PG pulls out another stunning come-from-behind win, 26-23, over rival Am.F.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
During the last four football games that the Pleasant Grove Vikings have played, there have been coaches from BYU, Utah, Utah State, Snow College and other smaller colleges from the area scouting 5A Region 4 teams.
In the Pleasant Grove-American Fork game, there were at least a dozen players on both sides of the ball that were being evaluated. One member of Snow's scouting team said, "We love coming to the Pleasant Grove-American Fork games. We come every year. They are two of our big five high schools we target. American Fork, Pleasant Grove, Lone Peak, Alta and Bingham."
Aaron Behm, American Fork's head football coach, said, "We have a few players that have been contacted by schools at the next level. One player has made a committment, another has received offers and yet others are being watched and evaluated." He added, "Senior wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman has committed to play at Utah State University, junior offensive and defensive lineman 6-foot-4, 265-pound James Empey and others have received offers from USU and University of Utah."
Head coach Les Hamilton from Pleasant Grove said, "Of course we have kids that can play at the next level. We don't get a lot of scouts to our games, but some of our kids are being watched."
After Pleasant Grove's senior quarterback Jeremiah Evans, who threw the game-winning pass, took a knee with .04 seconds remaining in the Vikings game with American Fork to clinch the come-from-behind win, Evans was given the game ball by his coaches. Evans explained, "I didn't play much last year, so this is my time to show what I can do, and I need to make the most of my opportunities, and the coaches are helping me do that."
In that postgame wrapup, coach Hamilton searched his players for senior defensive back Josh Marsh. "Josh," he said, "What have I always taught you to do?" Marsh answered, "Never ever give up." Hamilton continued, "That's right! Don't ever give up and good things will always happen." With under three minutes remaining in the football game, Marsh was involved in a double fumble. "I saw the ball and jumped on it, in fact I cradled it in my arms, then, all of a sudden, it was gone. I don't know where it went, but it ended up back to the Cavemen." Hamilton continued, "Josh felt terrible, but I reminded him to never ever give up! Good things will happen down the road if you stay positive!"
Zac Dawe, Pleasant Grove's 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive and defensive lineman, when asked what his coaches had done to help him prepare to play at the next level, said, "The coaches have always pushed me to improve whether it was my stance or how I move, it has always been something." He continued, "If I ever got a tardy or a bad grade, they'd make me do up-downs, I hate up-downs. They are always on us about our grades. I'm almost a 4.0 and it's mostly because of them keeping on top of us." Dawe has committed to play for BYU.
Senior running back T.J. Wind, who caught the game-winning 50-yard pass for a touchdown, is being looked at and Spencer Romney, senior wide receiver and defensive back, is being looked at. "Others are being watched," said Hamilton. "In this game tonight, our defense is coming into their own, they get it, they're getting better. Five turnovers is the best they've done." He explained, "That kind of effort draws attention."
The win gives the Vikings a 3-2 record in region and a 7-2 overall record. They will play their last region game next Thursday at Herriman High School. The Cavemen wrapped up their region season with a 3-3 region record and a 5-4 record overall. They will finish their regular season with a non-region game with Wasatch High School next Friday, Oct. 25.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on varsity sports for Pleasant Grove High School for Deseret Connect.