OREM — Don Lovelace and the rest of the Mountain View senior class were barely in junior high school the last time the Bruins beat their cross-town rivals and won a region football championship five years ago.
And after starting out this season with four straight losses, it didn't look like that streak would be ending soon.
But in a thrilling finish, Lovelace capped off a last-minute 93-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Little with three seconds left in the game for a stunning 7-6 win over Orem on Thursday.
"I'm speechless right now," said Mountain View coach Doug Meek. "Mostly I'm just so happy for these guys. We've really picked up the last five weeks. They never quit believing."
The Bruins, who won just a single game a year ago, captured a share of the Region 6 championship with the win and have won four of their last five games heading into the playoffs.
"Our original goal was to make the playoffs this year," Meek said. "Things started developing where we had that opportunity to be co-region champions, and the last couple of weeks that's what we set out for."
In cold and rainy weather, the Mountain View offense struggled to find any rhythm for most of the game, but everything clicked on the Bruins final drive, which started on their own 7-yard line with just over five minutes left in the game.
"We knew it was our last chance to really get in the end zone," Lovelace said. "We had to get a touchdown to win the game obviously, and we just never quit. Jimmy made a huge catch on his fingertips. It was awesome.'
Orem place kicker Kai Kamoe will remember this game as one of missed opportunities. Kamoe had two field goals blocked in the first half and then missed the extra point when the Tigers scored their sole touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Orem controlled the tempo for most of the game with a pounding running attack that finally resulted in points when Nate Jones scampered into the end zone from 10 yards out with 11:15 to go in the game.
After a well-executed Tiger punt pinned the Bruins deep on their final drive, Lovelace led the his offense down the field in 17 plays, including two fourth-down conversions.
The last fourth-down conversion came on the winning play when Lovelace rolled out to his left and found Little open as he broke towards the sidelines.
Mountain View earns a share of the region champions along with Orem and Lone Peak, who each have one region loss. A three-way coin toss will be held to determine seeding for the state tournament.