For the Bountiful Braves, revenge was sweet indeed. Bountiful's Chris Godfrey blocked a Jordan punt with 26 seconds left in the game, setting up a 19-yard field goal by Jason Haslam with nine seconds remaining to give the Braves a 24-21 victory over the Beetdiggers Friday night.
Ironically, the last time these two Region Six foes got together, in last fall's state quarterfinals, it was the `Diggers who kicked a field goal in the final minute to beat Bountiful by, you guessed it, 24-21.Friday's contest was a classic, both teams battling back and forth like two heavyweights. It was a game marked by big plays and big mistakes.
The visitors from Jordan drew first blood on their second offensive series, moving 62 yards in eight plays. Quarterback Tyler Garrison connected with Mitch Berg on a 22-yard completion for a score, and Bill Eckblad's kick made it 7-0 with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
The host Braves answered with the game's first big play midway through the second quarter. On a second-and-nine from the Bountiful 48, quarterback Austin Lindsey rolled out and hit a streaking Aaron Roderick down the right sideline for a 52-yard bomb. Haslam tied the game at 7-all with 5:03 left, and that's how the first half ended, as Bountiful missed a chance to score near the intermission when it lost a fumble on the Jordan 14.
Ball control dominated most of the third quarter, Bountiful moving from its 39 to the Jordan 28 before Haslam was just wide with a 45-yard field goal attempt. Jordan took over and moved 80 yards in 12 plays, aided greatly by a facemask penalty on Bountiful that gave the Beetdiggers new life at midfield. Garrison again found Berg, this time for 13 yards with 2:47 left in the quarter.
The Braves would not be denied, however. Bountiful responded quickly, Lindsey leading them 72 yards in just over two minutes. He connected with Matt Stark over the middle for a 55-yard TD with 22 seconds left in the period.
Lindsey set up the Braves' go-ahead score when he picked off Garrison and returned the pass to the Jordan 45 as the fourth period began. Four plays later, Chris Jones bolted over left tackle, broke several tackles and romped 29 yards for the score.
Jordan came right back, this time driving 80 yards in 10 plays, with Garrison passing 11 yards to Tommy Payne for a score. Eckblad's PAT made it 21-all with 4:45 left, and overtime seemed likely.
After stopping Bountiful, Jordan had its last minute drive stall, and Godfrey and teammates swamped Jordan's punter, Godfrey knocking the ball nearly into the endzone. The Braves ran two plays from scrimmage, then called on Haslam to kick the game winner and keep Bountiful, now 6-0, perfect for the season.