The chances of East High beating heavily favored and unbeaten Highland High in prep football action Thursday night were slim to none.
"Slim" hung around for the Leopards for a quarter and a half, but following two early touchdown runs by Highland's Morgan Scalley (1-yard run, 65-yard punt return) amid rain and snow flurries,"Slim" packed up and left. The Rams beat the Leopards 37-6.With the victory, the Rams moved to 8-0 in league play, captured the Region 5 title outright and nailed down some Eastside bragging rights.
"East was very well-prepared for us," Highland coach Larry Wilson said. "We knew we would have to make a few adjustments. The assistant coaches and the kids deserve all the credit."
The Rams (9-0, 8-0), who have trailed in their last three contests, had to make early adjustments on Leopard running back Sione Havili as he took East's third play from scrimmage 65 yards for the touchdown. But that was it for the Leopards.
While the Ram defense, led by Andrew Cannon, who had three sacks, and Moses Mailei, held the Leopards (5-3, 5-3) in check, the Ram offense took advantage of costly East miscues to put the game away.
East elected to punt on the Highland 28-yard line, and a botched snap that sailed over the head of the punter gave the Rams the ball on the East 35. Four plays later Scalley scored his first of three touchdowns.
Moments later the Leopards punted and would have pinned the Rams back on their own 12, but a penalty forced a re-kick, and Scalley returned it 65 yards for the touchdown to make it 14-6 Highland.
To go along with a safety, quarterback Dave Black and receiver Christian Frech connected on touchdown passes of 40 and 60 yards in the third quarter, and midway through the fourth quarter Scalley scored from 11 yards out.
Scalley finished with only 60 yards on the ground, while Havili had 95 yards for the Leopards.
Looking forward to the playoffs, first-place Highland will host the Region 5 fifth-place team, which is yet to be determined. East finishes third in Region 5 and will host Region 6's third place team, which is yet to be determined.
In Thursday's other games:
Skyline 58, Viewmont 0: Josh Lyman rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and his brother Jeremy returned two fumbles for touchdowns as the Eagles blanked the Vikings.
Layton 19, Cottonwood 13: The Lancers picked up a home victory over the Colts.
Bountiful 24, Judge 10: Matt Snow rushed for 129 yards and two TDs on 20 carries in leading the Braves past the Bulldogs. Brett Watkins added 90 yards and a TD on 11 carries for Bountiful.
West 32, Woods Cross 14: Rodregis Smith rushed for 275 yards and five touchdowns on 24 carries as the Panthers pounced on the Wildcats.
Murray 29, Cyprus 14: The Spartans outscored the Pirates 12-0 in the second half to pull away and secure the victory.
Bear River 26, Granite 0: Skip Williams connected on a school-record 44-yard field goal for the Bears in their win over the Farmers. Mark Probst rushed for 131 yards and a TD for Bear River.
Ogden 27, Ben Lomond 20: Miles Cooper had 25 carries for 182 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers topped the Scots. Emmett White rushed for 226 yards and two TDs and had an 80-yard punt return for a TD for Ben Lomond.
Morgan 36, Tooele 7: Ben Wiscombe had touchdown runs of 32 and 47 yards to lead the Trojans past the Buffaloes in all kinds of bad weather.
Millard 48, Beaver 3: Adam Turner rushed for two touchdowns and 164 yards to lead the Eagles past the Beavers. Trevor Stevenson added two more TD runs and Dane Stevenson had three interceptions as Millard clinched the region title with the victory.
Parowan 12, Milford 0: A pair of touchdowns in the second quarter gave the Rams a win over the Tigers.
Altamont 34, Duchesne 6: Trevin Jensen and Beau Goodrich each ran interceptions back for touchdowns and Kyle Farnsworth racked up 14 tackles as the Long Horn defense took care of the Eagles.
San Juan 41, Monticello 0: Brian Bradford scored two touchdowns on a 43-yard punt return and a 61-yard run to help the Broncos past the Buckaroos. Kilee Brown added a 33-yard pass reception and a 2-yard run for TDs for San Juan.
Davis 19, Taylorsville 17: Bryce Stevenson found the end zone two times and rushed for 106 yards to help the Darts stun the Warriors. A fumble by the Warriors on the Dart 20-yard line in the final two minutes of the game secured the win for Davis.
Emery 34, Union 18: The Spartans hit the road and marched their way to a win over the Cougars.