WEST JORDAN — A year ago Kearns handled West Jordan, at Kearns, and that loss stuck with the Jaguar players through a long summer of offseason work. On Friday, that work paid off as the Jaguars defeated the Cougars, 48-26 and improved to 2-0 on the season.
Senior quarterback, Oakley Kopp finished with five touchdown passes, finding four different weapons on a night he called revenge for Kearns winning a year ago.
“Last year we left a lot on the field so this year we just tried to execute, tried to get the ball in the end-zone and do what we do,” Kopp said.
After a 29-27 win over Westlake last week, a big win over Kearns, and with a bye week before playing at Hunter on Sep. 7, West Jordan coach Mike Meifu was thrilled with Friday’s result.
“We started a little slow, gave up some big plays and then we settled into the game plan and a groove,” Meifu said.
Kearns got off to a good start Friday with an opening drive on the West Jordan 36-yard line. Four plays later, quarterback Dakota Lynde took it to the house from 42-yards. The Jaguars, looking equally lethal on offense, tied the game at 7-7 when Kopp delivered a 44-yard strike to Kameron Blackhard.
The Cougars, looking like the tough-running Matt Rickards squad’s we’ve seen of late, put together another solid, first-quarter drive. Lynde added a second rushing touchdown, this time on a 4-yard counter to give the Cougars a 14-7 lead.
Early in the second quarter, the wheels started to fall off for Kearns. After a three-and-out from the offense, the long snap sailed over the head of the punter and out of the end zone for a safety, the first of three the Cougars would give up.
And West Jordan made them pay.
A four-play drive aided by a 43-yard completion from Kopp to David Moctezuma was consolidated when Isaiah Lapale hauled in a 4-yard touchdown from Kopp as the Jaguars took their first lead, 16-14. After another three-and-out by Kearns, Kopp hit the junior, Moctezuma on a perfectly timed 31-yard post pattern to up that lead to 23-14.
Less than a minute later, thanks to the punishing pass-rush from Onesi Ngalo, Cody Canard, Terrell Lupeamanu and Aleka Leausa the Jags punched in another score. Blackard added his second touchdown reception as West Jordan led it 30-14 at intermission.
“We rotated like eight or nine guys in on the defensive line and they all played great,” Meifu said.
Kearns gave up four-points on two safeties to start the third quarter but got back on track with a 7-yard touchdown run from Tuscon Vaenuku that closed the gap to 34-20.
Just as the Cougars seemed to climb back into the game, West Jordan's return man, Kalleb Klenk, slammed the door shut by returning the Cougar kickoff 80 yards for a score and up the lead to 41-20.
Kopp said the array of weapons he has is fun to work with.
“I’m confident that I can throw it and they can catch it,” Kopp said. “All these guys are fast, they have great hands and they are competitors.”
Notes: West Jordan defensive back, Helaman Sosi intercepted his third pass of the season Friday night and nearly had a fourth. Meifu spoke highly of his senior leader.
“He got his third interception and he should have gotten a fourth,” Meifu said. “He played for us as a freshman, he’s just a motor out there and he’s the heartbeat of our defense.”