HYRUM — After being held to just one touchdown in the first half, Mountain Crest celebrated their homecoming with a crushing victory over region rival Box Elder, 34-7, on Friday night.
With no score in the second quarter and facing a long third-down play, Mountain Crest quarterback Alex Kuresa connected with sophomore Eddie Hall to convert. A few plays later, the four-year starter used his legs on a fake punt to get the chains moving again. The fake later set up another pass to Hall, this time for a six-yard touchdown, giving the Mustangs the 7-0 lead.
Hall was pleased to have his number called in such clutch situations. "It feels good," said Hall. "It builds confidence in me and shows a lot of trust in the coaches."
Mountain Crest head coach Mark Wootton also verbalized his trust.
"(Eddie Hall) is a great running back who reads (the defense) well," said Wootton, who also mentioned that Hall has been plagued with an ankle injury.
Box Elder's defense performed spectacularly in the first half, allowing only the one touchdown to be scored, much to Kuresa's dismay.
"The first half was a battle," said the Mountain Crest quarterback. "We came out hard in the second half."
That's when the Mustang stampede got things moving.
Kuresa added a one-yard touchdown run in addition to his pass to Hall in the first half. Senior Nate Rigby ran for two touchdowns, one in the third quarter for 26 yards, and the second in the fourth quarter for six yards. Schofield Smith tacked on the final score, as he punched the ball in from the one-yard line to make it 34-7.
In limiting the Mountain Crest onslaught, the tenacity by defensive back Kyle King was key for Box Elder in the first quarter. The 5-foot-5, 139-pound senior disrupted what would have been a 60-yard touchdown pass.
In Mountain Crest's first trip to the red zone, the undersized defensive back intercepted a pass from Kuresa before kneeling in the end zone, delaying Mountain Crest for a few drives and giving the Bees the ball on their own 20-yard line.
The pick set up a long drive for the Bees, as they got within a yard of a touchdown. This time, it was time to shine for the M.C. defense.
"(Our defense) played very aggressively," said Wootton, whose Mustangs have not lost a region game in over four years. "I think (Box Elder) has a little more size, but we stepped up and battled them."
Box Elder's only score came on defense, when 6-5 senior Justus Brown intercepted a pass and scampered 45 yards to put his team on the board.