High school football: Balanced attack propels Pleasant Grove past West Jordan, 26-6

By Kent Allen

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 8 2012 12:29 p.m. MDT

PLEASANT GROVE — Neither the Pleasant Grove Vikings nor the West Jordan Jaguars could generate enough sustained momentum in the first half to get either side rolling, however the Vikings got things rolling in the second half in cruising to the 26-6 win Friday night.

"This was a complete team win. Everyone contributed," Pleasant Grove coach Les Hamilton said. "Defense stepped up big time and did what needed to happen. Special teams got us the ball back and scored. This is a big win for us."

Make no mistake, there was plenty of action up and down the field. After punts, losses on downs, flags and interceptions, Pleasant Grove was lucky to be up 7-6 at the half due to a missed PAT by West Jordan.

The Vikings struck first on a 4-yard scamper by senior Skyler Munson and the PAT added by senior Trevor Ward with 1:02 left in the first quarter.

The Jaguars answered back in the second quarter with a great 28 yard dash to pay dirt by sophomore running back Landon McMorris. The PAT was no good, and with 7:59 remaining in the second quarter, the Vikings held a one-point advantage.

The Viking defense worked hard and held the Jaguars to only five first downs on 10 carries for 65 yards and 5-of-12 passing for 47 yards for 112 yards total offense in the first two quarters.

Pleasant Grove gained nine first downs on 15 carries for 74 yards and 9-of-17 passing for 132 yards for 206 yards offense, but seven penalties hurt them at critical times.

Hamilton made some adjustments during half time and suggested that they try running the ball a bit more in the second half, which they did, but more surprises were to come.

On West Jordan's third possession — on a 3rd and 3 — the Jaguar quarterback threw a pass down field which was picked off by Viking junior Josh Marsh and raced 33 yards to score Pleasant Grove's first defensive touchdown of the season. The PAT was missed, but with 4:45 remaining in the third, PG led 13-6.

Five plays after the kickoff, Pleasant Grove's senior linebacker Kolby Nelson intercepted another Jaguar pass. Five plays later, Viking quarterback Michael Anderson hit senior 6-foot-3 tight end Dallin Hatch in the end zone. Ward split the uprights and with 1:01 left in the third quarter the Vikings led 20-6.

On the third play of the fourth quarter, the Jaguars punted the ball back to the Vikings and Munson, who was asked to play on special teams for this punt, caught the ball on the run, side-stepped two defenders and sped passed the others on his way to a 64-yard punt return for touchdown.

Ward missed the extra point, but with that score, special teams, defense, passing and rushing teams had all scored touchdowns.

The stats show that the Vikings ran the ball 20 more times in the second half doubling the amount gained in the first half. The went 4-of-7 passing for 36 yards, bringing their total for the game to 317 yards.

They were also flagged 11 times, though.

"We have a lot of work still to do because we are making way to many mistakes out there, but I am happy with the win," Pleasant Grove defensive coordinator Steve Brady said.

The Vikings are now 3-1 on the year and travel to Brighton High School next week to face a strong Bengal team. West Jordan has a bye next week and will then host Cottonwood High School on Sept. 21.

Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and covers Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports, and writes for Deseret Connect.

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