide said. “That touchdown kind of lifted everyone. Cade Killough said it broke the ice for us, and that’s all we needed. Once it was 10-0, it loosened us up, and we knew 10 points was a good lead for us the way our defense was playing.”
BHS limited Delta QB Drake Horn to 1-of-9 passing for 27 yards and the four interceptions.
Carl Heide intercepted Horn on Delta’s first possession of the second half on a deep pass.
“I had to sprint to get it,” Carl Heide said. “Once that ball goes up, I’m like, ‘Ooh that’s mine.’”
BHS marched down the field again and scored on a 3-yard TD run by David Hawkins to make it 17-0. Hawkins scored again on another 3-yard TD run with 7:50 to play after a 39-yard run by Dylan Hilliker got the Wolverines close.
Hilliker, a sophomore, finished with 112 rushing yards on only four carries.
“We know he’s special,” coach Heide said. “He comes in and gives us big juice and does a fantastic job. He’s going to be part of these next few games we play, no doubt about it.”
After Hawkins’ second TD run made it 31-0 BHS, a Prior interception got the ball back to Bayfield. Farmer then hit senior Garrett Beebe for a 36-yard TD on a long pass down the right sideline. It was Beebe’s first varsity TD, and it was a perfect way for him to celebrate senior night.
“It felt amazing,” Beebe said. “I wanted it bad. I knew it was going to happen. Coach called the play and I knew I just had to catch it and score.”
Farmer finished 9-of-16 passing for 138 yards and two TDs to give him 22 on the season, which is a program record. It was a strong second half after he started 3-of-10 for 34 yards in the first half.
BHS tacked on one more TD late on a 2-yard run by junior Alec Demko.
Mooney was perfect on his extra points and made his lone field goal to give the Wolverines plenty of confidence in their senior kicker before the postseason.
“He looks so confident,” coach Heide said of his kicker. “I can truthfully say now we will be in the playoffs in some regard, and the kicks help a lot in the playoffs. Even extra points, 13-12 we remember that from last year.”
BHS will hit the road to close out the regular season next week at Alamosa. An Alamosa loss Saturday at Pagosa Springs would give BHS the league title, otherwise the Wolverines will have to remain perfect next week to secure a third consecutive league title.
First, the seniors will enjoy their night.
“With 16 seniors on the team, it’s great to win like that,” Carl Heide said. “45-0, there’s nothing more you can ask for.”