NEPHI — Morgan High started off its season with a good showcase of strength and battled to a 21-6 win over Juab on Friday night.
The day didn't start off well for the Trojans. An already long road trip was made even longer when the Morgan team bus was caught in traffic for more than an hour, delaying the kickoff by 30 minutes.
When the game did finally start, Morgan was slow to get warmed up but took a comfortable lead by halftime and never let Juab get close enough to be dangerous.
Lawson Toomer scored two touchdowns and had 123 yards rushing to do most of the damage, while the Wasps struggled and sputtered on offense all night.
"Even with a slow start offensively, our defense was holding them to nothing and getting the ball back for us," said Morgan coach Kovi Christiansen. "For the most part, we're a rushing offense. We've got some big guys up front and some really good backs."
Typical first-game miscues plagued the first quarter, and the game was scoreless going into the second period. The tide turned when the Trojans came up with back-to-back turnovers and converted them both into touchdowns.
Early in the second quarter, an interception set Morgan up near midfield and Tad Sargent scored in the next play, going off tackle and breaking free for a 55-yard touchdown run.
On Juab's next possession, the Trojans got another interception and this time took six plays to go the 50 yards, converting one fourth down and scoring on a seven-yard plunge by Toomer.
The Wasps had sporadic success with their spread offense, but quarterback Brock Orme spent the better part of the night scrambling, as Morgan didn't hesitate to blitz.
The pressure worked, and Orme only completed a handful of passes, although a few deep balls just narrowly missed receivers.Comment on this story
"It looks like we got some pressure on him," said Christiansen. "People get tired of getting hit with a number of different people. Eventually, it's going to break down."
Leading 14-0 in the third quarter, Morgan had a huge 71-yard punt that pinned Juab inside its own 10-yard line. That set the Trojans up with good field possession after another defensive hold, and Toomer capped off a 47-yard drive with a one-yard plunge.
The Wasps didn't cross midfield until the last few minutes of the third quarter. They finally connected on a long pass when Orme found Spencer McPherson at the five-yard line. Four plays later, Orme scrambled in from one yard out for Juab's only score.
Sargent was the leading rusher on the night, with 147 yards on 16 carries. Morgan linebacker Cameron Streadbeck had five tackles for loss and a sack.