High school football: Syracuse beats Alta in 5A playoffs for second consecutive year

By Jolene Goff

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 3 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

The third quarter was all about ball control for Alta and errors for Syracuse. First, a 31-yard Hawk field goal was delivered by Tanner Valerio, and again as a Titan pass interception at the 6-yard line by Alex Jolley set up a touchdown by Logan Harrison. The score was now tied at 24-24.

A solid fourth quarter offensive drive, with carries by Mason Woodward and Matt Kealamakia, found the Titans at the 5-yard line, where Anderson delivered the TD and the PAT — bringing the score to 31-24.

The Hawks were unable to find footing on their possession, and Syracuse regained the ball on the 41-yard line. Two passes later the game stopped cold, with 3:58 on the clock, as Anderson suddenly droppd, incapacitated, to the field. Regrouping, and facing fourth-and-9, Diante Mitchell punted the ball to Alta.

Myles Naisbitt delivered a crushing QB sack to Lucero, followed by DB Kavika Fonua’s pass interception. Syracuse retook possession on its own 20-yard line but efforts to advance the ball failed, and the ball was again punted, this time to the Hawks' 38-yard line. Completed passes to Richards and Trevor Hill brought the Hawks within potential TD passing range. Another QB sack by Jace Purser at the 0:19.4 second mark had the crowd on its feet. An incomplete pass to Handley, stopped by Dillon Spencer and Fonua, drained the remaining 5.7 seconds off the clock. The Titans won 31-24, and they have left no doubt they can deliver.

“This is what high school football is all about — big crowds, and kids stepping up on both teams, making plays,” said coach Martin. “You’ve got to give credit to all the kids, regardless of what jersey they were wearing. Alta’s kids battled, making big plays for their team. In the end our kids just made a few extra plays to come away with the win.”