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High school football: Pleasant Grove's most glaring weakness on Friday was lack of defense

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 7:51 p.m. MDT

Riverton defenders try to tackle Pleasant Grove's TJ Wind as Riverton and Pleasant Grove play Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Photo available for purchase at www.picmykid.com. (Jim Phelon, www.picmykid.com) Riverton defenders try to tackle Pleasant Grove's TJ Wind as Riverton and Pleasant Grove play Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Photo available for purchase at www.picmykid.com. (Jim Phelon, www.picmykid.com)

PLEASANT GROVE — Riverton's senior quarterback took a knee with nine seconds remaining, and he and his teammates ran off the field with a convincing 38-7 win over the Vikings of Pleasant Grove.

After last weeks game with Lehi, Pleasant Grove's head coach Les Hamilton said, "Every game is going to be a battle."

He knew what he was talking about.

For those who may not understand football, defense is the most important phase of the game. The defensive unit must be sold on the principle that the opponent must not cross the goal line.

There are four goals a defensive unit must support. First, the defense must prevent the opponent from scoring. Second, it should endeavor to gain or regain possession of the football. Third, score, if possible, and underneath it all, bring excitement and enthusiasm.

Pleasant Grove's TJ Wind makes a catch as Riverton and Pleasant Grove play Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Photo available for purchase at www.picmykid.com. (Jim Phelon, www.picmykid.com) Pleasant Grove's TJ Wind makes a catch as Riverton and Pleasant Grove play Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Photo available for purchase at www.picmykid.com. (Jim Phelon, www.picmykid.com)

In his first year at Pleasant Grove High School as the defensive coordinator, coach Ron Halbert implemented 3-3-5 set. There are 3 down linemen, 3 middle linemen and 5 deep linebackers, giving the defenders several options on stopping the opponent from scoring.

Following Friday's game, Halbert said, "Riverton is a very well coached team. Head coach Mike Miller runs a Wing-T offense. They have done it for a long time. It basically puts the players on each team on a one on one situation. It is very difficult to defend."

The Vikings had seven turnovers for the game and could not get any offense going. The Riverton defenders kept Viking senior quarterback Jeremy Evans nervous and unable to settle into a rhythm.

When asked what his defensive players should learn from this game, Halbert said, "Be more prepared for each team. We will be more intense this week and we will bring it in our next games."

Riverton's Keaton Kimball runs with the ball as Riverton and Pleasant Grove play Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Photo available for purchase at www.picmykid.com. (Jim Phelon, www.picmykid.com) Riverton's Keaton Kimball runs with the ball as Riverton and Pleasant Grove play Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Photo available for purchase at www.picmykid.com. (Jim Phelon, www.picmykid.com)

Legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards held the philosophy that the way a team wins games is with a strong defense. If a defensive unit can stop the run, limit big plays and create turnovers, it can be successful.

In short, that's how the Silverwolves played Friday night.

Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School Varsity sports for Deseret Connect.

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