MIDVALE — Friday night's Alta-Hillcrest showdown was supposed to be a good football game. It was supposed to be a match-up of great offenses vs. great defenses. Instead, the game evolved into the David Johnson show.
Alta's junior tight end hauled in nine catches for 154 yards to lead the fourth-ranked Hawks to the easy 31-0 victory over the Hillcrest Huskies.
"This is a big win for us," said Alta coach Mitch Lunak. "It sends a message that if you don't bring everything you've got against Alta, it's going to difficult to beat Alta."
Both teams were undefeated entering the region battle, and the Huskies knew if they wanted to stay unbeaten, they had to stop Alta running back Beau Enslow.
The Huskies did a decent job containing Enslow, but that left Johnson open for a career game.
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"I think they were nervous of Beau," said Lunak. "They were put seven and eight guys in the box to stop him."
Alta wasn't able to exploit the weakness until the second quarter, but once it did, the Huskies had no answer for the tight end.
With the Alta leading 3-0 in the second quarter, the Huskies marched down the field on a 12-play drive that included Kyle Bowen pass to Johnson of 23, 19 and 19 yards. Even though that clock-eating drive ended in an interception, the tone had been set. Hillcrest had no answer for Johnson.
Alta finally scored its first touchdown of the game with 56 seconds left as Bowen hooked up on a 20-yard TD pass to Johnson. That's when things began to go south for Hillcrest.
On Hillcrest's very next play, quarterback Jon Eastman fumbled the ball while trying to run away from Alta's defensive lineman. Alta recovered, and three plays later Enslow danced into the end-zone on a four-yard run.
"In any football game one play can change the complexion of the whole game," said Lunak.
On this particular night, it was that fumble.
Alta padded its 17-0 halftime lead with second-half touchdown runs by Enslow and Josh Bruening.
"We played a great football game on offense and defense tonight," said Lunak.
Enslow finished the game with 107 rushing yards on 22 carries. What was even more impressive was that Alta never punted. Of their seven possessions, five ended in scores, one ended in a missed field goal and the other an interception.
"We're doing good, but the only place for us to go is up," said Johnson.