OREM — Other than the coronation of homecoming royalty at halftime and a pair of late touchdowns, the Orem faithful did not have much to cheer about during the school's homecoming festivities Friday night. The Spanish Fork Dons routed the Tigers 38-13, shutting out Orem's offense through three quarters.
"Our defense did a great job," Spanish Fork coach Matt Christensen said. "We forced a lot of turnovers and kept them in third and long situations most of the night, so overall I was really pleased."
Despite Spanish Fork's impressive play defensively, the marquee performance of the night came from running back PJ Inoke. The senior carried the ball 17 times for 136 yards and four touchdowns, including an 80-yard score in the fourth quarter. Inoke also gave Spanish Fork a two-touchdown lead after a 43-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter. The running back credits the Don offensive line for the big plays.
"That was all line," he said. "The past few games I've been trying to force stuff, so tonight coach told me to just relax and let the line do everything, and that's what I did (on those two plays)."
Spanish Fork quarterback Hayden Nielsen complemented Inoke's ground game with 64 yards rushing of his own, and 151 yards through the air. Nielsen put the game out of reach late in the third quarter with a 10-yard pass to his favorite wideout, Travis Still, in the back corner of the end zone. The score put the Dons up 31-0.
"Hayden and Travis are studs, both of them," Inoke said. "A lot of people have keyed in on them so that's allowed a lot of us to step up. We have a whole team full of great athletes, and if we stay strong, healthy, and keep our heads, we should be able to win a lot of games."
After the Dons' fourth touchdown, Orem fans headed for the exits. But the small crowd did not deter Tigers' backup quarterback Taylor Camp. In the final five minutes of the game, the sophomore completed five of seven passes for 147 yards, including an 80-yard bomb to Jamison Hatch, to prevent a homecoming shutout. On Orem's next series, Camp found running back Chase Orwin open deep in the middle of the field for a 41-yard reception. On the next play, Orwin finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown run.
The Dons improve to 2-1; the Tigers fall to 1-2.