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All things considered, Alta coach Mitch Lunak was "just happy to get a win" Thursday. In his debut at the helm of the Hawks, the long-time assistant kicked off his new career, as well as the 1994 high school football season, in style as Alta blasted Kearns, 33-13.

"We did a pretty good job taking care of things," Lunak said. "That black, dark cloud isn't there anymore and I learned that I've got a field goal kicker."Alta, working to shake off a combination of problems which have turned the 1988 state champions into a mediocre program the last few years, capitalized on several Kearns miscues and the golden toe of senior Scott Thomsen to open the 1994 season on the (pardon the pun) right foot.

"I thought Alta played pretty well," said Kearns coach Mike Sorich. "They did what they had to do."

The Cougars, devastated by graduation after winning the Region 3 championship last year, were penalized eight times, five for encroachment, en route to giving up 27 unanswered points. Thomsen's four field goals and three extra points added to the blitz for Alta.

"This is one of those games you hope you have a shot at," said Sorich. "Unfortunately, our inexperience showed through."

The Hawks opened the contest by driving 80 yards on 10 plays to score the year's first touchdown. Ryan Coyle capped the series with a 5-yard run up the middle. However, the 7-0 advantage didn't last long as Jason Miles scurried 77 yards on Kearns' first play from scrimmage to pull the Cougars even.

The score remained knotted until Kearns linebacker Ron Moleni intercepted an Alta pass and rambled 25 yards into the end zone.

Leading 13-6 early in the second quarter, Kearns began to unravel - inexperience and hot temperatures began to take its toll on the beefy Cougars.

"Our big kids did get tired," said Sorich. "We've got some young kids who will learn from this and get better."

A bad snap led to a poor punt as Alta began its go-ahead series on the Kearns 26. Four plays later, quarterback Colby Newton connected on a 6-yard scoring strike to Matt Lawson. Kearns fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving Alta the ball inside the 20 and setting up Thomsen's first field goal. He added a 41-yard shot a series later to cap a 13 points in four minute rally which gave Alta a 20-13 halftime edge.

The barrage continued in the second half when a pair of Kearns penalties, and a strong kickoff return by Alta, powered another touchdown drive. Senior Brett Dyer's 8-yard reception increased the Hawks' lead to 27-13 with 5:03 left in the third quarter. Thomsen finished the scoring with fourth quarter field goals from 29 and 42 yards out.

"Our offense did a great job picking spots where the defense was weak," said Lunak. "Our defense also played well."

Indeed, it was just an all-around good day for Alta.