After a tough season opening overtime loss to Davis, the Lehi Pioneers rebounded nicely against a sluggish Salem Hills team.
Scoring 21 of their 30 points in the second half, the Pioneers defeated the Skyhawks with relative ease, 30-7, on Friday.
The first half was dominated on defense by both teams. The first points of the game came with six minutes left in the second quarter when Lehi running back Carson Gonzalez broke free and scored on a 55-yard dash to the end zone.
A 13-yard run by Gonzalez later in the half allowed for kicker Zane Goodrich to convert on a 30-yard field goal attempt, sending the home team to the break with a 9-0 lead in what had been a low scoring affair up to that point.
Lehi head coach Ed Larson was not pleased with his team’s offensive output in the first half and knew adjustments had to be made.
“We lost our concentration and protection early on and that cost us some issues. We started to run the ball and that calmed us down a little bit. It eventually started to come together. For a lot of these kids it is their second game. We got no excuses now with two games under our belt,” Larson said.
While the Lehi defense was locked in throughout the game, the offense started coming to life in the second half, led by quarterback Jackson Brousseau, who had two touchdown passes.
Wideout Jaxon Christensen was on the receiving end of a 17-yard touchdown from Brousseau that made the lead 16-0, and Kadiyon Smith sealed the win for Lehi, first with a jolting 65-yard TD reception and then a 2-yard rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The only real sign of life that Salem Hills showed was late in the fourth quarter when the game had already been decided as quarterback Jackson Nelson found Jackson Eyre in the end zone on a 16-yard fade to avoid the shutout.
Even though his team was able to even its record on the early season to 1-1, Larson knows his group has a long way to go in order to get where he feels it should be.
“Our defense played lights out last week and lights out this week,” he said. “They are going to have to carry us until we can get our offense rolling and figure this thing out. Things aren’t always going to be easy, but we’re getting through it and the kids are ready to challenge it. We just have to continue to get better, and that includes me.”
Salem Hills fell to 0-2 on the season and will face Juab in its next matchup. Lehi will face Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) next.