The Rich High Rebels faced a familiar situation on Friday in their season-opening game against the Summit Academy Bears. In the final game of the 2013 season, Rich was down by a point to the Duchesne Eagles and choose to go for a two-point conversion in the 1A state title game. In both situations, the result was the same as the conversion failed. The result this time was a Summit Academy win, 21 to 20.
Rich got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Koy Brown found running back Joseph Leifson with a 22-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Summit Academy put together a strong drive just before halftime. The bulk of the yards came to Bears quarterback Hagan Hines, who consistently ran right up the middle of the field. The Bears' coaches said the offensive line was the MVP of the game. Bears running back Joe Denos capped off the drive from a few yards out. A failed extra point left Rich ahead, 7-6, at halftime.
To start the second half, the Bears made it to the Rebels' 33-yard line but failed to make a first down on fourth down and 4. The Rebels turned around and scored on a 28-yard pass from Brown to Wyatt Muirbrook, who shook off a tackler at the 10 and stretched into the end zone.
Bears receiver Steven Harp got behind the Rebels' defense and caught a Hines pass that he took 56 yards for the score early in the fourth quarter. Hines again showed his strength and size to power his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 14-14 tie.
Hines said after the game, “We played hard. We played good as a team. We had some rough starts at the beginning of the game and second half with some penalties, but we fought through and came together.”
The Rebels quickly turned the ball over with a fumble on their next possession. However the Bears once again failed on fourth down. Neither team could put a successful drive together as the game clock wound down. The Bears attempted a field goal as the clock expired, but it fell short.
Winning the coin toss in the overtime period, the Bears quickly used Hines to score first. The extra point gave them a 21-14 lead.
On their first play in overtime, the Rebels used some trickery with a double pass that appeared to be good to Koy Brown for a touchdown. The referees however ruled the play an illegal forward pass. An additional holding penalty on the next play drove the Rebels nearly to midfield. Brown threw a deep pass to Wyatt Muirbrook, who somehow came down with the ball at the 1-yard line despite being sandwiched between two Bears defenders.
Brown slipped into the end zone to pull his team within a point. Rebels coach Ashley Brown initially called for the kicking tee, but after a timeout the Rebels lined up to attempt a two-point conversion. Reminiscent of last season, the attempt failed, leaving the Rebels with the one-point loss.
The Rebels struggled to get a running game going against the strong defensive line of the Bears, accumulating less than 50 yards on the ground. Koy Brown was 8 of 13 for 175 yards passing and two touchdown passes. The Bears were led by Hagan Hines, who had 107 yards on 24 carries as well as a touchdown pass.
Rich (0-1) will look to get in the win column next week as it travels to Dayton, Idaho, to face the Westside Pirates. Summit Academy (2-0) plays at Layton Christian Academy (0-2).
Rich High falls to Summit Academy in Overtime
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