WASHINGTON TERRACE — Following his team's second straight Region 4 loss two weeks ago, Bonneville coach Thomas Budge knew he had to make some big changes.
That's exactly what he did.
Now following a 24-22 victory over Box Elder at Budge Field on Friday night, the Lakers are on a two-game winning streak and looking to solidify a position near the top of the Region 4 standings.
For a guy who has been coaching as long as Budge has, he knew how to right the Lakers' ship.
"We made some changes to our offense to improve execution. We need to give (quarterback Derek) Hall more time to throw the ball," Budge said. "Defensively, we had to get the defensive line playing better. Now they are playing more intense. This was a giant win for us."
Hall had all the time he needed in the first half as the Lakers jumped out to a 24-7 lead. Hall picked the Box Elder defense apart by throwing touchdowns to receivers Aric Hall and Devon Holbrook. Hall finished the game with 154 yards and two touchdowns.
Aric Hall finished with seven catches for 117 yards with a TD catch and a rushing touchdown. Holbrook added 40 yards rushing and three catches for 28 yards and a score.
The Hall/Holbrook combination was almost too much for the Bees. The Bonneville defense was also solid, holding the Bees scoreless in the opening 24 minutes. The only score Box Elder mustered in the first half was an 82-yard punt return by Jordan Brown.
"They're tough," Budge said of the playmakers. "They've been steady all year."
But Box Elder, who was playing to clinch at least a share of the Region title, refused to give up easy. The Bees shut down the Bonneville offense and mounted long, two grind-it-out, time consuming drives that ended in scores by Brown and running back Beau Baty.
With four minutes to go in the game, the Bees had the ball again and were driving. In fact, the Lakers helped by giving up back-to-back personal fouls that gave the Bees 30 free yards, putting Box Elder in field goal position. Then things fell apart.
Quarterback Andy Davis fumbled the ball and Brown recovered it for a 10-yard loss. More lost yards on the next play made it fourth and 25 for the Bees. Kicker Jason Jeppsen was rushed onto the field, but his 58-yard field goal attempt was short.
The Bees got one more shot with under a minute to go, but a Davis pass was intercepted by Bonneville's Taylor Jones.
"That last play was a stupid call (on my part)," said Box Elder coach Wes Roesler. "We should have got to Brown."
Roesler said he told the team at the half to just go out and win the second half, and they were lucky to have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. They will still have an opportunity to clinch at least a share for the Region 4 title with a win next week against Logan.