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HILLCREST SHUTS DOWN KEARNS, 17-6

Their defenses fought like cats and dogs, but in the end it was the Huskies who unleashed a second half flurry to beat the Cougars, 17-6.

Hillcrest improved its preseason record to 2-0, but more impressively has only allowed six points in its first two victories over Highland and Kearns. The Cougars, who went to the 5A state semifinals last year, are still looking for some offensive punch to lift their early 0-2 record.Hillcrest's offense was shut out the first half, but got a jumpstart in the second half by its defense.

On the first drive of the second half, the Huskies forced the Cougars to punt from their own 27 yard line. Hillcrest's Bart Chytraus, who tackled running back Myron Vea for a three-yard loss to force the punt, broke through the massive Cougar line and got both of his hands on the pigskin to block the kick. The ball bounced into and out of the endzone for a safety and Hillcrest's first two points.

Chytraus, who had four sacks on the day, led the Huskie defense on the next Cougar drive, too. Kearns quarterback Matt Simmons led the Cougars down the field with a long pass to Ryan Cochrane, 27 yards, and another pass to Dan Quinney that netted 14 yards. The Cougars threatened from the 28-yard-line, but Hillcrest's defense held tough. Defensive end Chytraus and Mark Roberts, tackle, dropped Simmons for a loss on fourth and long, turning the ball over to the Huskies.

Hillcrest marched up the field, but was stopped at the Kearns 27-yard-line after an incomplete pass on fourth and seven. The Cougars took over, but Chytraus went to work again. He sacked Simmons for a 15-yard loss and Kearns was forced to punt again into a stiff wind from its own one-yard line.

The Huskies' offense took advantage of the excellent field position after a short punt put them on the 16-yard-line. Hillcrest QB Doug Smith dumped a short pass off to fullback John Wilson, who managed to get himself and several Cougars into the endzone. The Huskies took their first lead of the game at 9-6 with just three seconds left in the third quarter.

Wilson scored again to cap an 80-yard drive at the seven minute mark in the fourth quarter. Placekicker Nick Paulk found Smith open for the two-point conversion and the 17-6 lead.

Kearns' Vea put the Cougars on the board with just over two minutes left in the first half on a two-yard carry. The Cougars also played tough defensively. In the second quarter, Hillcrest had a first down on the Kearns 11-yard-line, but penalties and good defense forced the Huskies to give up the ball on downs.