The offense was struggling down there in the red zone, and the defense carried us. —Logan defensive back Taylor Compton
LOGAN — Logan defensive back Taylor Compton had two interceptions to help the Logan Grizzlies defeat Bountiful 10-3 in a defensive slugfest that featured multiple red zone stops.
“It was everything in this game,” Compton said of how important his team’s defense was. “The offense was struggling down there in the red zone, and the defense carried us.”
Logan scored on its opening drive when senior quarterback Chase Nelson threw a 43-yard pass to senior receiver Chase Watterson, making it 7-0.
On his team's third possession, Bountiful running back Houston Heimuli took a screen pass 20 yards from quarterback Trevor Lloyd on third-and-long to spark the Brave offense. The play eventually led to a 36-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 10:52 left in the half.
On the second play after the ensuing kickoff, Bountiful cornerback Tanner Redding picked Nelson off and would have taken the ball back 26 yards for the score. However, a holding penalty after the interception forced the Braves to start from the 15-yard line.
Logan's defense held strong. Electing to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the 7-yard line, Bountiful quarterback Jordan Hayes could not connect with receiver Samuel Merrill on a fade route to the end zone.
The Grizzlies took over and gained more than 100 yards on their next drive, but due to 40 penalty yards and a missed 37-yard field goal, they came came up empty-handed after a nine-minute drive. They half ended with the score 7-3.
Bountiful's offense came out in force in the second half and looked to score on second-and goal from the 1-yard line. Heimuli fumbled the ball away on his leap over the pile, and Logan’s Austin In recovered on the 2.
Logan stormed back. Nelson had 52 rushing yards in a 96-yard drive to take the Grizzlies to the 2-yard line, but the senior's quarterback keeper on fourth down came up short before the third quarter ended.
Nelson had 143 yards on the ground to go along with 297 in the air and the lone touchdown of the game, though he did throw an interception.
“First half, I think our defense was on the field 80 percent of the time, so in the second half, we really gave our best effort to take some pressure off them,” Nelson said. “That was just kind of us paying it back to our defense, trying to take some time off the clock.”
Compton, who also plays wide receiver on offense, picked off Lloyd on a deep pass to open the fourth quarter. The next drive stalled in the red zone, and Logan kicker Angel Reyes' 21-yard field goal made it 10-3.
“They’re tough,” Compton said. “Credit to Bountiful. They stiffened up and kept us out of there.”
With less than two minutes to play, Compton came up with his second interception of the night, this one around the 25-yard line, to seal the victory.
Logan head coach Mike Favero said Compton’s interceptions were huge.
“He’s tremendous at disguising that coverage,” Favero said. “He jumped the hitch, and ball game.”
The win moves Logan to 3-0 and Bountiful to 1-2. Logan will travel to face Ogden while Bountiful will face Clearfield on the road. Both games will be Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Tavin Stucki is a senior journalism student at Utah State University and editor in chief of The Utah Statesman, the Aggie campus newspaper. Twitter: @stuckiaggies Email: firstname.lastname@example.org