Although they ended up winning the 3A title last year, the Bountiful Braves saw a 15-game winning streak snapped in midseason by Granite. So when they faced the Farmers in their league opener Friday night in the midst of a 9-game winning streak, they had to be a bit concerned.
"We thought about that," said Bountiful Coach Larry Wall of last year's loss, "but the main thing was that this was our league opener."For a half, the Farmers stayed right with Bountiful, but in the second half, the Braves broke away for a 35-17 victory.
"We just settled down and played our game in the second half," said Wall. "In the first half we were sitting back and we got out of our gameplan. In the second half we challenged them to play Bountiful football, especially on defense."
Part of the problem according to Wall was the fact that things came too easy for his team early on. They scored before the game was two minutes old and by the end of the first quarter it was 21-7.
On Granite's first possession, the Braves' John Starks intercepted a tipped pass and two plays later, the Braves scored on an 18-yard pass from Mason Jacobs to Justin Jensen.
Granite came right back with a methodical drive as Tony Wolfgramm scored from 4 yards out. But Bountiful scored twice more on quick two-play drives.
Jacobs made a nice fake and then found tight end Terry Orchard behind the defense for a 63-yard touchdown pass. Then after a Granite penalty on a punt return set them up in Farmer territory, the Braves scored on a 4-yard pass from Jacobs to Hansen, following a 35-yard run by Ryan Hadlock.
The Farmers do-everything Ryan Santore booted a 47-yard field goal and then picked off a Jacobs pitch and rambled 39 yards for a score to make it 21-17 midway through the second quarter.
With the momentum going their way, the Farmers moved from their own 13 to the Brave 15 late in the half. But a strange pass call on 3rd and 3 went incomplete and then Santore missed a 33-yard field goal.
The second half was all Bountiful. The Braves marched 80 yards on their first possession with Hadlock going the final 7 yards. Then after Granite failed on three plays, Hadlock scored on the Braves next play from scrimmage to make it 35-17 with 4:20 left in the quarter.
Granite's Mark Nielson was disappointed with his team's mistakes, which plagued the Farmers for the third straight week.
"We've got to stop making the big mistakes," said Nielson. "We got back in the ball game, but let them have a couple of big plays to get first downs and that hurt us."
West 27, Woods Cross 12
After passing for five TDs last week, West QB Ben Byrd passed for three more for an encore as the Panthers went wild in the second quarter to maul the Wildcats at West.
Byrd found his favorite target, Matt Watanuki, for scoring strikes of 40 and 23 yards, and connected with Ryan Toone on a 32 yard completion for another. Byrd also returned an interception 30 yards for West's second score of the game. Jeff Holtry added three extra points and three QB sacks for the Panthers in their Region Six opener.
Judge 12, Jordan 10
After suffering defeats each of the last two weeks, Judge took adavantage of some late-game opportunities to open league play with a win over Jordan at Judge.
The Bulldogs took an early 9-0 lead on a 30-yard TD run by J.B. Littlefield and a 27-yard FG from David Ravarino. Jordan took the lead in the fourth quarter, however, thanks to a 4-yard run by Trent Maddox. The Bulldogs recovered a fumble on their 40-yard line with 1:29 left, then moved to the Jordan 19 to set up Ravarino's game-winning 31-yard FG.
Tooele 21, Murray 20
Murray charged to a an early 17-0 lead only to watch it slip away at Tooele. The Spartans' Kip Davies hit a 37-yard FG and scored on a 5-yard run, and Ben Barnum added a 7-yard jaunt to stake Murray to the early adavantage. But Jason Brown broke away on a 73-yard run to get the White Buffaloes on the board, and Russ Pratt found Aaron Thomas and Chris Roskelly for scoring strikes of 17 and 9 yards respectively to bring Tooele back. Brown carried the ball for 196 yards for Tooele.