Perhaps it was fitting that the game-winning touchdown in Provo's 21-14 victory over Bonneville in Friday's 4A prep football quarterfinal playoff came on a fumble-recovery return. Perhaps it was fitting that the Lakers' last-ditch comeback effort was halted by an interception. Perhaps it was fitting that Provo now advances to next week's 4A semifinals with a 5-5 overall record.
Perhaps it is fitting to just label the game as quirky.Consider the following:
- Provo could have put the game away in the first half alone, with possessions starting on the Bonneville 44-year line, the Provo 47, the Bonneville 37, the Provo 47 and the Bonneville 47. Instead, the Bulldogs settled for a 14-0 first-half advantage on two long Rick Jorgensen-to-Terence Salunone passes - an 86-yarder that set up a 2-yard scoring run by Cory Lundberg and a 71-yarder good for the second Provo touchdown.
- Both teams combined for 15-52 passing with five interceptions shared betwen the two. And both teams combined for a dozen fumbles - with half of those fumbles being lost to the opposing team.
- Bonneville finished with 17 first downs to Provo's eight.
- Provo quarterback Rick Jorgensen completed just six passes of his 27 attempts - overthrowing sometimes while having his receivers aid with the miscues with numerous drops. But those six completions were good for 248 yards - or better than 41 yards a pass.
- Jorgensen could have given Provo another first-half touchdown as he returned an interception 74 yards for an apparent score, only to have the play whitted down considerably because of an unnecessary clipping infraction.
Convinced already of the quirkiness?
With Provo holding its 14-0 lead midway through the third period, Bonneville coughed up the ball one of its several bumbled snap exchanges. Provo linebacker Jeff Jones was looking at a lineman's dream - scooping up the loose ball and seeing no one between him and the end zone.
Trouble was, he didn't want to turn the lineman's dream into a lineman's nightmare. "I was waiting for somebody to come up and catch me from behind," said the 218-pound senior, who didn't get caught and instead finished with a 45-yard return for a TD. Ben Carrick's third PAT kick gave Provo a 21-0 lead.
Bonneville, which ends the season with a 7-4 record, scored late in the third on a 1-yard dive by Bart Fawbush. The Lakers took over again moments later as Provo fumbled at its own 16 and then was whistled for a personal foul, giving Bonneville the ball at the Bulldog 9-yard line.
Ryan Webber, the Lakers' sophomore QB, scored later on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 on a naked bootleg scamper across the goal line to bring Bonnevill to 21-14.
And what about a 5-5 team making the semifinals - a team that couldn't win a home game this season but upset second-ranked Alta in last week's 4A first round before beating Bonneville in the quarterfinals? "Our team had potential all season," said Jones. "It was just a matter of knowing it. And now we know it."
And now the rest of the state knows it, too.