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High school football: Brighton edges Olympus in Region 6 showdown to improve to 5-0

Mason Young scored on a pair of TD runs to pace the Bengals

SHARE High school football: Brighton edges Olympus in Region 6 showdown to improve to 5-0

Brighton’s Mason Young (21) runs the ball past Olympus’ Nate Condon (24) at Olympus High School in Holladay on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Box score

HOLLADAY — The Brighton Bengals’ successful season to this point hasn’t been filled with the slimmest of margins, but a tight victory over Olympus showed them that they’ve got toughness to go along with a usually stellar offense.

Twice Brighton found the end zone on fourth and goal situations, and when both offenses stalled in the second half, it was two interceptions from the Bengals’ defense that secured the team’s 21-14 win.

“There were a lot of times that we were dealt blows and Olympus kept battling and battling and battling,” Brighton coach Justin Hemm said. “When it’s going down to the last drive and for our guys to respond and stay in the game, I thought they showed a lot of mental and emotional toughness.”

Brighton opened the scoring on the first drive of the game with a pass from quarterback Gabe Curtis to wide receiver Collin Edwards, who rumbled 39 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Bengals lead with 10:15 in the first quarter.

Olympus dug into its bag of tricks to even the proceedings up as quarterback Tommy Hoggan tossed the ball sideways to running back Peyton Rice, who then lofted it to wide receiver Erik Pederson for a big gain. Ryan Reynard then capped the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown dive to make it 7-7 with 3:02 left in the first quarter.

Brighton seized the lead back 14-7 with 8:32 left in the second quarter on a 17-play drive in which the Bengals converted two fourth downs, including running back Mason Young’s dive for a 1-yard score.

“He does a great job of finding the seam, sticking one foot in the ground and getting vertical,” Hemm said.

Olympus responded immediately with a drive powered with the legs and arm of quarterback Tommy Hoggan, who lofted a gorgeous rainbow pass to Jackson Bennee on the right sideline before toting the ball himself on the ensuing play with a 5-yard quarterback keeper touchdown to make it 14-14 with 4:26 left in the first half.

Young, who rumbled for over 100 yards rushing, was deferential to Olympus for challenging Brighton at every turn.

“We managed to just keep the lead and finish it out. It was a hard-fought game and they’re a good team,” the running back said. “It was fun.”

After halftime and with 4:33 left in the third quarter, Young keyed another nine-play drive and another 1-yard score on fourth down to get the go-ahead touchdown and increase Brighton’s lead to 21-14.

As both offenses sputtered down the stretch, Brighton nabbed two picks, including an interception from Israel Moeai to ice the victory with Olympus driving for the tying score.

Brighton, now 5-0 for the first time since 2015, moves ahead with its first region victory and an appreciation for resoluteness as the season progresses.

“Each week presents different challenges and problems and things that we’ve got to continue to get better with,” Hemm said. “We want to be our best come playoff time.”