Hayes, run game lead Nazareth past Carmel
Nazareth senior Zach Hayes made plays in all three phases of the game helping lead his team to a 45-24 victory against Carmel, ending a three-game losing streak.
He had seven catches for 100 yards, connected on a 27-yard field goal, and intercepted a pass and returned it for the score.
After intercepting the ball in traffic, he broke a couple tackles and raced 83 yards for the touchdown.
"I didn't think I would have that much running room," Hayes said. "I knew it was close to the end of the half so I just thought I would be able to get us into the half up six. But I saw an open lane and then I saw a cutback and the blocks did the rest."
At the time, the Corsairs were looking to tie the game after falling behind 17-7 early.
Prior to Hayes' return, Torey French had a 77-yard kickoff return to set up a Carmel field goal. The defense then forced a three-and-out to put the Corsairs in position to attempt to tie the game. Hayes, however, had other plans.
"The morale was high and that just pumped up everybody," sophomore running back Alex Angulo said about the interception. "It got the team going. It just opened up plays for other people too."
After Hayes' big play, the ground game took over. Angulo and freshman Eddie McClain combined for 213 yards rushing in the game.
"Tonight, everything was open," Angulo said. "The holes were opening up, our offensive line was killing them and I was just able to find the lanes."
Angulo received most of the carries early and finished the game with three touchdowns off 136 yards on the ground. McClain had a score on a 16-yard run.
The other Nazareth touchdown came on a 57-yard pass from Logan Malachuk to Justin Taylor.
After losing three straight, Nazareth hopes the victory propels them like last year when they finished the season winning five of six after losing its first three games.
On the other side, Carmel looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season.
Johnny Weber contributed to all of Carmel's touchdowns, throwing a touchdown pass to George Yousseff and two more to Kai Owens. However, it wasn't enough.
"We are a program trying to turn the corner and we have to play better," Carmel head coach Jason McKie said. "That is it."