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High school football: Hunter, Riverton, Taylorsville pull out late wins in wild Week 6 in 6A

American Fork hosts Skyridge in a high school football game at American Fork High School in American Fork on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Skyridge defeated American Fork 45-34.
American Fork hosts Skyridge in a high school football game at American Fork High School in American Fork on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Skyridge defeated American Fork 45-34.
Colter Peterson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Knowing how deflated his players must’ve felt after giving up a 95-yard kickoff return on the final play of regulation, Hunter coach Tarell Richards quickly called a timeout to calm his players down before they had to defend West’s 2-point conversion attempt to go for the win on Friday night.

“The defense gave an incredible effort with their backs against the wall and responded under immense pressure,” said Richards.

That stop helped Hunter hold on for the wild 39-38 win over West after squandering a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter (box score).

“It’s a great win and a crazy finish to a competitive game. We’re getting down the stretch where each week gets a little more challenging, there’s a little more pressure to perform well and there’s a lot of teachable moments to take from tonight. We’ll have those conversations and fix the mistakes and keep working and growing as a team,” said Richards.

Hunter looked in complete control leading 32-12 after Jordan Tupea’s 1-yard score with 11:25 remaining in the game.

West stormed back though on touchdown runs by Mohammed Traore, Abraham Williams and Clarence Butler to tie the game at 32-32 with 4:20 remaining.

Hunter responded with one more scoring drive to reclaim the 39-32 lead on another Tupea 1-yard plunge on fourth and goal with 11 seconds left in the game.

“We stayed positive, our kids stayed positive and had to really tighten down and refocus late in the game and our kids responded and executed. Offense put a drive together and converted on a big fourth down and goal,” said Richards.

Incredibly, the game wasn’t over though as Butler returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards. With all the momentum, West’s coaches gambled and decided to go for the win instead of playing for overtime but Hunter’s defense came up with the huge stop.


Hunter’s win wasn’t the only Region 2 game with late heroics.

Taylorsville edged Granger 17-13 as Junior Heimuli scored on a 6-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds remaining to lift the Warriors to their first win of the season (box score).

“I couldn’t be more proud of my kids and the fight they displayed tonight. My kids have been through a lot on and off the field this offseason and it was beautiful to see them come together and get a win,” said Taylorsville coach Joe Johnson.

Johnson praised his O-line and then running backs Braxton Bates and Heimuli for powering the team to the win.


Kearns kept pace with Hunter at the top of Region 2 as it rolled past West Jordan 42-21. Dakota Lynde completed 10 of 13 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns while Naki Leha added 165 yards on the ground and two more scores (box score).

“I’m proud of the way our guys played. We were physical on both sides of the ball. We got closer to playing to our potential,” said Kearns coach Matt Richards.

Kearns hosts Hunter next week in a game that could easily determine the eventual Region 2 champ.


Region 3 featured a crazy finish as well. Riverton outscored Jordan 10-0 in the fourth quarter to rally for the 30-29 win as Isaiah Wunderli booted the game-winning 37-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining (box score).

“Jordan was a very tough and physical team that has played the toughest schedule in the state. The last two weeks we’ve had players step up and make big plays. Brax Watt stepped up tonight to put us in a position to win. We are making it exciting for our fans, but in years past, Riverton teams would fold up. These are the type of games that help build a program. Learning to win tough games is a step in the right direction,” said Riverton coach Jody Morgan.

The win helped Riverton improve to 5-1 this season, with three of those wins coming as it scored the go-ahead touchdown or field goal in the final two minutes.


The marquee showdown in 6A was No. 4 Skyridge hosting American Fork in the Region 4 opener, but a huge second and third quarter helped the Falcons run away with the 45-34 win (box score).

Trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter, Skyridge scored 31 straight points over the next two quarters which gave it plenty of cushion to hold off American Fork’s fourth quarter push.

“I thought our offensive execution was incredible,” Skyridge coach Jon Lehman told the Deseret News after the game. “It was a really balanced attack after turning the ball over early in the game. They just really executed like crazy.”

Quarterback Emmett Call passed for 264 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 168 yards and two scores. Jeter Fenton also had a big game on the ground with 143 yards and two TDs.


The other Region 4 clash featured top-ranked Corner Canyon at fellow unbeaten Pleasant Grove, but the game was realistically over by the end of the first quarter.

The Chargers jumped out to the 23-0 early lead and never looked back on their way to the 47-14 win as Cole Hagen passed for five touchdowns and 278 yards, including three TDs to his little brother Cody Hagen (box score).

Cole Hagen now has 18 passing TDs on the season.

“Good all-around team win. Kids were solid in all facets,” said Corner Canyon coach Eric Kjar.


In Region 1, Fremont jumped all over Syracuse to secure a statement 38-26 win that let everyone else in the region know the Silverwolves aren’t done yet (box score).

After starting the season 0-3 with losses to Brighton, Salem Hills and Roy — two of which came in the final minute — Fremont has now won three straight games and sits at 3-1 in the Region 1 standings, tied with Weber and Syracuse for second.

“I’m proud of our coaches and players for the way they have dealt with our beginning-of-the-year adversity. Tonight we got out of our own way by greatly reducing our penalties and playing well in all three phases of the game. Tonight was a small glimpse into how good we could be when we play together as a team,” said Fremont coach Ross Arnold.

Fremont takes on rival Weber next week and a showdown with first-place Davis could look big in Week 9 if the Silverwolves keep on winning.


Davis sits alone at the top of Region 1 with a 4-0 record after beating Roy 34-20 on Friday night (box score).

Chance Trujillo led the way offensively for the Darts, as he passed for 177 yards and three touchdowns, and then Spencer Ferguson provided the dagger with a 70-yard TD run with 2:19 remaining in the game.

“Great opponent this week versus Roy. Coach Fred Fernandes’ teams always play hard and are extremely physical. Our team is coming together and played well as a group. This is a great group of young men that play hard for one another. Chance Trujillo continues to lead the offense. Spencer Ferguson stepped up this evening at halfback. Peter Stevenson has been very consistent. Gage Morgan led the defense,” said Davis coach Mitch Arquette.


Clearfield earned its first win of the season as Bransen Simper passed for three touchdowns to pace the Falcons past Northridge 28-23 (box score).