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High school football: Lehi storms past Mountain Ridge in second half in Region 7 opener

Lehi scored the final 26 points to pull away for the 40-14 win

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Box score

HERRIMAN — Lehi started slow in its Region 7 opener on Friday night but finished extremely well, pulling away from Mountain Ridge 40-14 to extend its winning streak to three straight.

After Mountain Ridge tied the game at 14-14 midway through the third quarter, Lehi scored the final 26 points, including a safety as the defense put the clamps down over the final quarter and a half.

“That first drive we gave them and they tied it up at 14-14. I thought it was going to turn into a 39-38 game, so for them to get stops was awesome,” said Lehi coach Ed Larson.

To go along with the safety on an intentional grounding in the end zone and then recovering a muffed punt return, Lehi also got interceptions from Steeler Cooper, Kadiyon Sweat and Holden Hughes in another outstanding performance.

Offensively, Chandler Jenkins did most of the damage for the Pioneers scoring on four touchdown runs, including three in the fourth quarter as his team ran away with the win.

“I’ve got three backs we like, but he does great job for us from that standpoint. We’re feeling pretty good about where we’re at with our run game. We’ve got to improve some things, get our pass game going,” said Larson.

As well as Lehi played offensively in the second half, the first half was a much different story. After scoring on its opening drive with Jenkins capping it on a 15-yard TD run, Lehi’s offense only mustered up three first downs the rest of the half.

It still led 7-6 at the break though as the defense held Mountain Ridge in check as well, outside of Cade Uluave’s 23-yard TD run at the 11:20 mark of the second quarter.

After improved offensive performances the previous two weeks, the first half was definitely a bit of a backward step.

“We came out and we were not ready to match them. Hats off to them. They played harder and better than us in the first half and gave us a wake-up call at halftime that we had to turn things around,” said Larson.

Lehi found its groove again offensively on the opening drive of the second half, taking a 14-6 lead as Creyton Cooper raced into the end zone on a 39-yard TD run. Mountain Ridge answered back on a quarterback TD run of its own with Ayden Helm marching in from 20 yards, with the resulting Uluave two-point conversion tying the game 14-14.

From there it was all Lehi.

A Carson Weber 31-yard field goal gave Lehi the lead for good at 17-14 with 2:08 left in the third quarter, and then Jenkins did the rest of the damage getting tough yards to punch it into the end zone.

Lehi will need to play well all four quarters in the coming weeks to improve upon that three-game winning streak.

“We hit the meat grinder over the next five weeks,” Larson said. “(Pleasant Grove), Timpview, Provo, Alta, Orem. It’s kind of like, ‘Wow.’ We’ll see what we’ve got. We hope we stay healthy and play hard.”