PLEASANT VIEW — These Warriors are for real.
Weber High School's football team, which snapped a lengthy losing spell to start the season, got three rushing touchdowns from workhorse senior running back Auston Tesch to take a 28-20 nonregion victory over a solid Box Elder squad Friday night.
"It was awesome. It feels so good just grinding it out and pushing it in (the end zone)," Tesch said. "(Box Elder) has a lot of skill and a lot of talent and a lot of good coaching, but at the end of the day it's about making big plays and we just got it done. ... Good job to my boys for having my back and getting it done."
"He's fun to watch," first-year Weber coach Matt Hammer said of Tesch. "I think he's a next-level player and he showed it in that game. He just kept on playing."
Tesch carried the ball 25 times for 122 yards and caught three passes for 40 more yards. He scored on TD bursts of 8, 4, and 1 yards as the Warriors ran their preseason record to 3-1 and perhaps erased any lingering doubts about their legitimacy as a potential playoff team this year.
"It's a total turnaround," Tesch said of the resurgent Warriors, who snapped a 23-game losing streak in their season opener. "We have a whole different mindset; we have that winning mindset. We're going hard and you can't stop us.
"This is good momentum for us going into region. We're ready to roll and we've got to keep it going and working hard."
Weber quarterback Cole Dean completed 11 of 17 passes for 184 yards, including a 43-yard scoring strike to Mike Baker on the Warriors' opening drive. Gabe Madsen had a 24-yard field goal for Weber, and Braxton Beck picked off a pair of Box Elder passes for the Warriors' defense.
"That's a very, very good football team, a very physical football team," Hammer said of the Bees (2-2). "Those kids up there (in Brigham City) know how to hit and know how to play and know how to compete. It showed there at the end. They never gave up and kept on playing."
Indeed, after Tesch's third TD run put the Warriors ahead 28-13 with less than a minute to play, Box Elder refused to quit and battled back.
Shad Watson hooked up with Keegan Hubbard on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 26 seconds left, and then Riley Burt recovered the Bees' ensuing onside kick to give them new life.
Box Elder drove as deep as Weber's 34-yard line with time running out, but the Warriors' defense stiffened to turn back Box Elder's last-gasp threat to tie it up.
The Bees' other scores came on a 4-yard run by Burt and a 6-yard TD toss from Watson to Matt Williams.
"That was the best win and the best team we've played so far, and that's nothing against Bonneville or West (Weber's other two victims)," Hammer said. "But that was a good football team, and for us to come back in a tight game and win the game late was good to see."
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company