After losing by the slimmest of margins to Westlake earlier in the regular season, Mountain Ridge made sure it didn’t happen again. This time, Mountain Ridge quarterback Jaxson Reiser led his team to a hard fought 28-25 victory over Westlake in the first round of the 6A state tournament.

After falling to Westlake 43-42 in the regular season, Mountain Ridge head coach Mike Meifu made sure his team was on the right side of the result this time around.

“We said pregame that you don’t get very many second chances. We were disappointed in how we played them earlier in the year and so to come back and get this win feels really good,” Mountain Ridge head coach Mike Meifu said.

Mountain Ridge was led by Reiser, who was responsible for 21 of his teams 28 points on the night.

“Every week has been a growing experience for him. It’s his first year being in our program so every week he keeps getting better. Today was really all about the offensive line. It doesn’t matter who had the ball, we were able to execute and see the game out in the end,” Meifu said.

Mountain Ridge grabbed the lead first and never looked back. With 7:25 left in the first quarter, running back Semisi Kinikini found the end zone on a short four-yard touchdown run.

Westlake tied the game up early in the second quarter on a 14-yard reception by wideout Aiden Hammond.

Mountain Ridge would take the lead once again just a few minutes later, with Reiser throwing for his first touchdown of the game by finding receiver Payton Jones deep down the sideline on a 57-yard score.

Westlake was able to cut into Mountain Ridge’s lead on a 25-yard field goal by Brennan Morgan with four minutes left before halftime. Morgan had an opportunity to make it a one-point game as the first half ended, but Mountain Ridge’s special teams were up to the task, blocking the field goal attempt and went into the break with a 14-10 advantage.

For much of the second half, the goal for Mountain Ridge was to rely heavily on their running game to help take as much time off of the clock as possible.

They increased their lead midway through the quarter when Reiser was able to find the end zone on a 10-yard quarterback keeper.

Westlake kept making it uncomfortable for Mountain Ridge, however, and made it a 21-17 score line with a 76-yard touchdown reception by Carter Quiring.

Mountain Ridge answered at the beginning of the fourth when Resier found Jones in the end zone for the second time on the night, connecting on a 12-yard score.

Westlake tried to make it interesting in the final quarter. They were able to make it a three-point game with 9:40 left with a 15-yard score by Ezra Heiner and a successful two-point conversion.

That was all that Westlake could muster, however, and ultimately saw their season come to an end in heartbreaking fashion.

It doesn’t get any easier for Mountain Ridge as they will face off against a powerhouse side in American Fork in the next round.

“We have to eliminate the big plays. We’re going to go up against American Fork and they have always had a high-powered offense. We have to limit those big yardage plays and if we do that we’ll be in good shape,” added Meifu.