West High and Kearns compete in a high school football game at West High School in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Few teams have had an up-and-down season quite like Fremont, and the trend continued again Friday.
Coming off a disheartening loss to Bountiful last week — which came on the heels of a 20-17 loss to rival Weber — Fremont upset Davis 30-26 on the road Friday as Hayden Hall scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds remaining. (Box Score)
Davis had taken a 26-23 lead with 3:37 left on a 9-yard touchdown run by Spencer Ferguson, but Fremont quarterback Cannon Kofford marched his team down field to set up the winning score.
If you look at the definition of 'clutch' in the dictionary, you'll probably find pictures of Cannon Kofford & Hayden Hall of Fremont.
Down 3 with under 3:30 to go, they simply could not be stopped!! What a HUGE win for Fremont!@THEfremonthigh @HaydenTHall @KofordCannon pic.twitter.com/tRAylScs8c
— Deseret News Rewind (@DNewsRewind) October 10, 2020
The victory vaulted Fremont (4-5) up to No. 12 in the 6A RPI rankings before they were removed from the UHSAA website until the final reveal next Saturday.
Since losing its first three games of the season to Brighton, Salem Hills and Roy, the Silver Wolves have won four of their past six games heading into nonregion season finale with Farmington next week.
“I’m proud of how our players responded to adversity after a tough preseason and a beat down last week from Bountiful. The team circled the wagons, recommitted to the process, put their heads down and went to work. We still have plenty to work on but the kids did a great job of executing the game plan tonight,” said Fremont coach Ross Arnold.
Elsewhere in Region 1, Layton edged rival Northridge 7-0 on Friday night in its first game back since the stunning upset of Weber three weeks ago. (Box Score)
Layton’s football team had to quarantine for 14 days after the win over Weber because of COVID-19, but it backed up with another win and will head into the playoffs on a two-game winning streak after losing its first five games.
Sione Vailahi provided the only scoring for the Lancers on a 50-yard run early in the third quarter, and the defense did the rest.
“I am happy for our team and the way they played and fought to the end. It was tough coming back from a two week quarantine and playing within a couple of days, especially against our rival. I’m proud of the way our players stepped up to the challenge,” said Layton coach Fo Katoa. “The feeling of gratitude was the theme this week for our team. We all are grateful we got another opportunity to play football for another week.”
One of the biggest surprises of the night came in Region 2 as West beat previously-unbeaten Kearns 26-17. (Box Score)
Kearns raced out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but led by quarterback Carson Lopati the Panthers slowly clawed back into the game.
With the game tied at 17-17 midway through the fourth quarter, West took the lead on a safety and then Clarence Bird-Butler provided the punctuation mark on a 1-yard run with 17 seconds left in the game.
It was Bird-Butler’s second rushing touchdown of the game.
Bird Butler said he’s unguardable!!! West ties it up headed to the 4th qtr!! @KearnsHS & @PantherWest tied 17-17!!
**Great game live now on KMYU-TV or streamed at https://t.co/jAQeFMDf23 pic.twitter.com/Jgaa4pKJn2
— Dave Fox (@Davefox2) October 10, 2020
West now sits at 4-1 in Region 2 and can earn a share of the Region 2 title with a victory over Granger in Week 2.
West’s last region title was a co-region title in 2014, and prior to that it hadn’t won a region title since 1995 back when that was the norm under head coach Don Holtry.
“It just means a lot to our kids, but it’s not over,” West coach Olosaa Solovi told the Desert News after the game. “We still have Granger to come over and they’ll be ready to play. We’re just excited, man. We’re extremely excited for our community.
On Thursday night in Region 4, Skyridge had Corner Canyon on the ropes for most of the game, but Utah’s top-ranked team rallied with two fourth quarter touchdowns for the 29-26 win. (Box Score)
The Chargers, however, were able to extend their winning streak to 35 straight as Jaxson Dart threw a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes, including the game winner to Cody Hagen with 59 seconds left on a fourth down from the four yard line.
This @JaxsonDart 4 yard TD pass to @_codyhagen_ with 59 seconds left proved to be game winner as @CCHSFOOTBALL_ eked out 29-26 win over @skyridgefb. Skyridge moves ball to 3 yard line, but ran out of time as CC defense held. pic.twitter.com/7jpQN8fXto
— James Edward (@DNewsPreps) October 9, 2020
Trailing 26-14 at the half, Corner Canyon’s first two drives of the second half but both stalled near the 20 yard line courtesy of Skyridge’s vaunted defense. The first on a fourth and two stop and the second on a strip sack.
It added to the urgency of the situation when Corner Canyon got the ball again early in the third quarter with just over nine minutes remaining.
Led by Dart, the Chargers showed surprising calm under pressure for a team that’s usually playing with a running clock in the fourth quarter.
“This means so much more than just a normal game for sure,” Corner Canyon wide receiver Cody Hagen told the Desert News after the game. “Those games where we’re just killing them and we’re out the second half isn’t very fun. Just to be able to keep battling the whole game was so much fun.”
Skyridge nearly pulled out the win at the other end of the field as it marched quickly and had a first and goal situation from six yard line with eight seconds remaining.
McCae Hillstead tried to scramble into the end zone on the final play after his pocket collapsed, but the Chargers corralled him at the three as time expired on the Falcons.
Also in Region 4 on Thursday, Lone Peak beat American Fork 48-45 in a wild back-and-forth game. (Box Score)
Lone Peak trailed 31-21 midway through the third quarter, but scored three straight touchdowns during a nine-minute stretch to pull ahead 41-31 with 8:34 remaining.
American Fork responded with one of Maddux Madsen’s five touchdown passes to cut the deficit to 41-38, but Lone Peak put the game away for good a few minutes later as Luke Durfey score on a 36-yard run increasing the lead back to two possessions.
“We started slow both offensively and defensively, however, defense got some key stops and offense stepped up big beginning in the second quarter scoring too,” said Lone Peak coach Bart Brockbank.
We've talked about their defense all year, but how about the offense for Lone Peak tonight?!?! They put up 7 TDs and scored in every which way.
Deep Balls ✅✅
Play Action Throws ✅✅
Power Runs ✅✅✅@westoncovey @luke_durfey5 @EliCloward @LPHSKnights @weareuknighted pic.twitter.com/5a51uCplC5
— Deseret News Rewind (@DNewsRewind) October 9, 2020
With back-to-back wins over Skyridge and American Fork after losing to Corner Canyon in Week 6, Lone Peak can wrap up second place in Region 4 with a win over Pleasant Grove on Wednesday.
With arguably the five best teams in Utah in Region 4 this year, and finishing second is no small feat.
In the only notable game in Region 3 this week, East beat Riverton 36-20 in a win that will likely create another three-way tie for the region title, this time with Bingham, East and Riverton. (Box Score)
Last year it was East, Herriman and Bingham that shared the title.
Riverton still needs to beat Herriman next week to try and earn a share of the region title, something it as only accomplished once in school history as it tied for a region title in 2013.
“We had this thing hyped up as a region championship football game. Our kids bought into it hook, line and sinker and away we go,” East coach Brandon Matich told the Deseret News after the game.
East jumped out to a 22-0 lead early in the second quarter with the highlight a 70-yard scoop and score by Voi Tunuufi.
Riverton didn’t go away quietly though as it patiently climbed back into the game, cutting the deficit to 22-14 with 4:34 left in the third quarter on one of Colby Barton’s three touchdown passes in the game.
East responded with a quick touchdown though to push the lead back to two scores as it was never threatened again.