OREM — At first glance, it looked as if Orem overlooked Tooele after only managing a field goal in the first quarter and then quickly letting the Buffaloes score a touchdown.
That impression didn't last long as Orem running back Tucker Lamb rattled off five straight touchdowns — four of which came in the second quarter — to lead the Tigers to a 37-13 victory.
Lamb's score on the last play before halftime really made a statement on what he can do on any given down.
Tigers quarterback Josh Hamblin caught Lamb on a swing route out right that looked like a routine play to end the half. Lamb swerved in-and-out of Tooele's defense for a 64-yard TD reception that gave Orem a 30-6 lead.
"That was just sheer luck," Lamb said. "And good downfield blocking I guess. I was honestly surprised I didn't get tackled at least three times."
Great kick returns on special teams set up Orem's first two touchdowns. Travis Strong's 50-yard kickoff return gave the Tigers a great starting platform on the first of those scores. Three plays later, Lamb ran almost untouched up the middle for a 14-yard rush that gave the Tigers a 10-6 lead.
"They started to get field possession on us," Tooele coach Sam Elliott said. "They got some short fields and capitalized on that."
Tooele managed to mount a drive earlier in the second quarter that caught Orem off guard.
Buffaloes' wide receiver Nate Hyde's catch put his team deep in Tiger territory. Trifon Gochis then squeezed through a small hole up the middle on a 5-yard TD run that put them up 6-3 for a short time.
"I can't figure these kids out on what gets them going and what doesn't," Orem coach Robert Steele said half-jokingly about his team's slow start.
Another big return — this time on a punt that brought the ball down to the Tooele 23 — set up Lamb's second touchdown. He appeared to be stopped at the line of scrimmage, but carried the Buffaloes' defense on his back for 17 yards in getting over the goal line.
Orem's third score of the quarter was helped by Hamblin's pass to Lance Chatterley on the sideline that softened up Tooele's defense enough to later let Lamb scamper in for a 7-yard touchdown.
Lamb's last scoring effort in the game came early in the third quarter on a 24-yard rush for Orem's last touchdown.
The Buffaloes kept at it despite the obvious setbacks to score in the fourth. Matt Gochis was wide open in the end zone and quarterback Chase Banks found him for a 5-yard TD pass.
Orem kicker Tyler Boulter added a 39-yard field goal on the Tigers' first drive.