SALT LAKE CITY — For the second year in a row, Fremont came up on the short end of the scoreboard in the 5A football state title game.
But it wasn't for lack of opportunity.
The Silver Wolves made several plays that appeared to swing the game's momentum in their favor, but were unable to translate them into the points they needed in a 41-21 loss to Lone Peak on Friday.
The Knights led 14-7 and had just gotten the ball back on a three-and-out by Fremont early in the second quarter. But on first down, quarterback Chase Hansen ran up the middle and had the ball jarred loose by the Wolves' Luke Hollingsworth. Austin Johnson recovered, and Fremont was in business at the Lone Peak 40.
That is, until the next play, when the Knights' Talon Shumway got upfield so quickly that he intercepted Fremont QB Cooper Kelley's pitch intended for Nick Vigil.
Four plays later, Lone Peak had a two-touchdown lead.
Fremont's next break came after the Knights had scored to make it 28-13.
Vigil took the kickoff, burst through the busted wedge and rambled past midfield. The Knights brought him down by way of his facemask, so the Wolves got an extra 15 yards for their trouble and were in striking distance at the Lone Peak 31.
Fremont advanced to the 18, but came up empty again when Kelley's pass on fourth-and-6 was just to the left and off the hands of a wide-open Rowdy Stucki.
The second half was more of the same. Fremont had a chance to cut into Lone Peak's 35-13 third-quarter lead when Vigil recovered another Hansen fumble near midfield. But shortly thereafter, Kelley was picked off by Josh Buck to quell the threat.
Late in the third, Stucki took a punt all the way down to the Lone Peak 36, and Kelley's 16-yard completion to Brock Smith had the Wolves back in the red zone. But Kelley's next throw was picked off by Brody Berry, and with it went any hope of a Fremont comeback.
Fremont coach Kory Bosgeiter, whose team had back-to-back 10-win seasons but ran into a historically dominant juggernaut named Bingham last year and a top quarterback prospect in Utah-bound Hansen this year, admitted his team was much better than the way it played Friday.
"We had a plan to contain (Hansen), but we didn't execute it as well as we could have," Bosgeiter said.
He was proud, however, of his large contingent of seniors.
"I couldn't be more grateful for this group we had," he said.
Junior Jordan Preator, who got the Silver Wolves on the board with a no-way-he-did-that 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, sees the program's recent success translating to a promising future.
"Experience," Preator said when asked what Fremont takes from this game.
"We know you can't just show up one day to win, but you have to play hard every day."
"Monday starts next season," Bosgeiter added.
And the coach who went from 1-9 four years ago to perennially knocking on the championship door charged his team with that commitment in the postgame huddle.
"Keep together. Stay together."
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