VERNAL — Friday night was the opening week of play in the newly minted 3AA North as the Stansbury Stallions made the trip to Uintah to take on the Utes. Stansbury dominated defensively, sacking Braxton Coonis nine times and picking him off twice to help guide the Stallions to a 35-14 win.
"The defensive line is something we're really proud of on this team," Stansbury defensive end Austen Kincaid said. "Getting that many sacks was a goal of ours, and I'm really glad we were able to do it."
Kincaid had two sacks and one interception on the night.
"We really made some adjustments at halftime and executed well," said Stansbury defensive back/running back Hudson Conrad. "We all played well as a team, and were able to get the job done."
Stansbury got off to a good start, recovering a Uintah fumble on the opening kickoff. The Stallions quickly found the end zone six plays later on a two-yard TD run by Conrad to give Stansbury a 7-0 lead. Conrad had three total touchdowns on the night.
"It was a team thing," Conrad said. "The offensive line was great, we played well as a team, and we were able to make things happen."
Stansbury had a great chance to score on the following drive after forcing a three and out, but a Jesse Horowitz fumble gave the ball back to the Utes.
A sack by Landon Stice forced another punt for the Utes and the Stallions were back in business.
Horowitz made up for his fumble on this drive, scoring on a 22-yard touchdown run, busting through multiple defenders on the way end zone. Horowitz had 23 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown.
Uintah was able to answer on the next play from scrimmage.
Braxton Coonis connected with Haden Bunderson for a 65-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Alex Mackay found the end zone from four yards out to give the Stallions a 21-7 lead, and Austen Kincaid intercepted Coonis on a screen pass, sending the Stallions into the half with a two-score lead.
Stansbury quarterback Chase Christiansen, who missed last week's game, re-injured his ankle just before halftime and didn't return.
Uintah put a nice drive together to start the second half, converting on a fake punt and taking the ball deep into Stallion territory.
But Conrad was able to pick off the senior quarterback, ending what looked like a promising drive for the Utes.
On the ensuing drive, the Stallions took the ball 97 yards, and finished off the drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Gage Manzione to Conrad.
Conrad scored for the third and final time late in the third quarter to give the Stallions a 35-7 lead, and Stansbury was able to run the clock out for most of the fourth quarter.
Coonis hooked up with Bunderson again, this time from 29 yards out, to round out the scoring on the night, giving the Stallions the 35-14 victory.
CJ Pronk is a Deseret Digital Media intern and a Stansbury High School graduate. After serving an LDS Mission to the Dominican Republic, CJ will attend Southern Utah University. Follow CJ on Twitter @BigCeeJ3113.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company