Mountain Ridge flipped the script Friday night less than a minute into the fourth quarter, and ultimately picked up a 40-30 victory over Wasatch.
The Sentinels entered the final period facing a 24-7 deficit and a fourth and two at the Wasatch 45 yard line.
That was when everything changed.
Senior quarterback Ayden Helm picked up the first down with his legs before skipping a backward pass to two-way star Cade Uluave on the next play. Mountain Ridge’s Mr. Do-it-all picked the ball up off the hop and threw it downfield to senior wide receiver Jordan Day for a 42-yard touchdown.
“We set it up well,” Uluave said of the Sentinels’ trick play. “We repped it, we practiced it all the time. The time came, I got it and just had to do my job. Shout out to my receiver for catching it and getting the touchdown.”
Within a blink of an eye, Mountain Ridge scored again, inching to within three. Sentinel freshman linebacker Taylor Higham picked off Wasp quarterback Adarius Edwards, taking it 16 yards for the score.
Mountain Ridge then got its first lead of the game with 8:19 to play when Helm sprinted to the edge and scampered for 20 yards and the score with the Sentinel sideline exploding.
Mountain Ridge head coach Mike Meifu was impressed with his team’s fourth quarter eruption.
“Our guys just settled in. They trusted the process, trusted the game plan. They did all this,” he said. “They executed and they played with energy. They made the plays. They flipped the momentum.
“We scored 14 points in a matter of seconds. That’s really big. This game is a lot of momentum. Guys stepped up and made big plays and played extremely well. I’m proud as heck of these guys.”
The Sentinels’ scoring barrage continued throughout the final quarter as sophomore Brody Laga scored a pair of field goals — one from 32 yards and another from 45 — and Uluave crossed the goal line for the second time on the night, taking the ball 34 yards for the score.
Wasatch nearly mounted a comeback of its own with just over three minutes to play when Edwards found La’a Kalama for a 35-yard touchdown pass, making the score 30-31, but that was as close as the Wasps would get, as they missed the extra point and a chance to get within one possession.
Meifu hopes to continue improving after the Sentinels’ impressive come from behind victory.
“We’ve got to take everything that we learned from this game and build on it and learn from our mistakes and clean things up,” he said. “We take things one game at a time, and that’s what we’ve got to continue to do. These guys played a phenomenal football game.”
Mountain Ridge will look to carry its fourth-quarter momentum into next week when it puts its perfect 3-0 record on the line at Sky View. Wasatch will welcome Pleasant Grove to the field, hoping to move past its disastrous final 12 minutes Friday.
Both games are set to kickoff next Friday at 7 p.m.