An undefeated Stansbury squad kept its record unblemished Friday evening at Payson, defeating the Lions 52-14 and remaining in full control of Region 7.
After struggling to get much distance from the Lions in the first half, the Stallions pulled away from Payson following the break, outscoring their hosts 28-0 in the final two quarters.
“Payson played incredibly tough,” Stansbury head coach Eric Alder said. “They took a lot of our gameplan away. We had to kind of scratch a lot of what we were doing at halftime. … It took us two quarters to really hone in and decide how we were going to attack things. … We ran away with it at the end, but it was anything but easy. It took us all four quarters. I thought Payson would be tough coming in, and they showed that they’re tough.”
The Lions jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after the Stallions turned the ball over on their first possession. Stansbury returned the favor, though, tying the game up following a Payson punting miscue later in the first quarter that put the Stallions five yards from the goal line.
Stansbury would never trail again.
Senior wide receiver Dylan Hamilton got the scoring started for the Stallions and never let up, tallying four touchdown grabs with a pair of scores in each half.
“They played the game to take him out of it,” Alder said. “They put two guys over him the entire game and he scored four touchdowns. That’s Dylan Hamilton. He makes plays. And when we need him to make plays, we throw it in his direction, and he comes up with it. (He’s an) incredible athlete; incredible kid. To be such a focus of the defense and to come up with four touchdowns, speaks a lot to his abilities; the way he prepares and the way he approaches the game. He hasn’t stopped impressing us yet.”
Stansbury as a whole has been impressive all season long, out-scoring its opponents by more than 38 points a game. That team came alive after the half, scoring 28 unanswered points and forcing the Lions into three three-and-outs and two turnovers on seven second half possessions.
Stansbury used a balanced attack to find the end zone, scoring four touchdowns through the air and three on the ground.
The win gives the Stallions their second straight Region 7 title. The school has yet to lose a region contest since joining 5A a year ago. Stansbury feels the pressure to continue its impressive run.
“Being picked to take region, you’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Alder said. “There’s pressure. Now we’ve got to finish it. Then its playoffs and its win or go home.”
Entering the night Stansbury and Lehi were the only unbeaten teams in 5A. One more victory would give the Stallions their first undefeated regular season since 2012.
Both schools play their final games of the regular season Wednesday at 7 pm on the road. Stansbury will take on Timpanogos while Payson matches up with Mountain View.