The Bayfield High School football team got off to a brutal start Friday night against Pagosa Springs inside Wolverine Country Stadium and was unable to recover.
The Pirates toppled Bayfield 42-0 and brought an end to Bayfield’s 23-game league winning streak that dated back to 2014. Pirates’ senior running back Paden Bailey scored four times, and junior wide receiver Mitch Lewis added two more in the win.
Bayfield head coach Gary Heide said that he is proud to have led the streak as head coach but said it was every player from 2014 to the 2019 group that made the league run memorable.
“I told the boys that you never give up on life, and we’re certainly not going to give up on the season,” Heide said. “They fought hard tonight, but it just didn’t go our way. The win streak was a remarkable feat, no doubt about it.
“I was most proud to coach some unbelievable athletes who were, and are, extremely dedicated to this program. The reward should go to the players themselves. They were the ones that made the streak special, and that’s why I still am proud.”
Pagosa (4-4, 3-0 2A Intermountain League) got off to a hot start, as junior quarterback Grant Aucoin found junior wide receiver Lewis across the middle and took it 65 yards for a TD. The extra point was good, and Pagosa Springs led 7-0 with just over 10:51 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Crosby Edwards brought the ball out to the 28-yard line but fumbled and the Pirates recovered. Two plays later, Bailey scored on a 1-yard plunge to make it 14-0 with 9:51 left in the opening frame.
“We executed really well from our opening drive tonight,” Bailey said. “We just kept pounding the ball down their throats. A lot of credit to our offensive line, they really stepped up tonight. They gave (Aucoin) time to throw. We made a lot less mental mistakes, and it was a good team performance.”
In the second quarter, Pagosa Springs was able to drive down to the 33-yard line before the Pirates faced a fourth-and-6. Aucoin found Bailey on a screen play while throwing across his body, and Bailey took it 33-yards for the score with 3:34 to go in the half.
Bayfield (3-5, 2-1 IML) started with the ball in the second half and drove to the Pagosa 35-yard line but turned the ball over on downs.
Later in the quarter, BHS quarterback Isaac Ross was intercepted. The pass deflected off of a helmet and went into the hands of Pagosa’s Lewis, who took it 40 yards untouched for a score to make it 28-0 with 3:34 left in the third quarter.
Bailey capped off a 46-yard drive when he ran in a jet sweep down the left side from the 4-yard line for a score to make it 35-0 with 8:41 remaining. He added one more for good measure with 1:55 remaining.
Bayfield senior captain John Foutz said his team showed a lot of heart but was beaten by a better team.
“There’s no measure to how much heart they put out there on the field tonight,” Foutz said. “They’re young and inexperienced, and it’s something that they need to learn from. Pagosa is a good team, and (Bailey) was also good tonight. It’s tough to stop any runner. You’ve got to have a good line, and we do they’re just young. All it takes is that we missed our angles tonight, and we just have to fix that this week.”
While it’s a tough loss for the Wolverines, the Pirates were able to get a chip off of the shoulder after they lost 14-13 in overtime last season.
“That loss came into play a lot heading into this week,” Lewis said. “It meant a lot for the seniors, because they were so close to beating them last year. I kind of held a bit of a grudge, and every time I thought about it, it made me more motivated to beat them this year. I’ve been waiting for this all season, and to beat them on the road in a tough environment, it says a lot about this team.”
The Wolverines will have one more game against Salida (1-7, 1-2 IML) at 7 p.m. Friday inside Wolverine Country Stadium.
“They’re going to come back, learn from this and stay positive,” Heide said. “Most importantly, they’re going to trust each other. We’re all going to pick ourselves up, and hopefully will end our season with a victory.”