This was a great game … a great high-school game. We played great football for really just one quarter here and we have to learn to put four of them together like that. – Pleasant Grove coach Les Hamilton

You live by the sword, you die by the sword. At Jordan High School Friday night, the Beetdiggers found a way to live again.

Alec Evans scored on a 9-yard run with 24 seconds left as Jordan hung on to outlast Pleasant Grove 28-21 in a non-region game. The Beetdiggers had led 21-0 and seemed to be headed to an easy win before their own offensive aggressiveness backfired and things got out of hand in the third quarter.

“We are an ugly team right now,” said Jordan coach Eric Kjar. “They (the Vikings) battled back. We had our chances, but just couldn’t’ convert.” Indeed, the Diggers almost lost the game. They gambled on almost every fourth-down play and declined to try field goals inside the Vikings’ 20-yard line twice.

Jordan took the second-half kickoff and moved deliberately downfield, but a fourth-down gamble at the Pleasant Grove 3-yard line changed the game’s momentum.

“This was a great game … a great high-school game,” said Vikings coach Les Hamilton. “We played great football for really just one quarter here and we have to learn to put four of them together like that.”

Koy Wilkinson got the Vikings going with an 89-yard touchdown run that fueled his team’s sideline. A few plays later, the Vikings stopped Jordan on fourth down again and Hamilton’s son, junior Isaac Hamilton, lofted a 41-yard scoring pass to Braxton Rapp to make it a game again.

Then, early in the fourth quarter, the Vikings forced a fumble and Hamilton found Jonny Fanaika on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Pleasant Grove had botched the snap after its previous score but tied the game on a two-point conversion pass from Hamilton to Brady Harris. That last score was important because it showed Pleasant Grove it could score against the howling wind and, for the remaining 10:02, fans on both sides of the field were on their feet.

Wilkinson, who finished with 196 yards, broke loose on a run up the middle but was corralled after a 40-yard gain that saved a touchdown. Jordan then stopped Pleasant Grove on a fourth-down play. With just 1:54 left, the Diggers’ fast-paced spread offense got back into the ride mode.

“I’m glad we finally found our rhythm again at the end,” Kjar said. “We like to play aggressive.”

Quarterback Drew Lisk, who had an off night but still threw for 201 yards, connected with his favorite receiver, Spencer Curtis, for big gains, the last one for 30 yards to the 9-yard line, which led to Evans’ score. Lisk ran for two touchdowns in the first half, but the game’s biggest play occurred early in the second quarter. Pleasant Grove trailed just 7-0 and was moving the football, but Jeffrey Timothy grabbed an errant throw and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.

Pleasant Grove started senior Bub Wilde at quarterback, but he was replaced by Hamilton at halftime after taking a big hit. The two QBs combined to throw for 151 yards, but Hamilton was on the field during Pleasant Grove’s momentum boost.

Bruce Smith grew up in Boise and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high school sports articles for the Deseret News.