With only 24 players dressed for varsity, No. 8 Ogden went out and made history.

The Tigers committed to running the ball, and though it took time, it finally worked heavily in their favor as they pulled away from No. 9 Juan Diego to win 28-14 in the first round of the 3A state football tournament on Friday night.

Not only did Ogden keep itself alive in the playoffs, but the Tigers also avenged a double-overtime loss to the Soaring Eagle in region play and completed their first-ever win over Juan Diego in program history.

“This was really just about resilience,” Ogden coach Erik Thompson said. “We only have 24 kids on this team … every kid on this team plays every down, both ways all season. We were beat up … for them to show up today and play a team they have never beaten with so many guys dinged up is just a testament.”

The Tigers entered the fourth quarter down 14-7 in a game that had been dominated by clock-devouring drives and defensive stands.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Ogden ran a double-reverse and threw down to senior receiver Kire Thompson for a first down at Juan Diego’s 4-yard line, and senior running back Max Trujillo followed blockers up the left side for a touchdown on the next play.

With the game tied, Ogden took every shred of the momentum. In the fourth quarter alone, the Tigers scored on three of their five drives (not counting the final knee) and forced three turnovers.

After forcing a fumble midway through the fourth, Trujillo burst through the defense and thundered downfield for a game-changing 51-yard TD.

On Ogden’s next drive, Trujillo answered the call, and Ogden’s blockers, who had struggled to pick up blocks for much of the contest, clicked at just the right time.

Junior lineman Eduardo Contreras blew up multiple Juan Diego defenders as Trujillo strode in for a 31-yard score to all but decide it with just over three minutes to go.

“I definitely owe my man Eduardo. Thank you very much,” Trujillo said. “I owe him some lunch.”

While converted wide receiver Kale Adams took all the snaps at quarterback for Ogden, backup junior QB Will Minkevitch, who threw the pass to Thompson in the fourth, connected with Thompson on a double-pass for 20 yards in the second quarter to provide Ogden’s only passing score.

Trujillo finished with three rushing TDs, all in the fourth quarter.

The Ogden defense was hugely impactful, forcing four turnovers, including two fumbles and an interception in the final quarter. Juan Diego junior QB Hayden Mezenen threw two picks in the loss.

Juan Diego got on the board first with an 11-play drive that went 73 yards from the first to the second quarter. After several run plays went for big chunks, a personal foul set the Soaring Eagle up at the Ogden 8-yard line.

Right when Juan Diego seemed to have a golden opportunity, the Tigers stiffened up on defense enough to string out attempts to beat them on the edge, forcing the Soaring Eagle to settle for a 22-yard field goal.

Riding momentum of the defensive stop, Trujillo took the Tigers 23 yards in two plays to get to midfield. Trujillo later saved the drive on a fourth-down catch to convert at the Juan Diego 20.

On the next play, Ogden busted out the trickery with a double pass from Adams to Minkevitch, who fired a 20-yard touchdown pass to Thompson to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead, one they would take into halftime.

Juan Diego retook the lead in the third quarter with a TD run by senior running back Antonio Archuleta on fourth down with 2:52 remaining. A conversion run by Mezenen gave the Soaring Eagle a full 7-point lead before Ogden commenced its critical scoring run.

Thompson credited his small team with playing through a multitude of adverse moments.

“They make more mistakes than any team I’ve ever coached,” Thompson said. “They also help each other and play harder than most of the teams I’ve had.”

The Tigers will advance to play on the road in the quarterfinals against No. 1 Richfield next Friday.