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High school football: Gabe Curtis, Mason Young power Brighton past Bountiful

SHARE High school football: Gabe Curtis, Mason Young power Brighton past Bountiful

Brighton’s Gabe Curtis (1) runs with the ball past Bountiful’s Payson Hadley (5) during a football game at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Brighton’s Collin Edwards (24) is on the left.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Box score

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Brighton coach Justin Hemm didn’t recall saying anything special to his team at halftime of the Bengals’ game against Bountiful Friday night.

He might want to see if anyone videotaped taped it, however, because it might have had some magic in the Bengals’ 36-17 nonregion victory.

Mason Young rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns and Lander Barton recovered two fumbles as Brighton dominated the second half to stay undefeated so far this season.

“Our O-line stepped up and we established the run” is how Hemm explained it. “Mason stepped up. We had some kids go down, and he was our safety and stepped in and made some plays.”

Brighton had no trouble finding offense in its earlier games, as Gabe Curtis had played a key role in wins over Fremont, Layton and Woods Cross. Bountiful, however, was able to apply pressure at times and recorded several sacks.

Other times, Curtis avoided the rush and made big plays, starting with a touchdown throw to Colin Edwards on the Bengals’ first drive and then a 19-yard touchdown run just before halftime.

Brighton’s lead, however, was just 13-10 at the break, and there was plenty of speculation on the sidelines as the Bengals’ injuries added up and Bountiful prepared to accept the second-half kickoff. On Bountiful’s first play, however, quarterback Boston Malmrose fumbled and Barton, the Bengals’ athletic 6-foot-4 linebacker, fell on the ball.

Brighton took over at the 19-yard line, and Curtis handed the ball to Young, who sprinted untouched to the end zone.

“I just turned it on,” said Young, who hadn’t touched the ball on offense prior to this game. “They knew we were going run, and they couldn’t stop it.”

Bountiful moved backward on its next drive, but a beautiful 50-yard punt by Micah Pettit forced Brighton to start its drive on the 42-yard line. But on the first play, Young took another handoff and didn’t stop until he had his second touchdown.

Young didn’t stop getting the ball until Bountiful proved it could stop him. By that time, he had 12 carries for 143 yards and was personally responsible for securing the game’s momentum. The Bengals added a couple of field goals by Ben Passey to boost the lead.

Bountiful, which fell to 2-2, didn’t have much to cheer about, except for a drive led by junior Maximus Barker, who replaced Malmrose and completed 5 of 6 passes for 42 yards.

That was Bountiful’s only offense after halftime. The Braves were able to stay close early, thanks to a 40-yard interception return by Brooks Fornelius. Interceptions hurt them in the first half, and they suffered the two fumbles after that.