Facing a Class 6A program didn't scare him. Going head-to-head with a trio of big, bruising, senior running backs didn't phase him.
"That running back was probably 220 pounds and he was moving and he took him head on," St. Pius X coach Billy Noonan said. "That takes guts. That's brave."
In his first-ever varsity game, St. Pius X junior Hayden Payne didn't act like he had limited experience. Which was a good thing for the Panthers, who are having to replace a ton of talent on both sides of the ball in 2019.
"Hayden Payne was throwing his body around and didn't care who was running the ball, who caught the ball, he was going to stick his facemask in there and be a part of it," St. Pius X coach Billy Noonan said. "Just that whole lack of fear, you can't teach that. For a freshman, who is undersized right now, just goes in there and puts his body in there for the guy next to him because he cares."