4A high school football semifinal: Red Devils left bewildered by Rams' performance
SALT LAKE CITY — Springville, the team that took down mighty Timpview a week earlier, is out of the state tournament.
It was a shocking ouster, with Highland's offense moving the ball at will in Friday's 4A semifinal at Rice-Eccles Stadium, racking up 593 yards of total offense in the 46-21 win.
Red Devils coach Scott Mitchell still doesn't quite know what happened.
"I really felt like we had a great week of practice. I felt like winning last week was not the end for us," said Mitchell, who was the quarterback for Springville during its last state title in 1985. "They just came out and beat our butts, plain and simple."
It was the ultimate letdown.
In the 4A quarterfinals the week before, Springville played a near-perfect game in a 38-27 upset of four-time defending state champion Timpview.
The Red Devils outgained Timpview offensively, 450 yards to 343, and led throughout most of the game.
Many pegged Springville as the new team to beat after the victory, but it didn't play out that way Friday.
"We came out just thinking that we'd keep on rolling, we got the momentum (last week) and thought we could just bring it into this game. Things didn't turn out the way we wanted them to," said an emotional Marcus Case after the game. "I'm real disappointed, but we tried hard and gave a lot to this game."
Springville's defense was the biggest disappointment.
A week after holding Timpview's offense in check, Highland torched Springville for 593 yards, including 486 yards on the ground for a 9.7-per-carry average.
Timpview only averaged 3.8 yards per carry last week.
"That offense, if you don't do your assignment, you're going to be in trouble. We had a lot of guys that were in the wrong spot, and they took advantage of it and there were a lot of big plays," said Mitchell.
Of Highland's six touchdowns, three were 60-plus-yard bursts.
The game didn't get out of hand for the Red Devils until midway through the second quarter. After Zach Gardnier's 88-yard kickoff return cut Highland's lead to 20-14, the Rams responded three plays later as Sione Houma raced 62 yards for the second of his three touchdowns.
It was the first of three straight touchdowns, as Highland put the game out of reach.
"You just have to give it to them. They came out with more energy. They wanted the game more than we did, we just didn't do the things to win the game. That's it, bottom line," said Mitchell.
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