Nate Timmons tries to break away from two K-W defenders. Photo by Mary Nelson
By Andrew Weiers
Hayfield managed to hang on to a 33 to 31 win after a back and forth Homecoming battle Friday night at Dean Fritze Field. The Vikings opened the game up with a 18 play drive that took most of the 1st quarter (ending at 4:56 left in the half), but were unable to get points. The Knights put together a drive of their own which they capped off with a TD run, but missed the point after attempt.
On the next drive the Vikings took the lead and never looked back. The Knights stayed in the ball game with some long touchdown runs, but were unable to close the gap. The Vikings offense was clicking on all cylinders, racking up 395 yards of offense and 5 TD's.
The final TD came with 46 seconds left on a touchdown run by Senior Brady Kramer to put the Vikings up 33-24. On the ensuing kick-off the Knights, courtesy of a throw back trick play, returned the ball for a touchdown keeping them alive for the time being. The point after made the game 33-31. After an offside penalty on the first onside kick attempt, the second attempt was pooched over the front line and recovered by senior Matt Bergstad. Two knees later the game belonged to the Vikings. It was a great game to be a part of as fans stormed the field in celebration. The victory brought out many emotions as there had been much wait and countless hours of work put into getting back in the "W" column and took an entire team effort.
Leading the Vikings on offense was Senior Brady Kramer who broke out was 9-12 for 112 yards and 1 TD through the air, and an additional 20 attempts for 112 yards and 3 TD's on the ground. Also leading the way were Junior Cole Kruger who rushed 7 times for 96 yards and a TD and received 3 catches for 29 yards including a pivotal 22 yard third down conversion; Senior Nate Timmons, 10 rushes for 62 yards; and Junior Merrick Ducharme, 3 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Paving the way for all these yards was the front line led by seniors Brady Stevens and Jason Born, juniors Corey Thompson and Connor Nelson, and sophomores Noah Timmons and Tanner Johnston. This group has been improving immensely every week and played a major role in the team's success.
Defensively, Kramer also led the way with 8 total tackles. Senior Jamie Kiefer, Junior Carter Pesch and Thompson added 6 tackles each, with Thompson and Kiefer both adding crucial sacks.
Hayfield's win is the first since 2009, breaking a 24 game slide. Next week the Vikings travel to Zumbrota-Mazeppa.