RIVERTON — Despite making mistakes and struggling for most of the night, Riverton's football team found ways to overcome adversity and walk away with a victory on homecoming night.
Star senior Stratton Brown did everything he could to ensure that happened.
With the game tied late, he picked off a Pleasant Grove pass near midfield in the final three minutes and scored a 6-yard TD run in the final minute to propel the Silverwolves to a 21-14 win Friday.
"It was an ugly win with lots of penalties, homecoming distractions and we just didn't play like we normally do," said veteran Riverton coach Mike Miller. "Give Pleasant Grove credit. They play very well. They are big and physical. We had to overcome adversity and I am proud of our kids for pulling out a win tonight."
In the first quarter, Pleasant Grove started poorly as it went three-and-out and had its first punt blocked in its own red zone. Riverton took advantage of the turnover as Brown scored from the 15-yard line and junior kicker Brady Slack added the PAT to give the Silverwolves an early 7-0 lead.
Pleasant Grove got the ball back with some breathing room, but Brown stepped up and picked off the first of three interceptions for the game. The Silverwolves took over again on the Viking 22-yard line. But the momentum left Riverton as it started to make mistakes.
In all, Riverton had three penalties in the first quarter and four more in the second quarter.
Both teams managed to score in the second quarter. Riverton conveted a 1-yard QB keeper by junior Connor Henderson. Pleasant Grove, meanwhile, scored on a 25-yard pass play from Michael Anderson to Cody Scott.
At the half, Riverton led by a score of 14-7.
The third quarter leaned more Pleasant Grove's way as the Vikings were the only team to score. The play was a 10-yard pass to Dallin Hatch from Anderson.
Both defenses fought hard all the way until Brown's late heroics.
On his 6-yard game-winning score, Brown followed his blockers to secure Riverton's victory.
His efforts helped the Silverwolves overcome 13 penalties. Besides Brown's three interceptions, Riverton's defense played very well. BJ Newman led the team with 12 tackles.
The win improved Riverton to 1-1 in region play and 4-3 overall. The Silverwolves play Lehi next week at Riverton.
"I prefer to play on my own turf," dead-panned Miller.
Pleasant Grove, on the other hand, now has 1-1 and 4-3 records. The Vikings play Lone Peak next Thursday in Pleasant Grove.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports.