By RICK PETERSON
Hayden was good in last week's season-opener, rolling to a 34-point road win over traditional small-school power Olpe.
Bill Arnold's Wildcats were even better in Friday night's home opener, taking control early on the way to a 56-7 win over eight-time state champion Silver Lake.
"It's a good win, Silver Lake's a good team,'' Arnold said. "They've got a storied tradition over there and they expect to win each and every time they go out and I'm just real proud of our guys and the effort they put out tonight.
"I thought our execution and our pad level was no much better than a week ago. Silver Lake spreads you across the field and I thought we did a pretty good job of tackling in the open field tonight.''
The Wildcats scored on their first five offensive possessions of the first half and also threw in a defensive touchdown to open up a commanding 42-0 advantage with 3:29 left in the half before Arnold made wholesale changes for Hayden's final drive of the half.
Hayden senior star Finn Dunshee scored the Wildcats' first two touchdown of the night, on 7 and 56-yard runs, and the Wildcats made it 21-0 on a 17-yard run from sophomore Kade Mitchell before senior linebacker Jude Konrade made the score 28-0 after he scooped up a Silver Lake fumble and returned it 24 yards to paydirt with 4:17 left in the opening quarter.
Hayden added a pair of TDs in the second quarter to build its 42-0 halftime advantage, with senior Dom Ridley scoring from 9 yards out and junior Broderick Desch scoring on a 4-yard run.
The Wildcats forced a running clock at the 8:29 mark of the third quarter when Dunshee scored his third touchdown of the night on a 29-yard run and Hayden capped its big night on a 35-yard run by Ridley with 1:04 left in the third stanza.
Junior Jensen Schrickel went eight of eight on extra-point kicks for the Wildcats.
Silver Lake got on the scoreboard with 10:30 remaining on a 79-yard touchdown pass from senior Tanner Martin to senior Blake Redmond (Dysen Schooler kick).
Dunshee finished the night with 154 rushing yards on just eight attempts while Ridley added 77 yards on nine carries while Mitchell had 63 yarda on six attempts and Desch had 58 yards on 10 totes. Seven players carried the ball for the Wildcats, who finished with 377 yards on 43 attempts.
"We were expecting a real close game,'' Dunshee said. "We know they're a good team and we got out here and we did our thing and we showed out.
"Last week we weren't as clean. I think the thing that separated this game from last game was our 'D'. We were just a lot cleaner.''
Hayden junior quarterback Jett Wahlmeier completed five of 11 pass attempts for 43 yards.
Silver Lake's Martin threw for 124 yards, with 79 coming on the TD pass to Redmond.
Redmond had 29 rushing yards on four carries.
Hayden will travel to Rossville next Friday night while Silver Lake will travel to St. Marys.
HAYDEN 56, SILVER LAKE 7
Silver Lake (1-1) 0 0 0 7 -- 7
Hayden (2-0) 28 14 14 0 -- 56
Hayden --Dunshee 7 run (Schrickel kick)
Hayden -- Dunshee 56 run (Schrickel kick)
Hayden -- Mitchell 17 run (Schrickel kick)
Hayden -- Konrade 24 fumble return (Schrickel kick)
Hayden -- Ridley 9 run (Schrickel kick)
Hayden -- Desch 4 run (Schrickel kick)
Hayden -- Dunshee 29 run (Schrickel kick)
Hayden -- Ridley 35 run (Schrickel kick)
Silver Lake -- Redmond 79 pass from Martin (Schooler kick).
Rushing -- Silver Lake: Redmond 4-29, Renfro 2-11, Burgos 1-4, Martin 9-0, Schooler 2-(minus)-7. Hayden: Dunshee 8-154, Ridley 9-77, Desch 10-58, Mitchell 6-63, Krenz 5-21, Becker 3-2, Samich 2-2.
Passing -- Silver Lake: Martin 4-17-2 124 yards. Hayden: Wahlmeier 5-11-0, 43; Hanika 0-1-0, 0.
Receiving -- Silver Lake: Barnes 3-45, Redmond 1-79. Hayden: Dunshee 2-27, Schrickel 2-13, Ridley 1-3. .
Punting -- Silver Lake: Schooler 4-31.5; Martin 1-44.0. Hayden: Hanika 1-41.0.