EPHRAIM — Snow College opened its 2012 football season by trouncing the Everett (Wash.) Red Raiders 66-0 before a full crowd Saturday at Badger Stadium.
The ninth-ranked Badgers scored four touchdowns in each of the first two quarters to lead 56-0 at halftime, and then scored only a field goal and defensive touchdown after the break as most of the squad got playing time.
"Our running game was good," said Badger head coach Tyler Hughes. "It's always a strong part of our game."
Snow netted 253 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, led by sophomore Breon Allen's 113 yards and three TDs — on only seven carries. Kalama Molisi (Skyline High) was the workhorse, plowing for 93 yards on 25 carries with two scores.
The passing game still needs work as the Badgers finished with only 78 yards on 8-of-19 passing. Starter Christian Stewart (Timpanogos High) was 5-for-13 for 48 yards and two touchdowns, but was picked off twice.
"He will be alright," pass game coordinator Clay Bayard said of Stewart after the game. "It's always tough in the first game when the only defense you've seen so far is your own."
Stewart was picked off on his first attempt and completed only one of his seven passes in the first quarter. He completed 4-of-6 passes in the second, however, with scoring strikes to Damond Powell for 18 yards and Frank Sanft for 5 yards before yielding to Karson Casteel (Northridge High) in the second half. Casteel completed 3-of-6 passes for 30 yards.
The Badger defense was stellar, holding the Red Raiders to minus-83 yards rushing on 30 attempts and forcing eight turnovers. Snow recorded 18 tackles for loss. The Badgers sacked Everett quarterbacks seven times, led by RJ Best (Snow Canyon High) and Siale Hautau (Skyline High) with two sacks apiece. Best's three tackles all went for losses, including his two sacks, and he also forced two fumbles, recovering one of them himself. Hautau added a blocked punt on Everett's second possession of the game to set up the Badgers at the Red Raiders' 9-yard line. Molisi eventually punched the ball in from one yard out to put Snow up 21-0.
Quarterback Braden Bowman was the bright spot for Everett, finishing 16-for-40 for 146 yards. Bowman and back-up Nathan Worthen were picked off five times in the game, twice for touchdowns. Damian Rivers returned a Bowman pass 40 yards for a score with seven minutes left in the half to make the score 56-0. Tana Afeaki (West High) closed out the scoring with a 49-yard interception return off Worthen with nine minutes left in the game.
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Badger placekicker Spencer Groner was good on all nine point-after attempts and hit a 26-yard field goal for the only score of the third quarter.
"We need to generate more big plays offensively," Hughes said, looking forward to games on the road the next two weeks in Pueblo, Colo., and Milledgeville, Ga. "We can't let the defense get comfortable playing their base package the whole time against us."
Snow takes on North Dakota Science next week in Colorado and then travels to the East Coast to take on Georgia Military on Sept. 8.