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High school football: Lightning strikes twice for Silverwolves

SHARE High school football: Lightning strikes twice for Silverwolves

RIVERTON — Lightning struck twice for Riverton High on Friday.

The Silverwolves scored two touchdowns in the second half to break a halftime tie and held on to defeat visiting Pleasant Grove 21-14 in a rematch of last year's first-round playoff meeting.

The start of the second half was delayed more than an hour due to lightning strikes in the area.

Riverton (2-0) wasted little time getting into a rhythm again, scoring on its first two possessions of the third quarter. Pleasant Grove rallied but watched its final series end on downs inside the Riverton 30-yard line.

Tua Laei and Eric Thoreson each had touchdown runs to help the Silverwolves take and build the lead. Cooper Caldwell's second score of the game got the Vikings within 21-14 with 9:35 left to play.

While the majority of the first half was played under a steady drizzle, storm clouds began hovering over the stadium by halftime. After a few lightning strikes were seen nearby, officials sent the teams, who were warming up for the second half, back to their locker rooms and instituted a mandatory 30-minute delay.

The Utah High School Athletic Association handbook stipulates that when lightning is present, play must be suspended and shelter taken immediately while a minimum 30-minute delay is ordered. Fans were also advised to leave the metal stadium stands.

A second delay followed, and the teams did not return to the field until 9:30 p.m. The second half finally got under way 10 minutes later.

Riverton broke the tie on Laei's second touchdown run of the game. Preston Young's 36-yard halfback option pass aided the drive. Jordan Bennett's interception helped set up Thoreson's quarterback sneak minutes later as the Silverwolves began pulling away.

However, after a lethargic first half, the Vikings found their footing, taking advantage of excellent field position following a blocked punt and pass interference penalty. Caldwell then took it in from four yards out.

Pleasant Grove (0-2) also benefited from a Riverton mistake to tie the game before halftime. Four plays after Riverton was called for a roughing the kicker penalty on a punt attempt, Caldwell found the end zone.

Junior quarterback Paul Hatch rallied the Vikings by throwing for 150 yards. However, the Silverwolves spread the wealth, as three running backs each had at least 40 yards. Thoreson also threw for over 100 yards.

The outcome was drastically different from last year's playoff meeting, won by Pleasant Grove 36-21. The Vikings had eight Division-I scholarship players last year, but return only four players on each side of the ball.

Landon Fisher and Ben Lindsey each had sacks for the Silverwolves.