To Hillcrest's credit, the Huskies were creative in keeping the first half close in Friday night's game against Alta.
The Huskies used a fake punt and a 50-yard field goal to keep within striking distance of the Hawks.Even though Hillcrest trailed just 18-10 at the half, there was a serious problem. It was apparent after two quarters that Alta was dominating the battle of the trenches and its powerful offense was moving at will.
Hillcrest had to do something. But when the Huskies fumbled the opening kickoff in the second half, Alta used the turnover to start a second-half onslaught that led to an easy 44-16 win.
After Steve Smith recovered the Huskie fumble to start the third quarter, Troy Nielsen rambled 27-yards on the first play from scrimmage to put Alta up 31-10.
Sean Davis capped off another scoring drive for Alta with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Hawks up 37-10.
The Huskies then used a razzle-dazzle reverse pass from wide receiver Lincoln James to Collin Holmberg for 80 yards to set up a 2-yard run from quarterback Shawn Kojima.
But back to the same old problem - Alta's running game.
The Hawks put the game out of reach on with a Nielsen 33-yard run with 11:16 left in the game.
"Our offensive line really dominated. The holes were huge for all the running backs," Nielsen said. "All you had to do was put a few moves on the defensive backs."
The only suspense left in the game was if there were enough fireworks to keep setting off after each score.
The Hawks finished region play at 8-1.
For the game, Alta finished with 370 yards rushing. Three Hawks ran for over 100 yards. Nielsen led the way with 194 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Dave Revill had 125 yards on the ground and quarterback Adam Jensen, who led off Alta's scoring with a 77-yard first-quarter run, finished with 107 yards rushing. He also completed 6 of 9 passes for 91 yards.
"To my knowledge that's the first time Alta has ever had three people over 100 yards," said Alta coach Mitch Lunak. "Our offensive line has been steady all year."
In other games around the state Friday:
Clearfield 21, Davis 0: Mike Wojciechowski ran for 120 yards on seven carries as the Falcons manhandled the Darts to improve to 5-1.
Viewmont 18, Layton 14: The Vikings avoided a winless season as they hung on to nab their first victory against the Lancers.
West Jordan 10, Copper Hills 0: Siaosi Vimahi scored on a 9-yard run and Danny Nelson added a field goal for all the scoring that was needed. Curtis Lowery and Steve Babcock combined for 25 tackles in helping the Jaguars shut out the Grizzlies. West Jordan hosts Kearns next week, with the winner gaining the region's final playoff spot.
Bingham 15, Taylorsville 13: Jake Sorensen kicked a 26-yard field goal with 1:58 to play to lift the Miners past the Warriors. Justin Grundy ran for 103 yards for Bingham.
Alta 44, Hillcrest 16: Tony Nielsen rushed for 194 yards on 20 carries while Lance Jensen and Dave Revill had 107 and 125 yards rushing, respectively, well as the Hawks crushed the Huskies.
Brighton 47, Timpanogos 3: The Timberwolves scored on their first possession of the game and gave the top-ranked Bengals all they could handle for the first half. But Brighton scored 34 points in the second half to blow the game open. Reno Mahe hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions and scored another on the ground. The Bengals have a huge showdown next week at Orem to decide the Region 3 championship.
Jordan 48, Mtn. View 38: D.J. Thayne put the hurt on the Bruins by rushing for 273 yards and five touchdowns as the Beetdiggers clinched a playoff spot with the win.
Fremont 24, Roy 7: Aaron Miles ran for two scored and the Silver Wolves hammered the Royals to improve to 3-5 and keep their postseason hopes alive.
Bonneville 28, Sky View 0: The fifth-ranked Lakers rebounded from a lopsided loss against Box Elder to thump the Bobcats and keep pace in Region 4.
Weber 28, Box Elder 17: Reggie Willson scored the game clinching touchdown, his second of the day, in the fourth quarter to lift the fourth-ranked Warriors past the Bees.
Logan 13, Mtn. Crest 10: Sam Goble had a 1-yard run with three seconds to play as the Grizzlies beat the rival Mustangs.
Ogden 34, Bear River 13: Miles Cooper bruised the Bears with 217 yards rushing and three touchdowns as the Tigers rolled to an easy win.
Only 5 crowns left
A week's left in the season, but eight of the 13 regions have already been clinched: Skyline, Reg. 1; Hunter, Reg. 2; Highland, Reg. 5; Morgan, Reg. 7; Emery, Reg. 8; Cedar, Reg. 9; Juab, Reg. 12; and San Juan, Reg. 13.