The defense played their hearts out tonight... —Mustang coach Mark Wootton
HYRUM — Mountain Crest overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to claim a 20-13 homecoming victory over region-rival Box Elder.
Mustang senior Josh Blad caught a 70-yard pass to put Mountain Crest inside the Box Elder 5-yard line. Senior running back Eddy Hall capped the drive with a 1-yard dive into the end zone for the first score of the game. Box Elder junior Jayk Brooks blocked the Mountain Crest point-after attempt to make it 6-0 Mustangs with 3:43 left in the first quarter.
Brooks picked off Mustang quarterback Jamison Webb's pass on the ensuing drive and returned it 45 yards to the 14. The pick set up a 25-yard field goal by Box Elder's McKay Parrish to pull within three on the first play of the second quarter.
Hall punched in his second score of the game three minutes later from 9 yards out to make it 12-3 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
Box Elder running back Kyler Allen punched the ball in from the 1-yard line to pull within two points, six seconds before the half ended.
"They're just studs," Mustang coach Mark Wootton said of the Box Elder players. "They are absolute studs in a quality program with great coaches.
It's too bad someone had to lose that game."
Mountain Crest turned the ball over three times in the first half.
"Coaches always tell us big players make big plays in big-game situations," said Mustang senior defensive back Gaje Fergeson. "We kind of just came out with a different mentality. Still had a really tough third quarter, but right there everyone did their job and the linemen blocked great."
Parrish hit two of his three field goals in the game for the Bees; his second was a 28-yarder to take the lead 13-12 with 3:24 left in the third quarter. The senior missed a 37-yard attempt a minute later.
Webb hit receiver Faimafili Laulu Pututau for the game-winning touchdown with fewer than five minutes left. Webb scrambled in for the two-point conversion to make it 20-13.
"It needed to happen," Wootton said. "We've been on the wrong end of that a few too many times."
Mountain Crest senior defensive back Alex Huerta effectively ended the game when he broke up Box Elder junior quarterback Shad Watson's fourth-down pass to give the ball back to the Mustangs.
Huerta credited the crowd with the homecoming victory.
"We love our fans," he said. "They motivate me, juice me up to do things like this, and the defense pulled us. We love our coaches for putting in the time to show us what (Box Elder was) going to do and come out with."
Huerta had 10 tackles, one for a loss. Fergeson led the Mustang defense with 13 tackles, two for a loss and one sack, also filling in at running back when Hall went out with an injury.
"The defense played their hearts out tonight," Wootton said.