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Lancers claim share of Region 1 title

Viewmont's Alex Exon is tackled by Layton's Andrew Bowers in the Lancers' win over the Vikings.
Viewmont's Alex Exon is tackled by Layton's Andrew Bowers in the Lancers' win over the Vikings.
Kirk Strickland, for the Deseret Morning News

LAYTON — Coming into Friday night's game against Viewmont, the Layton football team had a chance to do something it had not accomplished in a very long time. With a win, the Lancers could clinch at least a share of the Region 1 title, something they hadn't done since 1993 when they were co-champs.

Perhaps the pressure was too much, or maybe it was the fact it was senior night. Whatever the reason, the Lancers came out flat and looked like they may let the opportunity pass them by as they trailed at the break. Luckily, football is played in two halves, and Layton dominated the second half to get a share of the title and pull away for a 37-17 win over the Vikings.

"Coach just told us that we didn't play our game in the first half," said Lancers quarterback Gavin Green of the halftime speech from Coach Jim Batchelor. "We came out flat and let them take it to us. In the second half, we turned it around and really took it right back at them."

Viewmont led 10-7 going to the locker room thanks to a Tommie Barrett 40-yard field goal and Sam Graham 19-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Chris Larsen. The Layton offense was held in check except for one drive where it scored on a Green touchdown pass to Haden Lomax. But that was the first two quarters. The last two were another story entirely.

The Lancers blew open the tight game as they scored on their first three possessions of the third quarter while shutting down the Viewmont offense. Green started the scoring spree as he ran for a 20-yard touchdown. Layton used a trick play on a halfback pass for its next score as Chad Wilson threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Lomax. Wilson later capped the outburst with a one-yard scoring run. About the only thing negative that could be said about the third quarter was that the Lancers may have created a quarterback controversy.

"That's right. I am like Brett Favre," joked Wilson of his touchdown pass. "I have a quarterback rating of like 5 million or something."

Green's job is certainly safe. He was 10-for-14 for 200 yards and two touchdown passes with most of those yards coming from Matt Putnam. The speedy receiver had five catches for 130 yards. While Wilson may not take over under center, he was invaluable in all his roles. He capped his Ladainian Tomlinson like performance in which he threw for a score, rushed for one and added a 39-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.

"He is going to want to throw the ball a lot more," said Batchelor. "He is a good kid. They all are good kids. This has been a great group to work with all year."

Layton can wrap up the Region 1 title by itself with a victory over Weber next week. It would be the first solo title for the team since 1987.

"I think it is OK for us to get a little bit greedy and want it all to ourselves," added Batchelor. "We just need to focus on what needs to be done and go up to Weber next week and take care of business."