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High school football: Dominant Kearns dismantles Hunter in easy Region 2 win

Box score

WEST VALLEY CITY — Kearns started out Friday’s game against Hunter by driving 66 yards on seven plays for a touchdown.

It would be a long time before the Cougars’ offense struggled that much again.

Kearns obliterated the visiting Wolverines, scoring touchdowns on their first seven possessions on the way to an emphatic 51-15 victory.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Kearns coach Matt Rickards said. “We’ve got some very talented kids that have worked really hard, and it paid off tonight.”

After the game-opening touchdown, the Cougars (6-1) had scoring drives of three plays, one play, and three plays, on the way to a 24-0 lead after one quarter.

Kearns stopped the Wolverines (5-2) on three plays on their first possession, and a bad snap on their punt gave the Cougars the ball on the Hunter 8-yard line. They quickly capitalized with a 14-yard touchdown reception by Jack Kelly.

“That’s what good teams do,” Rickards said. “They capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes. That shows maturity.

“Our crowd was real loud tonight too, and that made a difference with the kind of offense they have.”

Kearns quarterback Dakota Lynde was 9-of-13 for 195 yards and five touchdowns. The second of those touchdowns was a 59-yarder to Kelly, who caught a pass over the middle, bounced off a tackler, and sprinted into the end zone.

Isaiah Afatasi caught a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter, both coming on fourth-and-long, and both occurring in the corner of the end zone. The second one was made with just inches to spare, and gave the Cougars a 44-0 lead going into the half.

“We threw the ball very well tonight,” Rickards said. “Dakota made a lot of good passes and our offensive line gave him a lot of time.

“(Afatasi) is one of the best athletes in the state. We try to get the ball in his hands, but because he does a lot on defense, we limit his touches. But he’s very explosive. Every time he gets the ball in his hands, something big happens.”

Kearns scored touchdowns on eight of its first nine possessions, with only the halftime clock preventing a ninth score. Naki Leha had a 60-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, capping a 13-carry, 132-yard, two-touchdown evening.