WASHINGTON TERRACE — Bonneville High head football coach Jantz Afuvai knew his team had a special mentality three weeks ago when it defeated Bountiful.
The Lakers are hitting on all cylinders following a 42-14 win over Box Elder that clinched the Region 5 title Friday — the Lakers’ first region title since 2002.
“It was really the Bountiful game that I knew we had matured as a team because Bountiful is a big, strong, powerful team and they’ll punch you in the mouth if you’re not ready, and so I knew that after that win — and how we won — that these guys knew how to bring it every week,” Afuvai said.
Bonneville brought it against Box Elder from the start Friday, scoring touchdowns on its first four possessions and taking a 28-7 halftime lead.
Lakers quarterback Kamen Best threw four touchdown passes and ran for another.
“I think that Kamen Best is one of the better quarterbacks I’ve seen in this area for a long time,” Afuvai said. “He just has a really good feel for where defenses are and where to exploit people and he takes advantage of it. He just takes what’s given to him and he’s patient. That’s a lot of discipline for a 17, 18-year-old kid.”
Best’s touchdown run came on Bonneville’s first drive of the game from 7 yards out. On the Lakers’ next possession, Best found Reiss Graybeal for a 24-yard touchdown, one of two touchdown receptions for Graybeal in the game. Graybeal then caught a two-point conversion attempt to give the Lakers a 14-0 lead.
Box Elder got on the board on its next possession when quarterback Parker Buchanan connected with Braylon Majors for a 21-yard touchdown. The joy was short-lived, however, as Kord Shaw ran for a 4-yard touchdown on Bonneville’s next drive. After forcing a punt, the Lakers marched down the field again. Best capped the drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Graybeal with 5:52 left in the first half.
Best threw two more touchdowns in the second half. Shaw caught a 23-yard touchdown pass with 9:02 left in the third quarter and Jordan Jacquez caught an 11-yard touchdown pass with 6:16 left in the fourth.
Box Elder’s only other score came on a 1-yard run by Buchanan with 9:41 left in the fourth quarter.
“I think that we (have) matured as a team week to week,” Afuvai said. “We’ve got to learn to control our emotions a little bit better, but we’re playing to win, we’re playing aggressive and I think that right now that’s working.”