They'll be talking about the Salmon catch - catch and carry - for a couple of days up in Brigham City. It was the one that got away - and then didn't get away - as Box Elder held on for a 28-19 upset over fourth-ranked Jordan in Friday's 3A prep football playoffs.
However, the 'Diggers lacked a potent offensive punch against the visiting Bees, and Jordan's postseason turned into a post mortem. The Beetdiggers end with a 7-3 overall record and tons of disappointment, while Box Elder advances with a 6-3 mark to meet Spanish Fork in next week's 3A quarterfinals.Back to the catch of the day, so to speak. With Box Elder nursing a a narrow 13-10 advantage late in the third period, the Bees's Jamie Greer was rambling on an apparent 23-yard touchdown run, only to be hit at the 'Digger 5-yard line and have the ball pop up in the air.
Enter BE receiver Callan Salmon (okay, we've stretched the "fish" angle a bit since the Salmon name is pronounced as if an imaginary "a" separated the two readable syllables). While looking for a block, Salmon instead saw the loose ball and picked it up on the bounce. He carried the ball - as well as several `Digger defenders - over the goal line for a TD. Mike Reeder followed with a two-point PAT pass from Rich Jensen, giving Box Elder a 21-10 lead and a change in the momentum.
Jordan's Bill Ekblad kicked a 29-yard field goal to start the scoring of the final period, bringing Jordan to within 21-13 with more than eight minutes to play.
Jordan held Box Elder close to its own end zone on the next possession, but a Matt Maddox interception - one of four turnovers taking away by the swarming Bee defense - halted the Beetdiggers ensuing drive.
All the Bees had to do was to take some time off the clock - what better way than to hand the ball off to Greer, who was shy of the 100-yard mark after three straight 200-yard games this year. Greer got his 100 during the drive, thanks to a 35-yard off-tackle-turned-sweep-turned-sidelines-turned-switchback run for a touchdown with 1:49 left, with Salmon's kick making it 28-13.
Jordan's last-gasp effort included a thrilling 60-yard spiral TD toss from Tyler Garrison to Mitch Berg. But that's all the 'Diggers could muster en route to the 28-19 final score.
Box Elder took a 6-3 halftime lead, thanks to a 3-yard TD run by Greer with Jordan countering with a 42-yard FG by Ekblad as the Beetdiggers had their first three possessions halted by turnovers.
Jordan took the lead early in the third period as Berg recovered a fumbled Bee pitch in the end zone. But Box Elder quickly countered with a Reeder 46-yard TD reception from QB Rich Jensen, who finished the day by completing 10 of 19 passes for 152 yards.