PROVO — On a night when thunderstorms swirled around Utah Valley, Trevor Zibetti and the Provo Bulldogs were downright electric.
The quarterback connected on 13-of-20 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns while running for another score as Provo cruised to a 49-20 victory over the visiting Stansbury Stallions.
The Bulldog passing attack was aided admirably by running back Kyle Larsen who carried the ball 12 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
After falling behind early, the Bulldogs (2-0) took advantage of early Stallion turnovers to build a sizable lead by halftime and kept their foot on the pedal in the second half.
Stansbury (1-1) scored first when Clint Petersen found Donte Jones streaking down the sideline for a 43-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
But the Bulldogs struck back in a big way on their first possession when Keoki Unufe took a short pass from Zibetti and sprinted 62 yards for Provo's first touchdown.
After a 35-yard field goal by Provo's Lincoln Salmon, the Stallions galloped down the field to the Bulldog 3-yard line when Stansbury's Mac Marshall plunged over the goal line to put his team back up 14-10.
Later in the second quarter, Zibetti threw a strike over the middle to Seth Rhineer, who broke one tackle and bolted down the field 90 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Rhineer finished with 4 catches for 120 yards.
A Stansbury fumble on the next play gave the Bulldogs the ball in great field position. Three plays later, Larsen reached pay dirt on a six-yard score to make the score 24-14 for Provo.
Salmon tacked on another field goal before half — this one from 24 yards out — thanks to an interception by cornerback Matt Cherry, and the Bulldogs led 27-14 at the break.
Provo added to its lead less than two minutes into the third quarter when Larsen plowed into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown.
Later in the quarter, Zibetti scored his third touchdown of the night as he rolled out to the left side and ran it in himself.
Zibetti added one more touchdown, finding Jeff Vanburen for a 12-yard touchdown strike to put Provo up 49-14.
Stansbury finally got back on the board when Trae Powers took a hand-off and tip-toed down the sidelines for a 26-yard touchdown.
But it was too little, too late for the Stallions.3 comments on this story
Provo coach Saia Pope said this Bulldog squad is much deeper than teams he's had in the past.
"We thought we were going to have to play some guys both ways, but that hasn't really been the case so far," he said. "We got ourselves some basketball players and other skill guys to help us out."
Zibetti was quick to give credit to the guys up front as a reason for the team's early success.
"It all starts up front with our line," he said. "Without them, we couldn't do anything."
Provo travels to West Jordan next week while Stansbury will try to rebound against Ogden.