OGDEN — Ogden had accomplished a ton of positive things throughout the opening month of the season en route to the school's first 4-0 start since 1966, but coach Eric Eyre didn't try to downplay the importance of his team's Region 5 opener against Logan on Friday.
"I said that if we didn't win this game tonight, the four games that we won previously really didn't mean anything in terms of changing peoples' perceptions in the state as a whole," said Eyre after his team responded brilliantly to beat Logan 63-42.
"I know that people in this community are excited and there's a buzz, but when it comes down to it, we've got to be able to win Region 5 games. We've got to be able to compete and get into the playoffs, and if we lost tonight, that was in serious jeopardy."
Ogden's all-everything quarterback Nik Allred and his superb supporting cast made sure that didn't happen, however.
Allred finished with Madden-like numbers — 429 yards and seven TDs through the air and 150 yards and one TD on the ground — and a number of guys stepped up around him to propel Ogden to a critical region-opening victory. Allred's seven TD passes tie a state record.
Allred also had an interception on defense and was truly spectacular throughout, as he has been throughout the season.
"What he did on offense and defense was just phenomenal," said Eyre.
As a team, Ogden hadn't seriously faced adversity at any point during its opening four wins, with the possible exception of a close first half against Stansbury in Week 3.
The Tigers faced plenty of adversity against Logan, but they responded with aplomb.
In particular, they didn't flinch when things went wrong early on, and they didn't panic when they made some costly mistakes to let Logan back into the game near halftime.
Ogden appeared to be headed into halftime with a 28-13 lead when Alfonso Perea scored from nine yards with 1:52 left in the half.
However, Logan responded with a quick TD strike, recovered an onside kick and subsequently scored another TD, and got into the endzone yet again less than a minute into the third quarter to completely turn the game around and suddenly lead, 34-28.
To their immense credit, however, the Tigers never panicked.
Allred led his team on a clutch, nine-play drive that resulted in a 19-yard pass to Shawn Muniz on 4th-and-11 on Ogden's subsequent possession, and the Tigers never looked back.
They reeled off 28 unanswered points over the third and fourth quarters to permanently take control before swapping late scores in a contest that finished with a whopping 105 points on the scoreboard.
"Winning is unfamiliar in a lot of ways, and we hadn't really had a serious gut-check moment yet," said Eyre. "The game with Stansbury, we knew we were better. But (tonight) I don't know that we knew that. For these guys to come back and step it up and make some big plays on offense (was great), and a couple of people just flat-out took over the ballgame."
Allred was obviously one, and Muniz was another. Muniz finished with 192 receiving yards and four scores.57 comments on this story
They were hardly the only two, however.
"Jake got injured in the first quarter there, and we had to deal with that," said Allred. "Some guys — Acosta and some other guys — had to step up and fill holes, and they did a great job of that, especially in the second half."