The Farmington defense shined bright in its 19-3 road victory over American Fork. The win gives Farmington a chance to fight for the championship game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The Phoenix took control of the ball early and made that their formula to win Friday’s game.

The first quarter contained nearly 10 straight minutes of game time for one Farmington drive. While the drive ended in a missed field goal, it set the tempo for the rest of the night.

In the second quarter, Farmington’s Travis Hoopes found the holes in the American Fork defense, which resulted in a 30-yard run and then a 2-yard touchdown for the Phoenix sophomore.

“From the start of the season this has been our goal. To make it to Rice-Eccles has been a dream come true. I can’t even describe it, it’s amazing. I ran the ball hard, did my job, and when I do my job good things can happen,” said Hoopes.  

Farmington did not let off the gas in the second half.

About halfway through the third quarter, Farmington quarterback Easton Wight found Mitch Nielsen for a 60-yard gain. Soon after Adam Stucki caught a pass from Wight in the end zone on a fourth down to put the Phoenix up 12-0.

Farmington later took advantage of some penalties from American Fork and Hoopes ran it into the end zone again for a 19-0 Phoenix lead.

“I’m just excited, excited for these guys. I tell them all the time ‘I had my time, we dominated the state and this and that, been to Rice-Eccles and done the state championships’ and I’m just excited for them to have their time. I remind them constantly that this isn’t a me thing, I wish I could be out there playing but I’m not, it’s them doing the hard work, putting the time in, and giving the effort,” said Farmington Coach Daniel Coats.

Despite not scoring in the fourth quarter, the Phoenix defense was suffocating.

Farmington came up with three interceptions in the fourth quarter, with one being in the opening play of the final quarter.

The Phoenix’s Luke Hansen, Dayton Runyan and Jed Judkins were everywhere for the defense. Hansen and Runyan picked off passes from the Cavemen while Judkins put pressure on the American Fork quarterback and notched a couple sacks.

“Our defense has been our backbone, me being an offensive coach it hurts to say from time to time, but they have made it so easy to play call because I know they have my back no matter what. For the offensive guys, just challenge them, challenge them to ‘hey step up and rise up to the bar’ everybody always looks at us as the smaller team which we usually are, but to have our 150 pound running back do what he did today, it’s a good day,” said Coats.

“I’m ecstatic, all year I kept telling them we just need a chance. We got to push ourselves to get a chance at Rice-Eccles and there magic can happen. We did that and now it’s time to go do it.”

Farmington certainly has a lot to celebrate after qualifying for the 6A Semifinals after falling to Skyridge in last year’s quarterfinal match.