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American Fork lights up scoreboard, tops East in high-scoring preseason game

American Fork’s Maddux Madsen runs with the ball during a football game against East High School at East High School in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.
American Fork’s Maddux Madsen runs with the ball during a football game against East High School at East High School in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Box score

SALT LAKE CITY — The guy running the East High scoreboard will be taking the remainder of the weekend off to ice his exhausted hand.

American Fork emerged with a 57-45 road victory in a three-hour plus affair Friday night, as the Cavemen and Leopards took turns amassing huge chunks of yardage and scoring touchdowns. On a night that was filled with impressive statistics, the most impressive might have been the seven touchdowns thrown by American Fork backup quarterback Hayden Betts, who was stellar in relief of starter Maddux Madsen.

“Hayden’s been getting reps in every game, and when Maddux got hurt, he was ready,” American Fork coach Aaron Behm said. “He showed so much out there. He had really prepared for tonight.”

The Cavemen (3-1) quickly demonstrated there would be no lingering aftereffects of last week’s 1-point loss to Arbor View (Nevada). Easton Greening had a 30-yard reception on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and American Fork needed just six plays to drive 68 yards for a touchdown.

East (2-2) responded even faster, though, going 80 yards on four plays for a matching touchdown. The Leopards even had a longer first offensive play — a 63-yard run by Amini Amone.

By the end of the first quarter, the teams had combined for six touchdowns and more than 400 yards of offense. American Fork was ahead 21-20, with the difference being a blocked extra-point attempt by Peyton Wilson. That block, and the second extra point that Wilson would block early in the fourth quarter, were critical. The Leopards twice went for two to try to make up the gap, and twice were stopped.

American Fork scored on the final play of the first half, a 16-yard pass from Betts to Tanner Holden, taking a 35-27 lead into the break. Holden had six receptions and two touchdowns, while Garrison Grimes and Devin Downing led the Cavemen with seven receptions apiece. They combined for three receiving touchdowns.

While American Fork piled up 436 passing yards, East gained the majority of its yards on the ground. Sione Angilau ran for 234 yards and four touchdowns, including scores of 86 and 80 yards, while Amone ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s so hard to simulate what they do on offense,” Behm said. “Once we got a quarter under our belt, we were able to get a turnover, a couple of stops. We got just enough stops tonight.”

American Fork went ahead 21-20 on a touchdown reception by Grimes in the final minute of the first quarter. The Cavemen never trailed the rest of the night, although they were pushed later.

After falling behind 50-33, East responded with a touchdown, a recovered onside kick, and another quick touchdown, cutting the gap to 50-45 with 7:16 remaining.

The Leopards then forced the Cavemen to punt for the only time in the game, but they were stopped on three plays, and American Fork iced it with a late touchdown.