Springville took down Provo Thursday night 18-14 in a sloppy slugfest that saw both defenses come up with two fumble recoveries and an interception.
The Red Devils’ defense made enough plays in the waning moments to propel their team to victory. On its final possession, Provo drove the ball to the Springville 10-yard line.
That was when the Red Devils made their stand, keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone to all but secure the win with 42 seconds left on the clock.
“We challenged our D-line,” Springville head coach Dave Valeti said. “We said, ‘Hey, if you play with this O-line, you can play with anybody in the state.’ So I’m just very proud of my group. Very proud of my group for keeping a level head and finding a way (to win).”
Provo and Springville entered Thursday’s contest at the top of Region 9 with identical 4-1 overall records. The two schools won their initial games of region play last week. The Red Devils defeated Spanish Fork while the Bulldogs took care of business in dominating fashion over Maple Mountain to earn their fourth straight victory.
Springville did just enough to get by Provo, snapping the Bulldogs’ four game win streak and taking sole control of Region 9 with the win.
“Our region is year in and year out one of the toughest,” Valeti said. “We knew coming in … it’s going to come down to the fourth quarter like it did.”
Springville had to regroup in the fourth quarter after Provo took a two-point lead near the end of the third on an 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Bulldog junior defensive back Drew Deucher.
The Red Devils’ next drive came up shy of retaking the lead when they coughed up a fumble outside the goal line.
After a defensive stop, Springville junior running back Tevita Valeti used five straight rushes to get his team across the goal line and retake the lead.
“We knew it was going to be a ground and pound game,” Coach Valeti said. “We preach to our guys that we’ll wear (our opponents) down in the first half and then by the late third, fourth quarter that’s when we can really start to wear on them. That’s what happened tonight.”
After regaining the lead, the Springville defense made its stand.
After marching its way to the Red Devils’ 10-yard line, Provo threw two incomplete passes. On third down, Springville junior defensive lineman and BYU commit Dallin Johnson forced his way into the backfield, assisting in a pivotal sack to force the Bulldogs to a fourth and goal from the 12-yard line.
Before Provo’s final play, Johnson said the Springville defense was telling one another, “Let’s play for each other. … Don’t worry about making the play for yourself. Do your 1/11th. Play for the team.”
The Red Devils’ defense made one last play for the team, forcing one more incomplete pass.
Springville will again welcome a region foe to its home field next Friday when it faces Wasatch. The game will be the Red Devils’ final home contest of the season.
Provo will travel to Spanish Fork to face the Dons that same day in what will be the Bulldogs last road game of the year.