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5A high school football takeaways: Region play now underway, Orem, Alta, Maple Mountain and Provo all secure key wins

Maple Mountain halted an eight-year losing skid against Springville on an emotional night

SHARE 5A high school football takeaways: Region play now underway, Orem, Alta, Maple Mountain and Provo all secure key wins

Brighton’s Gabe Curtis (1) runs with the ball past Bountiful’s Drew Bowles (24) during a football game at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Maple Mountain is a team loaded with senior talent, and one of its first goals this year was to finally beat Region 8 foe Springville.

Mission accomplished.

Tyler Nelson threw for three touchdowns, including two to Thomas Weight as Maple Mountain beat Springville for the first time in eight years, 29-15. (Box Score)

Nelson threw his TDs wearing the jersey of his teammate Bryson McQuivey who is battling cancer. A different player has worn McQuivey’s No. 15 jersey each game this year, but it had a little extra special meaning on Friday as McQuivey found out his cancer has returned.

“I am really proud of how are players and coaches battled tonight. Springville is always tough, but we were able to make some plays on both sides of the ball to get the job done. We were playing for one of our teammates, Bryson McQuivey, who found out his cancer came back today. It was an emotional game, because of that and the rivalry. Overall, we were happy to come out in top tonight,” said Maple Mountain coach Brad Burtenshaw.

Nelson’s 2-yard TD pass to Thomas Weight with 6:30 remaining in the game sealed the victory for Maple Mountain as it improved to 3-1 this season.

Provo also kicked off Region 8 play with a victory in a defensive grudge match, edging Spanish Fork 12-7. (Box Score)

Spanish Fork led 7-6 heading into the fourth quarter, but Provo went ahead for good with 9:18 remaining as Rock Magleby hauled in a 16-yard TD pass from Jace Welsch.

Jamison Harward provided a big spark offensively in the second half for the Bulldogs with three long runs.

Provo beat Logan in Week 1 with a similar 14-7 score.

“Defense is keeping us in games. We have a knack for making plays at the right time,” Provo coach Kirk Chambers, who also got his head coaching start with Spanish Fork from 2012 to 2014. “Ryder MacGillivray came up with a fumble recovery and a crucial interception to help seal the game.”

“Region 8 looks to be competitive this year and Spanish Fork has improved greatly under Coach Dustin Smith. This win gets us off on the right foot as we prepare for region games to continue.”

In Region 7, Alta and Lehi both got off on the right foot with key victories.

Region favorite Orem trailed Alta 14-10 at the half, but it put the clamps down defensively in the second half for the 24-14 win. (Box Score)

“We worked to kind of give them a little extra motivation at halftime,” Orem interim head coach Gabriel Sewell told the Deseret News after the game. “With homecoming, it’s sometimes hard to keep kids focused, but they buckled up and got it done.”

For Alta, it took the halftime lead on a Hail Mary from Ethan Jackson to D’Andre Rahdolph with one second remaining. Incredibly, it was the second game this year that Alta scored on a Hail Mary before halftime, having done the same thing at Desert Hills in Week 2.

Like region counterpart Orem, Lehi also got off to a slow start. It turned it on in the second half though scoring the game’s final 26 points in a runaway 40-14 victory over Mountain Ridge. (Box Score)

“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,” Lehi coach Ed Larson told the Desert News after the game.

Chandler Jenkins recorded four rushing touchdowns in the win for the Pioneers, with three of those TD runs coming in the dominant fourth quarter as Lehi capitalized in Mountain Ridge’s miscues.

In Region 6, Brighton and Skyline have established themselves as the front runners and neither did anything to hurt that reputation.

Skyline dominated undermanned Cottonwood for the 69-0 victory as it scored two defensive touchdowns and a special teams TD. (Box Score)

Brighton, meanwhile, got big games from Mason Young and Gabe Curtis as the duo rushed for two touchdowns in the 36-17 win over Bountiful. (Box Score)

“Our O-line stepped up and we established the run,” Brighton coach Justin Hemm told the Desert News after the game. “Mason stepped up. We had some kids go down, and he was our safety and stepped in and made some plays.”

Even though Brighton and Skyline appear to be the favorites in Region 6, Olympus and Highland both recorded convincing region wins of their own Friday, and are very much teams to still be reckoned with.

Highland outscored Hillcrest 42-7 in the middle two quarters to pull away for the easy 49-7 win, its second straight win. (Box Score)

“It’s always good to get a win. It is better when it is a region win. I know we have a lot to work on as a team so we are excited about getting back to work after we enjoy this win. We need to clean up the penalties and some assignments but we are all excited to get the first region win,” said Brody Benson.

Olympus also scored 49 points, all of them coming after Murray scored first as the Titans dominated en route to the 49-3 victory. (Box Score)

Four different players rushed for touchdowns for Olympus, led by Johnny Frank who recorded two.

Tommy Hoggan opened the scoring for Olympus with a 50-yard TD pass with 3:16 remaining in the quarter, which coach Aaron Whitehead seemed to finally wake his team up offensively after a slow start to the season.

“That first touchdown helped us find our offensive rhythm. Hoggan threw the ball well for the remainder of the night. Johnny Frank, Ryan Reynard and Peyton Rice all ran the ball quite well. The offensive line did well in creating opportunities for the backs,” said Whitehead. “John Schlendorf had a couple great punt returns, including one that went 65 yards for a TD.”

Only one team from Region 5 won its nonregion game on Friday, and it was another convincing one from Bonneville.

The Lakers’ Curtis Hamilton scored two defensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away from Mountain Crest for the 42-14 win. (Box Score)

With Bonneville leading 28-14 in the fourth quarter, Curtis Hamilton scored on a fumble recovery and then an interception during a two-minute stretch to seal the win.

Earlier in the game the Lakers also scored a pair of special teams touchdowns, on a Jordan Citte 88-yard punt return and then a Carson Jones blocked kick return.