SANDY — Even the person in charge of tacking Riverton High football victories to the side of the semi truck off Redwood Road had to sweat this one out.
The Silverwolves, who led Alta 21-0 in the first half, withstood a late rally by the Hawks to remain undefeated with a 35-28 nonregion victory Friday. Tyson Blackner's final pass fell incomplete near the end zone as time expired.
"The kids played out of their minds," said Riverton coach Mike Miller. "Knowing that (Alta) didn't have time outs was good. When we made the tackle, there was 8 seconds left, and it's hard to get an offense set in that time. I'm extremely proud of them."
Riverton's rushing attack, powered by its offensive line, controlled the game. The Silverwolves rushed for 435 yards as a team, though coaches had the total over 500. Nonetheless, four backs each rushed for at least 60 yards, led by Austin Wilke's 105.
Utilizing a bevy of sweeps and dives, Riverton averaged over 8 yards per rush and had numerous big plays that helped set up touchdowns.
"We'll play six or seven backs, but my offensive line did a heck of a job," Miller said. "They deserve a lot of credit. If I were an offensive lineman, I'd want to block downfield too. They're the group that helps everything go. It was important to get out fast on them because I knew it could turn out to be a track meet."
The Hawks, meanwhile, rallied behind Blackner (who started in place of Boston Handley) and Taylor Eyring, who rushed for 200 yards. Blackner threw two touchdown passes to Ammon Barker and ran for another score, but also had two costly interceptions. Eyring had rushed for 136 yards by halftime and got stronger as the game went on.
Trailing 35-28 after Eyring's 8-yard score, the Hawks benefited from an errant punt and took over at their own 31-yard line with 1:09 left.
Blackner completed a couple of passes downfield, but couldn't make the final connection.
"They're a good team, but we let up a bit," said Miller, who defeated Alta for the first time as a head coach. "We let them get some momentum."
Wilke, Skyler Fullmer and Derrick Rodrigues each ran for scores as Riverton led 21-0 early in the second quarter. Alta came within 21-14 before Taylor Jaussi caught a 25-yard touchdown pass for Riverton with 14 seconds left in the half.
The Silverwolves rebuilt the lead to 35-14 on Tate Linford's score in the third quarter before the Hawks (2-5 overall) roared back. Barker made another leaping grab for his second touchdown of the game and Eyring's score made it 35-28.
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Still, Riverton's running game kept churning out first downs.
Though the Silverwolves are 7-0, Miller takes more satisfaction in how Riverton's entire football program has done. The Silverwolves are 18-1 as a program this season.
"As the head coach, that makes me feel better than anything," Miller said.
Derrick Rodrigues and Riley Sanderson each had interceptions for Riverton, which also deflected several passes at the line of scrimmage. Jacob Knowles and Nik Wolford had interceptions for Alta while Jake Petersen blocked a field goal attempt.