Bill Quick, Deseret Digital Media
Bountiful was set to strike on its first possession of the game after driving the length of the field only to have Kearns safety Daniel Tapusoa intercept the ball in the end zone for a touchback.
The Braves' defense quickly went to work, forcing the Cougars to punt on the next possession. With two minutes left in the first quarter, the Braves' Trevor Lloyd connected on a 4-yard pass with tight end Kaden Larsen in the corner of the end zone for their first score of the game.
Early in the second quarter, Kearns was unable to convert on a third down, and the Braves took advantage with solid running that set up a 40-yard touchdown strike to Ryan Curtis from Jordan Hayes. The Braves' defense forced Kearns to punt again on the next possession, which set up running back Houston Heimuli on several carries that ended in a 5-yard scamper for the Braves' next touchdown.
Once again the Braves' defense stepped up, forcing the Cougars to punt. With 1:22 left in the second quarter and the Braves facing third and long after a holding penalty, Bountiful's Hayes connected with Brady Litz on a spectacular 74-yard catch and run touchdown.
Bountiful entered the half with a 28-0 lead.
The Braves established a solid running attack in the third quarter behind Houston Heimuli, then added another touchdown with a 14-yard pass from Trevor Lloyd to Kaden Larsen, his second of the night.
The Cougars got on the board with 4:04 in the third quarter with a 61-yard, cross-field, change of direction catch and run by Amone Finau. Kearns missed the extra point, leaving the score 35-6 entering the fourth quarter.
Kearns added two more touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, both from quarterback Baily Floyd to Amone Finau. One was from 12 yards and another was an in-stride 72-yard catch.
But it wasn't enough as the Braves closed out the victory, 35-18.
Bountiful heads to Cyprus next week, while Kearns goes to Woods Cross in Region 6 play.
Bill Quick, an Idaho native, studied communications, history and business at the University of Utah. He is the Sr. Director of Marketplace Operations at Deseret Digital Media and Deseret Connect Contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org