PLEASANT GROVE — It only took Pleasant Grove's football team a few minutes to get on the board Friday night; the Viking offense didn't even need to take the field.
With 10:00 minutes left in the first quarter, Viking senior wide receiver Spencer Romney, who also plays on special teams, took a punt on the run at his own 45-yard line, spun out of two tackles and raced his way 55 yards into the end zone.
Suddenly, the Vikings were up 7-0, well on their way to a 45-14 victory over Maple Mountain. The win was their fourth on the season and last before getting into 5A play as they travel to Lehi next Friday for the Vikings first region game.
On the Golden Eagles' second possession, the Viking defense, not wanting to be outdone by the special teams, held for two downs by stopping a running play for no yardage and causing an incomplete pass. On the third play, Maple Mountain sophomore quarterback Jaren Hall attempted a shovel pass to his running back.
Viking senior linebacker Josh Marsh stepped between Hall and his receiver. In his attempt to knock the football away, it landed in his hands. Four strides later, and with 8:49 left in the first quarter, the Vikings were ahead 14-0.
On the Golden Eagle's third and fourth possessions, Maple Mountain gave the ball to Pleasant Grove on an interception and a punt.
The Viking offense at last had the ball in their control. With 5:55 left in the first period, Viking senior running back TJ Wind carried the ball across the goal line for the third score.
With 4:06 remaining in the first quarter, Romney caught another Maple Mountain punt and, following a four man blocking formation, sprinted 60 yards down the east sideline for Pleasant Grove's fourth touchdown of the first quarter.
Senior Cesar Madrigal hit all four PATs in the opening quarter and ended up with 10 points total for the game, including a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter with 6:58 remaining.
The Vikings scored two more rushing touchdowns in the second quarter.
"It's scary to catch a ball over the middle, I have more fun running the ball, but our O-line has my back, I trust them completely. They are awesome," Viking senior Micah Jones said, who had 3 carries for 21 yards and 4 catches for 62 yards.
The Vikings had a shut out going until 4:11 remaining in the half. Senior tight end Wyatt Bastian took a handoff and flew past every Pleasant Grove defender on a 76-yard scamper that brought the Maple Mountain fans to their feet.
Just before time ran out in the half, the Golden Eagles had another opportunity to score after blocking a Viking punt, but the attempted field goal was not long enough, and the half ended with the Vikings holding a 42-7 lead.
The mercy rule went into effect in the second half — if one team has a lead of at least 35 points, the clock doesn't stop. Hall scored on a five-yard scramble in the third as time ran out, putting their final tally at 14 points for the evening.
The fourth quarter was completely controlled by Pleasant Grove. The Vikings enlisted the service of junior Hayden Pettis to run the ball. Waiting on the time judge to call out the final seconds on each play, the Vikings marched downfield on 16 running plays, getting first downs when they needed them, and turned the ball over to the Golden Eagles with under ten seconds to play in the game.
BYU-bound senior lineman Zac Dawe was happy with the win.
"We still have some work to do in preparing for region play next week. We will have to bring our 'A' game from now on, but we'll do it," Dawe said.
"This was a total team win tonight," said Les Hamilton, Viking head coach. "Our defense did a great job, special teams and offense did fantastic. The five big guys up front held that line of scrimmage for us. This was a great all around win".
Maple Mountain will play region foe Spanish Fork at home next Friday at 7:00 pm for the Golden Eagles' first venture into region play.
Pleasant Grove will stay on the road as they travel to Lehi for the Vikings' first region game next Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.
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