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High school football: Grizzlies prevail in a 'Cache Valley classic'

By Tavin Stucki

Deseret News

Published: Friday, Oct. 1 2010 1:16 a.m. MDT

LOGAN — Logan quarterback DJ Nelson led the Grizzlies to victory over region rival Mountain Crest in a 35-34 thriller that went down to the final seconds.

Alex Kuresa, the four-year Mustang starting quarterback, marched his team all the way down the field in the final minutes, eventually connecting with Tanner Collins in the end zone to pull within one.

But the Grizzlies defense stopped Mountain Crest's two-point conversion attempt as Kuresa was dragged down by a defensive lineman as he threw one final pass into the end zone only to have the ball fell to the ground, incomplete.

"The D-line was huge today," Nelson said. "Somebody's gotta step up and make a big play."

Most of the games big plays came from the quarterback duel between Nelson and Kuresa. The two combined for all 10 touchdowns in Mountain Crest's first region loss in over three years.

Nelson had 271 yards passing and threw for three touchdowns in the upset, adding 151 yards on the ground and two more touchdowns. Because of injuries, he also played in the defensive secondary for the Grizzlies, breaking up several passes and making important stops during key plays.

"I like being on the field as much as possible," Nelson said. "I was pumped as could be to prove what we can do here at Logan."

Logan established itself on both sides of the ball early in the game. After a fumble gave Mountain Crest the ball on the Grizzllies' 8-yard line, Logan's defense stopped a fourth-and-goal attempt.

Nelson then marched his team down from that spot to take the 7-0 lead on a 31-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver McKay Horsley.

"Our O-line did a great job to get downfield," Nelson said.

The Grizzlies nearly had the game won, up 35-28 after a Mustang touchdown and failed on-sides kick. They burned the clock down to the final minutes in the fourth quarter as Nelson ran for 45 yards to make it first-and-goal from the 5-yard line.

On a subsequent play however, Nelson fumbled the ball away to Mountain Crest's Eddie Hall who returned it 17 yards before being brought down, setting up the final dramatic Mustangs drive.

Logan head coach Mike Favero said he was happy to be a part of one of the greatest high school football games he has been to.

"(It was) a Cache Valley classic. That was as good as any of them," he said. "That's what high school football is all about, anything can happen."

Logan (6-1) clinched a spot in the state playoffs and remains undefeated in region play. Next week the Grizzlies will travel to Box Elder (3-3) as Mountain Crest (5-2) will host Ogden (1-5).

"It felt good to get the win," said Nelson, shortly after jumping and shouting in excitement. "It still feels good."

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