LAYTON — It only took two and a half minutes to establish dominance in Friday's Layton-Syracuse football match-up.
Layton homecoming revelers quickly learned the boss of the annual blue & white contest was not the Lancers as the rival Titans held Layton scoreless until late in the third quarter and trounced them 34-7.
Syracuse High, which surrendered its undefeated season status to Davis last week, came back to the field this week on fire and unstoppable. After the Syracuse defensive machine shut down Layton's offensive drive in four plays, quarterback Trevor Davis drilled a 33-yard touchdown pass to receiver Diante Mitchell — putting the Titans on the boards 7-0 in the first two and a half minutes of the game.
A 40-yard kickoff return by JT Anderson put the Lancers within reach of the red zone, but they were denied again when a ball strip by Dillon Sandberg reverted possession to Syracuse. A 30-yard carry by Alex Vanderloo, a 20-yard TD pass reception by Matt Dunston and an extra point by Spencer Johnson put the Titans up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Titans scored again three and a half minutes into the second quarter as Davis handed off a one-yard carry to Mason Woodward for another touchdown, bringing the score to 21-0. A field goal by Brock Anderson, with four seconds left in the half, found the Titans firmly in charge of the field at 24-0.
Layton's failed third-quarter onside kick gave Syracuse the ball at the 43-yard line. Unable to convert possession to a first down, the Titans' 60-yard kick into the end zone was fumbled by Layton, pounced on by Syracuse, but subsequently ruled a touchback. The Lancers could not advance and possession reverted to the Titans. A 40-yard run by Austin Bolos put the Titans within range for their fourth touchdown of the night, and it appeared Layton's fate was sealed at 31-0.
All was not lost for the Lancers' homecoming, however. JT Anderson snagged a kickoff return and blew past the entire Syracuse special team — pulling off a 98-yard return run and finally putting Layton on the boards at the end of the third quarter. Jackson Hatch's extra point was good, for a score of 31-7.
Fourth quarter play saw the Lancers stop the Titans with only one foot to go. Penalties moved Syracuse once again within scoring range. A field goal by Brock Anderson bumped the score to 34-7, and it was game over.
“As with every game prior to this, Trevor Davis and the entire offensive team moved the ball repeatedly into the red zone,” said Titan quarterback coach Braden Hamblin. “Davis connected with solid throws, completing 14-of-19 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.”
The top-ranked Titan defense proved to be an unstoppable force — limiting the Lancers to 23 offensive yards in the first half and only 73 yards in the second half. It was Layton's lowest-scoring game of the season.
“The real story of the night was defense,” said coach Hamblin. “They held Layton to under 100 yards offensively. The Lancers have a great program, and to win in such a decisive manner on their field is really something.”
The Titans had racked up 303 total net yards, with Bolos rushing for a game-high 93 yards on seven carries, and Woodward with 46 yards.