SALT LAKE CITY — Snow was falling so heavily during Friday's semifinal football games that Mountain Crest quarterback Jamison Webb couldn't feel his hands, let alone grip the football.
"He came to me at halftime and said he couldn't throw the ball," said Mountain Crest coach Mark Wootton after the Mustangs defeated Highland 14-6 in the 4A semifinals in near-whiteout conditions at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday morning. "It was literally impossible to throw the ball. That was just a tough game for both teams. You feel bad because neither team was really able to do what they needed to do or wanted to do because of the conditions, and obviously that's very frustrating."
So what do you do when you can't run any of the offensive plays your team has relied on all season?
"You go to wildcat," said Wootton with a smile. "Well, you know, you go to Eddy."
Eddy Hall is officially the team's running back. But at some critical times this year, Hall has been the jump start the Mustangs needed to earn a big win.
Rather than risk costly turnovers, Wootton turned to Hall and allowed the senior running back to run the offense the rest of the game. The team didn’t score — but they also didn't fumble nor throw an interception. Hall finished with 124 yards rushing and one touchdown. He completed just two of three passes.
The Rams on the other hand had 11 fumbles in the game, losing four.
Webb said he didn't mind watching Hall work his magic if it meant the team was successful.
"Whatever we need to win," said Webb, who finished with 41 yards rushing and just 27 yards passing, completing only three of 13 passes. "I don't really care that I didn't play as much as I usually do. Eddy is a great player; he's a great running back. If it takes him running the ball every play, I'm perfectly happy."
Both he and Hall said Friday's conditions, which included constant wet, heavy snow, were the worst they'd experienced as players.
"I've never played in snow like this," said Webb. "Not even for fun."
Hall didn't get to play in the team's quarterfinal win because he injured his ankle. He said he was happy to help, but would rather see them return to their regular offense in next week's championship game when they take on Timpview Friday at 6:30 p.m.
"I like the wildcat, but I'd like to see Jamo in there next week," said Hall, shivering as he answered reporters' questions after the game. "It was pretty hard to throw. It was slippery. We expected to be able to do more because our defense put us on the 20-yard line, 10-yard line, 30-yard line, but we just couldn't get it in." Assistant coach Dave Kuresa said the team turns to Hall because he finds a way to win, regardless of the circumstances.
"He's always been that tough little kid," said Kuresa. "He just seems to find holes. And we needed to go on the ground."
Webb said Hall is the "hardest working player" he's ever met. Wooton said his grit is one of the reasons they turn to him when all else seems to fail.
"He's going to play in a game like this and make plays," said Wootton. "That's who you want in there. He's a champion."
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