SALT LAKE CITY — Nobody knew better than Bountiful that it would take a perfect game to beat Logan in Thursday's 4A semifinal at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Back in Week 3 this year, Logan trounced Bountiful 56-31 as quarterback D.J. Nelson threw for 323 yards and six touchdowns. The following week Bountiful blew a 13-point lead against Viewmont to fall to 1-3 on the season. A repeat visit to the semifinals seemed very unlikely.
Bountiful coach Larry Wall always believed his team could get things turned around.
"Those were great teams we played early, and we got better and better, and that's what you want to do," said Wall.
Sure enough, the Braves won seven of their last eight to advance to Thursday's semifinals. Its reward was a date with No. 1 Logan.
Unlike the first meeting, Bountiful hung with Logan for a quarter and a half, but that was it.
With the game level at 10-10 midway through the second quarter, Logan outscored Bountiful 49-20 the rest of the way to roll to the victory.
"We're happy we got here, just mad it didn't turn out different," said Bountiful running back Jakob Hunt, who finished with 114 rushing yards. "We played 48 minutes, they just got the best of us. They had a good game plan."
Bountiful had a good game plan early as well. It tried to keep the ball away from Logan's offense by putting together time consuming drives, and with 8:48 remaining in the second quarter it had been fairly successful with the game tied at 10-10.
Missed opportunities, including a dropped interception at the 15 yard line that would've been an easy touchdown, are what ultimately cost the underdog Braves.
On Nelson's 21-yard touchdown strike to Jameson Hartman that put Logan ahead 17-10 with 5:01 remaining in the half, three different Bountiful lineman had a chance to sack Nelson. The shifty quarterback spun out of the last tackle attempt and then found a wide-open receiver in the end zone.
"Couple of those plays we have a pick that we drop, or we have them corralled and he jukes and runs for a touchdown. You have to tip your hat to him, they made plays when they needed to and we didn't. I think that's the bottom line," said Wall. "You've got to play flawless and then get a couple of those along way the way."
Wall knew his kids were facing a big uphill battle against Logan, he knew they were going to battle win or lose.
"I knew they were going to play 48 minutes. They didn't die, and I was proud of them in that way," said Wall.
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