LAYTON — If Friday night's season-opening matchup between Logan and Northridge is any indication of what the 2013 high school football campaign is going to be like, then in the words of Jazz broadcast Craig Bolerjack, Utah fans had better "buckle up."
Because it's gonna be a dandy.
Logan High quarterback Chase Nelson lofted a 21-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Harman Rector with 36.7 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a three-point lead, and Northridge's last-gasp, potential game-tying field goal attempt went barely wide to the right to preserve Logan's wild 41-38 victory.
Nelson also had a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tanner McIntire for the Grizzlies' first score, then added a 27-yard TD toss to Rector in the second quarter as the two teams left the field at halftime in a 14-all deadlock.
Angel Reyes' 43-yard field goal gave Logan a 17-14 lead early in the third quarter, and then the Knights' Jace Colby broke loose on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Kusuda that lifted Northridge ahead 20-17 in the see-saw offensive showdown between two of the state's top prep programs.
Nelson put Logan back on top early in the fourth period when he flipped a 5-yard TD toss to Taylor Compton, with Reyes' PAT making it 24-20 for the Grizz.
Logan then surprised Northridge with an on-side kick which the Grizzlies recovered, paving the way for Nelson's 2-yard scoring run that gave them a 31-20 lead.
The Knights wouldn'tg quit, though, and Kusuda soon zipped a 31-yard touchdown pass to Houston Lacey that trimmed Logan's lead to 31-26.
Reyes' 27-yard field goal restored the Grizzlies' lead to 34-26, but Northridge struck again when Kusuda threw a short pass to Dallas Moklebust in the flat, and he grabbed the tail end of the football, slipped a defender and went 42 yards to paydirt.
Northridge again failed on its two-point conversion try, leaving the score at 34-32. But the Knights mounted a late scoring drive and lit the scoreboard again when Kusuda found Ricks on a 3-yard touchdown pass.
The failed PAT left it at 38-34 with 1:38 remaining, just enough time for Nelson to engineer another scoring drive and throw his fourth TD pass of the night, and the second one to Rector, with :36.7 left to play.
And when Robert Crawford's 33-yard field goal try barely went wide at the final gun, it denied the Knights a last-ditch try to send it into overtime.