Hayfield used dominating offensive line play in the second half and its defense held the area's leading rusher, Andre Yates, to 56 yards on 21 carries in earning a trip to the Northern Region Division 5 title game with a hard-fought, 26-20 victory over host Yorktown last night.

Friday at Washington-Lee, Hayfield (8-3) will meet Gunston District rival West Potomac for the championship at 1:30. The teams met earlier in the season, with West Potomac claiming a 14-7 win.

Hayfield's defense put the clamps on Yates, who entered the game with 1,995 yards in nine games -- an average of 221.6. Yates managed just one run of more than 10 yards, lost two fumbles and his total was nearly four times short of his average. Still, Yorktown had a chance to win.

Twice in the final seven minutes of play the Patriots (9-2) were inside Hayfield territory. The first time, Yorktown was left with a fourth and 11 from the 31. Quarterback Sean Goodwin lofted a pass over the middle to Mike Geter, who would have had enough for the first down. But free safety Dejuan Lawrence leveled Geter with a vicious tackle, knocking the ball free for an incomplete pass.

The Patriots had one last chance as they moved to the Hawks 25 behind three completions from Goodwin to David McKnight. But on the next play, Goodwin was rushed and tried to throw the ball away, out of the end zone. Lawrence intercepted with 1:09 left.

Hayfield's second half was a perfect example of physical football. The Hawks gained 162 yards on 30 carries. Aside from an 81-yard touchdown run by Geter (six carries, 120 yards) that gave the Patriots a 20-13 lead, the defense allowed just 24 yards rushing.

"The coaches told us at halftime that we had them overmatched up front," said fullback-linebacker Steve Leigh. "So we just pounded up the middle at them. And on defense we didn't do anything other than play our regular defense. We looked at their schedule and knew he {Yates} hadn't played anybody with as good a defense as ours."

Leigh gained 101 punishing yards as Hayfield amassed 327 total rushing yards. Greg Pruitt led the Hawks with 143 yards and sophomore Keith Martin had 81. It was Leigh who scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run that finished a 69-yard drive following a crucial ruling by the officials.

Yorktown's Kelly Hughes got off an excellent high punt. But Pruitt misjudged the ball and reached for it. He appeared to touch it and Yorktown fell on the ball at the Hawks 31. But the officials ruled Pruitt hadn't touched the ball, and nine plays later the Hawks led, 26-20.

Hayfield opened the second half with an impressive 67-yard, eight-play scoring drive that Martin ended with a five-yard run, pulling the Hawks to within one at 14-13. But Geter countered with his 81-yarder and the Patriots moved up, 20-13.

They then held Hayfield but Yates fumbled on the ensuing play and the Hawks' Marco White recovered at Yorktown's 31. Five plays later, Leigh went 13 yards up the middle to tie the game at 20 heading into the fourth quarter.