BOUNTIFUL — Tied 1-1 with the first 10 minutes of overtime rapidly coming to a close, it was almost poetic that Viewmont junior Marshall Johnson would be the one whose header gave the Vikings the 2-1 victory.
After all Johnson, along with the rest of his determined teammates, had consistently pushed the action into Wolverine territory or as coach Spencer Keddington said “they kept on fighting.”
From the outset Viewmont was the aggressor, and it seemed as though the Wolverines had no answer for the attack. Yet in spite of its best efforts Viewmont couldn't find a way to put the ball into the back of the net.
Midway through the first half Johnson subbed off, and almost immediately Hunter saw its fortunes reversed. With 14 minutes left in the first half a strong counter by Hunter gave the Wolverines their first legitimate scoring opportunity.
Viking goalkeeper Tyler Trump made a great save, but it left him sprawled on the field injured and kept him out of the game until the second half. That counter gave the Wolverines confidence and they flipped the script and became the aggressors.
That is until Johnson re-entered the game. Almost immediately the Viking attack improved and if not for multiple spectacular saves from Hunter keeper Justin Motzkus, Viewmont surely would have gone into halftime with the lead.
The second half began just as the first half ended, with Viewmont controlling possession and attacking.
In the 46th minute senior Matt Penrod broke away on the right wing and drove a beautiful shot into the goal giving Viewmont a 1-0 lead.
The rest of the second half was mostly a series of attacks and counter attacks with shots hitting the post, crossbar and glancing off the fingers of both keepers.
Then with four minutes remaining in the game a Viewmont handball gave Hunter life. Defender Jesus Arellano easily beat Trump with the penalty kick leveling the score and sending the Region 2 match into overtime.
In overtime Viewmont again pressed its attack, and senior Weston Huber had a golden opportunity to score but was denied again by Motzkus.
Almost immediately after that save though Viewmont attacked again, and Marshall elevated to head in the winning goal despite plenty of traffic in the box.
Keddington praised his players and the work they put in to be prepared for such a physical grind. He bemoaned some defensive lapses which allowed Hunter to dictate the game at times, but added at this point in the season it's to be expected.
Hunter coach Brett Solberg was optimistic despite the loss.
“We were right there and we will get them next time," said Solberg.