SANDY — By their own head coach's admission, the Brighton Bengals needed some plain old luck to pull off their 21-14 upset over Jordan Friday night. But whether it was due to luck or just being in the right place at the right time, the Bengals forced four turnovers and kept the Beetdigger offense off the field with a strong ground game.
"We were lucky (on the turnovers). Kids were making plays, and we got lucky on a few plays," Brighton coach Ryan Bullett said after the game. "Jordan has great coaches, and they've been putting it to us. That's my first win against Jordan as a head coach. I'm just glad our kids rose to the occasion."
While their defense was frustrating Jordan, the Brighton offense was taking its time, moving the ball behind a sustained running game.
Junior running back Brayden El-Bakri piled up 97 yards and Uaea Masina 95 as part of a Bengal backfield that combined for 261 yards rushing.
After rushing for 275 yards last week against Cottonwood, Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis threw two interceptions and lost a fumble on a frustrating night.
The Diggers were able to get on the board on their first drive when Austin Grant broke free on a draw play up the middle for a 43-yard score. Brighton answered back with its opening drive, riding 20 yards rushing and a 23-yard reception by Elias Fairman to the Jordan red zone.
Quarterback Andy Jones connected with Masina for a nine-yard touchdown pass to even the game at 7-7.
Three plays later, a Kafentzis pass bounced into the hands of Brighton's Chase Paulson to give the Bengals the ball on the Diggers' 41. Brighton was forced to punt, but Masina stepped in front of a Kafentzis pass for a second consecutive interception. After running over four minutes off the clock, the Bengals pulled ahead 14-7 on a two-yard dive by El-Bakri.
Jordan turned the ball over for a fourth time on its first drive of the second half. A Kafentzis fumble recovered by Kite Vehikite was converted by the Bengals on a 20-yard dash by El-Bakri for a 21-7 lead.
Jordan seemed to get on track with its next possession after a roughing the kicker penalty gave them new life. Kafentzis led the team to the Brighton 10, where the Diggers were unable to convert on four plays. The Bengal offense then ran over six minutes off the clock to begin the fourth.
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Later in the quarter, after an eight-yard punt by the Bengals, Jordan needed just three plays to score from the Brighton 31. Kafentzis completed passes for 19 and three yards, and Grant would finish the drive with a nine-yard dash.
Down 21-14 with 2:41 remaining in the game and three timeouts, the Diggers elected to kick the ball deep and not try an onside. A series of punishing runs by El-Bakri would lead to two first downs for the Bengals, who kept their chances for a home playoff game alive with the win.