SALT LAKE CITY — The Region 5 showdown is officially set, now it’s up to COVID-19 to stay away.
Box Elder and Bonneville both took care of business in week 8, setting up a clash in week 9 for the region title as both teams head into the game with 4-0 region records.
“We are excited to be able to play for a region championship in a strong football region next week,” said Bonneville coach Jantz Afuavi, whose team beat Farmington 26-15 on Friday. (Box Score)
“We haven’t been region champs since 2002. We look forward to playing coach Robbie Gunter, a great coach and good man, and the Bees for the Region 5 championship.”
Gunther echoed the sentiment as his team eked out a 20-17 win over Woods Cross, arguably the most unlucky team in the state. (Box Score)
“We are really excited to be playing Bonneville for the region title next week,” said Gunther.
Box Elder trailed 17-6 early in the third quarter in Friday, but Parker Buchanan rallied his team with a pair of touchdown passes, including the 46-yard game winner to Carson Arnold with 2:13 remaining in the game.
“First of all Woods Cross played well. They were physical and really got after us and made some great plays. The key for us was the trust and composure of our team. They really play hard for each other. I was really impressed with how our guys reacted to the adversity of being behind two scores in second half and not being able to finish drives. The defense had some big stops and our offensive line gave Parker time and he connected on some big pass plays to finish the game,” said Gunther.
For Woods Cross, it now sits at 0-8 on the season and 0-4 in region play. All four of those region losses were one-score games, and twice it had a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.
For Bonneville, it was always in control against Farmington as Kord Shaw scored on a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half as his team jumped out to a 19-0 lead on the way to the comfortable win.
“Solid team play tonight. We took care of the football, sustained drives, scored most of the time in the red zone. Defense played physical and consistent most of the night. Forced key turnovers that led to field possession, clock management, and points. Boys made big plays when we needed them to. We had a lot of fun tonight. Great win for the Laker community,” said Afuvai, whose team has won six straight since week 2 loss to Sky View.
Lehi bounced back from last week’s disappointing loss to Timpview with a solid 24-21 win over Alta on Friday. (Box Score)
Lehi quarterback Creyton Cooper scored on a one-yard touchdown with less than a minute remaining as the Pioneers improved to 2-1 in region play.
“It was a classic Lehi-Alta game. Hats off to Alta and their program for fighting all night. They did a good job of keeping us out of the end zone twice in the first half inside the 5 yard line. We need to clean up a lot of things on offense. We dropped too many key passes and had too many sacks,” said Lehi coach Ed Larson. “Takeshi Faupula has a great game for us breaking a long TD run and changing field position with another long run.”
Lehi’s defense and special teams were solid except for one play according to Larson, even scoring early on a blocked punt return for touchdown by Grayson Brousseau in the first quarter.
“Our defense gave up a long TD pass that was thrown five yds but went for 90 due to poor tackling. Otherwise our defense played an outstanding game. One of Alta’s TD came after an interception was returned to the 2 yard line,” said Larson.
The other Region 7 game scheduled in week 8, Orem at Timpview, was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. It was a theme across the state as a total of 11 originally scheduled games were canceled across the state.
One of those originally scheduled games was the marquee rivalry between Bountiful and Viewmont.
The Braves found a late replacement game though against Region 1’s Fremont, and ended up playing maybe its best game of the season in a 41-28 victory. (Box Score)
“Our team played with high excitement and great effort. Coach Jason Walker reminded the players before the game that they will play their best when they focus on their teammates, and we were able to do that tonight. We were also able to eliminate turnovers and reduce penalties, and the players deserve credit for their execution,” said Bountiful coach Jason Freckleton, whose team snapped a two-game losing skid.
Bountiful quarterback Boston Malmrose threw four touchdown passes in the win, including three to Brooks Fornelius.
“You also have to give a lot of credit to a kid like Boston Malmrose who has seen all the ups and downs of a season. He has persevered with a coachable mentality and has continued to work hard to get better. He trusted his teammates to make plays and this was a complete team victory,” said Freckleton.
In Region 8, both Salem Hills and Springville won this week to remain one game behind Wasatch in the standings — each with a game against Wasatch the final two weeks.
Salem Hills beat Provo 26-21 on Thursday night, with quarterback Jarret Elmer leading the way with 333 passing yards and three touchdowns. (Box Score)
Springville, meanwhile, dominated rival Spanish Fork on Friday cruising to the 49-14 win as Seth Rigtrup rushed for 116 yards and four touchdowns. (Box Score)
“Seth Rigtrup and our running game controlled the game. Defense played great and was able to contain their explosive receivers. Proud of how our kids have continued to work hard and get better each week,” said Springville coach Willy Child.
Springville has a bye next week before a week 10 showdown with Wasatch. Salem Hills gets its crack against the Wasps next week.