SYRACUSE — Business is finally settled in Region 1.
Syracuse, behind a solid defensive effort and clutch offensive play, beat Layton 35-7 on Friday night.
The Titans, winners of four straight, finish the regular season with a 6-3 record and clinch the No. 4 spot in Region 1.
Layton, with the loss, drops to fifth place and will play at Hunter on Tuesday for the right to play Bingham in the 5A state playoffs next Friday.
For the Titans, the win was a relief.
"It was big," Titans' coach Russ Jones said of his team's victory. "Nobody wants to play twice in five days and three times in eight days."
The win gives the Titans momentum going into their playoff matchup next week.
The Syracuse defense put the Titans on the board early in the second quarter. Titan defensive back Braxton Lucero took a Derek Thomas swing pass to the end zone for a 47-yard score. Lucero jumped the route and ran unscathed down the field, putting the Titans up 7-0.
Syracuse added to its lead just 30 seconds before the half.
Titan quarterback Tyler Jacobsen found a wide-open Jonah Lewis for a 15-yard strike. The score capped a three-minute, seven-play drive and gave the Titans a 14-0 lead going into the break.
Jacobsen found running back Miles Persinger for a 56-yard score in the third quarter and in the fourth, Jacobsen rushed for an 11-yard score. The two touchdowns gave Syracuse a 28-0 lead with just over six minutes remaining.
Layton answered on its next possession on a pass from quarterback Derek Thomas to Braxton Tanner. Thomas lofted the ball to Tanner, who out jumped the Syracuse defender in the end zone. The 32-yard pass and score cut the lead to 28-7 with just over four minutes remaining.
After recovering the Lancers' onside kick, the Titans marched down the field for their final score. Jacobsen hit Lewis again, this time for a 19-yard strike. The score put Syracuse up 35-7 with just over a minute remaining.
Jones had nothing but positives to say about his team's performance on Friday, especially the play of his senior quarterback after Jacobsen threw for three touchdowns and rushed for one more.
"Tyler was on target tonight," he said. "He played a great game."
Jacobsen gives the credit for the team's success to the players up front.
"Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line. That's all you've got to say," he said.
Layton coach Jim Bachelor said his team, which had entered Friday's contest as winners of three straight games, lost its swagger.
"We've had better nights," he said. "It was like an avalanche. A penalty here and a fumble there, I think our kids just lost their confidence."
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