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High school football: Pleasant Grove wins second game of young season against Hunter

Published: Saturday, Aug. 27 2011 11:21 a.m. MDT

Hunter's Hyrum Purcell does a bit of everything for the Wolverines from punting the football to playing as the team's primary tailback. (Troy Verde) Hunter's Hyrum Purcell does a bit of everything for the Wolverines from punting the football to playing as the team's primary tailback. (Troy Verde)

At game time between Pleasant Grove and Hunter High, the clouds on the western horizon were threatening to disrupt everything. The sun was blocked out, the wind picked up a bit and it looked and felt like a standard August thunderstorm. But the rain stayed away, the breeze cooled off the field, and it was a great night for football.

The Pleasant Grove Vikings and the Hunter High Wolverines both traded places on the field to start the game. The first quarter was pretty ho-hum. The defense on both sides controlled the game at that point. Midway through the second quarter, Pleasant Grove's senior quarterback, Paul Hatch, hit his big wide receiver, senior Nate Sampson, for a 35-yard pass completion up the middle, which set up a 12-yard scamper by senior running back Cooper Caldwell for the first score of the game and for Pleasant Grove's junior kicker, Trevor Ward, to get the extra point, putting the Vikings up 7-0.

Pleasant Grove's Colton Babb was the team's primary ball-carrier on the night. (Troy Verde) Pleasant Grove's Colton Babb was the team's primary ball-carrier on the night. (Troy Verde)

With under three minutes to go in the half, Hunter blocked a Pleasant Grove punt and recovered the football deep in Viking territory and ran the ball to the Pleasant Grove seven-yard line. The Wolverines used four attempts to put the ball across the goal line, but the Viking defense stopped them each time. Pleasant Grove got the ball back on turnovers, took a knee and ended the half by dodging a bullet.

The third quarter and most of the fourth were repeats of the first quarter as both teams moved the ball up and down the field, but the defense on both teams was clearly in control of the game.

With under five minutes remaining, Pleasant Grove's Hatch connected with a new target, junior wide receiver Skyler Munson, for a 39-yard touchdown pass, but the PAT was a fake and failed to score, leaving the final score of the game Pleasant Grove 13, Hunter 0.

Brandon Fanaika dominated the line play on both sides of the football. (Troy Verde) Brandon Fanaika dominated the line play on both sides of the football. (Troy Verde)

Viking coach Dale Sampson was very excited when he gathered his players at the end of the game. “How about that D?" he said. "Shutouts don’t come that easy. Congratulations on a great game! But remember, this is not a region game. If we don’t take care of business on both sides of the ball, we won’t win region games. Enjoy the win tonight but get ready for a short week because we play Jordan on Thursday and we’ve got to be ready!”

Pleasant Grove found another weapon Friday night in Skyler Munson. He caught five passes for 77 yards and one touchdown.

For the game, Pleasant Grove completed nine of 19 passes for 139 yards and 89 yards on 33 carries for 228 total yards. Hunter completed five of 17 passes for 72 yards and 32 carries for 76 yards, totaling 148 yards. Pleasant Grove had 11 penalties and punted the ball eight times.

Nate Sampson accounted for several game-changing plays on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. (Troy Verde) Nate Sampson accounted for several game-changing plays on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. (Troy Verde)

A light drizzle started to fall just as Pleasant Grove scored its second touchdown, which took away the Wolverines' confidence for a comeback.

Pleasant Grove plays the Jordan Beetdiggers next Thursday at home on a short-week schedule.

Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and has written about Viking sports for the past three years for the Timpanogos Times, a local paper.

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