clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

High school football: Juab edges Morgan in 3A title game for first state title in school history

Juab players celebrate their win over Morgan in the 3A football championship game at Dixie State University in St. George on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.
Juab players celebrate their win over Morgan in the 3A football championship game at Dixie State University in St. George on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Box score

For the first time in program history, the Juab Wasps are state champions.

Led by Bodee Blackett and Trey Lund, the Wasps rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns as Juab (12-1) came from behind for a thrilling 17-14 victory over Morgan (8-3) in the 3A championship at Dixie State University.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Lund as he held up the state title. “We were so close last year against Morgan, and to be able to win it all and get revenge at the same time is the best feeling in the world.”

“It didn’t take much to fire up the team,” added Juab head coach Mike Bowring. “Last year’s loss left a sour taste in our mouths and our kids were looking forward to a rematch and proving themselves.”

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Juab players and coaches celebrated the program’s first football title as they danced and embraced each other with tears in their eyes.

“This win was for the kids, the alumni and the entire community of Juab,” said Bowring. “We’ve been knocking on the door for a long, long time now and I’m just so proud of our kids. I knew they could do it, and they were resilient tonight. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Juab got off to a fast start as the Wasps scored on their first possession of the game to take an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. After several big runs from Lund, the senior running back then capped off the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown run.

In the second quarter, Juab’s Louk Stevens picked off Morgan quarterback Ryder Lish and returned the ball to the 36-yard line. Jakob Bailey then climbed the ladder and made a great catch to get the Wasps in the red zone. However, a penalty and a sack forced Juab to settle for a field goal as Ryker Richards split the uprights from 37-yards out to give Juab a 10-0 lead.

The Wasps forced another turnover and looked like they were going to blow the game open when Brayden Lawton picked off the pass and returned it to the 30-yard line. However, Morgan’s defense came to the rescue as linebacker Tanner Belinski recovered a fumble to end the Wasps’ drive.

That play gave the Trojans all the momentum they needed as they scored two quick touchdowns to take a 14-10 lead in to the half.

Lish got Morgan on the board as the senior quarterback capped off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown run up the middle to cut the deficit to 10-7.

  • Watch replay: Juab 17, Morgan 14

The Morgan defense then recovered another fumble on the ensuing possession as Klint Love fell on the ball after Juab fumbled the handoff. With the ball on the 24-yard line, the Trojans marched down inside the 5-yard line before needing all four downs to score. With fourth and goal from the 2-yard line, Morgan brought in their jumbo package before handing the ball off to William Lance, who plowed his way into the end zone to give Morgan its first lead of the game.

“We didn’t get discouraged,” said Blackett. “At halftime we knew if we got one more score we would win, and that our defense would hold them. And we did just that.”

Blackett, who rushed for 119 yards on the night, took a handoff late in the third quarter and turned on the jets as the senior raced 83 yards for a touchdown to give Juab back the lead at 17-14.

“Nothing was going to stop me from getting into the end zone,” said Blackett, who tiptoed the sideline and jumped over a defender near the goal to score. “Once I saw all that green grass, I knew I was going to score and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.”

Juab’s defense held Morgan’s offense, which came in ranked No. 4 in 3A at 35.2 points per game, scoreless in the second half, including coming up with several fourth down stops to get the win.

“Due to COVID-19, we were missing our defensive coordinator tonight and our entire team was dedicating this game to him since he couldn’t be here,” said Blackett. “It’s been a crazy season, but as we have done all year, we rallied together and played inspired ball. This team battles to the very end and I love this team so much.”

“We are just thankful and blessed to be able to play football this year,” added Bowring. “We really didn’t know if we were going to be able to play this year. That is what makes this night so special for our players and the community, and it’s something that I’m never going to forget.”