High school football: Big second half lifts Wasatch over Judge
Often times road games can be the toughest challenge for a team; not for the Wasatch Wasps.
Wasatch extended its win streak to four with a 34-17 win over Judge Memorial on Friday night. The Wasps are now 4-0 on the season.
"Its a different situation being on the road and it was tough that way," said coach Steve North. "Now the kids know what they've got to do to prepare to go on the road."
The Wasps only scored six of their 34 points in the first half, something the team blamed on not being ready for the competition they faced.
"We just weren't mentally prepared to come out in the first half and play," said quarterback Payton Davis. "I think we took them too light, we thought we were going to win and that's not the case. You've got to come every week and bring it every week."
Despite the first-half struggles Wasatch overcame its road jitters and scored four touchdowns in the second half, including one in the final seconds of the game.
"The first half they (Judge Memorial) did a good job taking our weapons away," North said. "In the second half we adjusted our routes and we had more time to throw."
In addition to playing on the road for the first time this season the Wasps faced adversity not only from the Bulldogs but from the yellow flags.
Wasatch had more than 10 penalties called on it; most of them holding calls and several when the Wasps were in scoring position.
"From watching the films I knew what was going to happen when we came in here," North said. "It is frustrating. You just tell the kids 'hey, keep your mouth shut and work through this.' "
Wasatch opened the third quarter with a penalty but followed the false start by marching down the field 85 yards in nine plays, ending with a 25-yard run by Davis.
Less than three minutes later the Wasps scored again after recovering a fumble and gaining 60 yards in a single pass play.
"We didn't play good the first half and we challenged the kids," North said. "We came out and had a penalty to start with then came right down and scored. That kind of livened us up and things started to roll for us."
Judge Memorial also had a better second half than the first, scoring 14 of its 17 points after intermission.
Wasatch squashed any hopes of a comeback by picking off three passes in the second half and scoring two touchdowns late in the game; one on a 74-yard pass from Davis to Cory Nielson.
"That over-the-top pass at the end of the third quarter to Cory Nielson just took the wind out of their sail," said North. "They didn't recover from that."
Although the Wasps are undefeated this season they are being cautious about becoming overconfident.
"That's what happened last year, we were overconfident after our first win and our season went downhill from there," Davis said. "We've just got to keep a level head and practice hard every week."
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