AMERICAN FORK — Boone Abbott has been waiting for his chance to lead the American Fork football team, and he made the most of it Friday night.
Abbott passed for 362 yards and five touchdowns as the Cavemen built a comfortable lead and held off the Weber Warriors in the season opener for both teams. Abbott had four touchdown throws by halftime and due to an hour delay due to an area lightning storm, his highlights were almost overshadowed by the weather. Other highlights included a series of acrobatic catches by senior Chase Roberts and the play of the defense, much-maligned last year, that allowed only one touchdown Friday night.
“Boone has been waiting in the wings for his opportunity,” said American Fork coach Aaron Behm. “He was dominating in our JV games last year. He got his chance and made the best of it, but we had a lot of big performances tonight.”
The near-capacity crowd saw most of it as Abbott had 287 passing yards and four touchdown throws by intermission. Most went to Roberts, who had nine catches for 233 yards and three scores to help American Fork to a 28-7 halftime advantage.
The teams went to their respective locker rooms at intermission when the storm arrived, and the lightning and rain showers kept everyone off the field for almost 90 minutes.
“It was a night to remember, but got a little sloppy for a while,” Behm noted.
The only real consistency was the Cavemen defense, playing for new coordinator Micah Hunsaker. Senior lineman Dallin Johnson was the key player, chasing Weber quarterback Cole Hogan most of the night.
Hogan, in his first start, engineered an impressive initial drive, which ended on a 1-yard run by Hunter Neilson. However, the Warriors were blanked after that and finished with less than 200 yards total offense.
American Fork made its run immediately after Weber took its 7-0 lead. Abbott completed three straight passes, including a 22-yard strike to Roberts that tied the score.
The Cavemen easily stopped Weber on the next possession, and it didn’t take long for Abbott to find Roberts behind the defense for a 50-yard strike. Two minutes later, Bonne connected with Devin Downing on a 65-yard play and American Fork had all of the momentum.
The second half was a different story with a lot less offensive excitement. Much of the crowd left after the delay and the change of weather. American Fork had a 31-7 advantage, but the Warriors gained some life by pressuring Boone more and eventually forced a fumble that Josh Carter returned for a touchdown. A two-point conversion pass from Hogan to Brandt Opheikens cut the margin to 31-15, but Weber still couldn’t get any closer and the Cavemen’s final touchdown with two minutes to play ended any doubt of the outcome.