High school football: Pleasant Grove battles back to beat Herriman 42-41 in shootout
HERRIMAN — The Vikings scored first in the game at the 9:13 mark. Senior quarterback Jeremiah Evans found senior wide receiver Spencer Romney on the outside for a 12-yard touchdown pass, and senior kicker Cesar Madrigal added the PAT.
On Pleasant Grove's second possession of the quarter, Herriman intercepted a pass and three plays later, Mustang senior running back Brandon Farmer scooted 11 yards up the middle for Herriman's first score. The PAT was missed, but the score was 7-6, and it stayed that close during the whole game.
With less than 15 seconds remaining in the quarter, Pleasant Grove punted the ball on a fourth down. Farmer danced his way around several would-be tacklers, crossing into the end zone after 47 yards for Herriman's second score of the game. Junior Colt Andolsek added the PAT and put Herriman up 13-7.
On the ensuing kick-off, Viking sophomore Coleman Edwards took the ball at the Pleasant Grove 10-yard line and, following his blockers, crossed the Mustang goal line after a 90-yard kick-off return. Madrigal added the extra point and with no time remaining in the opening quarter, the Vikings were in the lead by a point.
During the second quarter, no one did any damage, and the half ended with the same score. The Vikings led 14-13.
The third quarter made up for the second's lack of scoring. The Vikings added 21 points to their first quarter total, ending with 35 points, and Herriman added 20.
One of Herriman's touchdowns came on a trick play. Quarterback Braydon Kener threw a quick pass to junior Kody Jarvis, who took a step and threw a pass to junior wide receiver Jordan Marrott on the sideline. Marrott ran into the end zone untouched. Andolsek added the PAT. With 7:33 left to play in the third, Herriman was in the lead 20-14.
In the fourth, the Mustangs missed a second PAT, which left them two points down. Herriman's last score came at the 7:14 mark in the last quarter when the Mustangs blocked a punt that rolled into the end zone, and junior Conner Johnson jumped on the ball for a special teams touchdown. Herriman added a two-point conversion as Jarvis passed the ball to senior fullback Ben Richard for a 41-35 lead.
The Vikings got the ball back and moved it downfield, but their offense sputtered. With a fourth-and-11 from their 39-yard line, Evans called for the snap and hit sophomore Jake Domn up the middle on a crossing path, and he outran the defenders 56 yards to pay dirt with 5:06 remaining. Madrigal added the PAT for the final 42-41 score.
For the evening, Madrigal went 6 for 6 on PATs, which gives him 55 points for the season so far.
Both teams had added opportunities to score, but Pleasant Grove's defense held Herriman to a five-and-out series and let the Viking offense run out the clock. Herriman did get the ball back, but the Viking defense recovered a fumble with only 17 seconds remaining to seal the final.
TJ Wind carried the ball for the Vikings 26 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns. "We knew all week that the O-line would need to step and play their best game," he said. "We knew that if they would play the way they know how, we would win, and we did."
Viking coach Les Hamilton was very happy with way his running back played. "TJ has played this way all season, he is a team leader and they follow him." In talking about the region outcome, Hamilton said, "This region is the cardiac conference, where else could you find a four-way tie for the region title?"
Pleasant Grove quarterback coach Mike Moss was very excited about how Evans played. "I know we have seen and played against some great talent at the QB spot, but have you seen a more improved player that Evans?"
Hamilton said, "Our defense stepped up tonight and had a tough game to play. Herriman is a huge fast and elusive team. We had to play catchup most of the game. But we have earned a share of the championship, and I'm proud of our kids."
The Vikings had 31 carries for 146 yards of rushing and 16-of-33 passing for 201 yards, totaling 347 yards of offense. Herriman had 46 carries for 224 yards and 7-of-18 passing for 134 yards, totaling 358 yards of offense.
Brandon Farmer had 21 carries for 107 yards for one touchdown and one punt return for a touchdown. Hamilton said, "I think he is the best football player in the state."
Herriman, Riverton, Lone Peak and Pleasant Grove each have a 4-2 record in Region 4. American Fork finished its region play last week with a loss to Pleasant Grove and has a 3-3 region record. Lehi has 2-4 record and Westlake has a 0-6 record.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.