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Despite loss, McIntyres will leave their mark on Stansbury football

As the clock hit zero on a 49-14 loss to Desert Hills in the 3AA semifinal game under the lights at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday night, seniors Matt and Mitch McIntyre were visibly emotional, tears streaming down their faces.

“It’s been a really great season, we’ve gone through a lot,” Mitch McIntyre said. “This is probably the closest I’ve ever been to a football team, and it’s just a really big accomplishment to get to Rice-Eccles (Stadium), and hopefully we led the way for other teams to come.”

His brother, Matt, echoed his brother’s thoughts on how close-knit the 2016 Stallions – who played in the 3AA semifinals for the first time in school history – were.

“It’s been amazing, this is the closest I’ve ever been to my friends, we just have this bond, we’re all best friends, and we just have nothing bad going on between each other, and we’re just there for each other,” Matt McIntyre said.

The McIntyres will leave their mark on the Stansbury football program for a long time to come.

“I’m proud of those two boys, they’ve had a fantastic year, it’s been fun to watch them play together – the two brothers,” Stansbury head coach Clint Christiansen said. “I’m sad to see them go, but I’d say it’s been a good time. They’ve definitely been the reason that we’re here, no doubt about it. They’ve played phenomenal this year.”

Quarterback Mitch McIntyre dazzled for the Stallions in 2016, finishing the season with 17 rushing touchdowns, 976 yards on the ground, and five passing touchdowns – one of which came in Thursday’s seminal game. His brother, Matt, rushed for over 1,000 yards this season, finishing the 2016 season with 12 touchdowns.

Despite the best efforts of Mitch and Matt McIntyre, the Stallions' offense was stymied by the Desert Hills defense. Mitch McIntyre was 3 for 6 with a touchdown pass and an interception, and Matt McIntyre rushed for 96 yards on 16 carries – with a long run of 45 yards.

After a strong start by Stansbury in the first quarter – the Stallions scored 14 points in the opening period – Stansbury’s offense would not score again in the game. The Stallions were hurt by three turnovers – two fumbles and one interception.

“They (Desert Hills) out-physical-ed us. They’re big, they’re fast, and we didn’t make plays, didn’t attack very well,” Christiansen said. “They were the better team tonight. That’s the bottom line ­– that was the bottom line tonight.”

Despite the loss, Christiansen is proud of his team and how far they have come as a program since their inaugural season back in 2009.

“We had a good season, I’m proud of our kids, they played hard,” Christiansen said. "They’re not very big compared to some of southern (schools), but they play hard and I’m proud of them. I’d say we had a great season.”