Bountiful has done all that has been asked during its 1990 prep football season - and more. Not only have the Braves finalgone undefeated through 13 games - they've racked up some major statistics and point totals.
The latest - and greatest - feat for the Braves this year - Friday night's 41-28 victory over Bear River in the 3A state championship game at Rice Stadium.And the numbers of note - Chris Jones carried 18 times for 182 yards and four touchdowns (including a long TD of 94 yards); Austin Lindsay completed eight of 12 passes for 82 yards; four interceptions picked off and one fumble recovered; and double-digit scoring in each of the first three quarters, others. All of this while handing 11-2 Bear River its first defeat since the opening week of the season.
Obviously, nobody's left on the schedule for the Braves, the state's sole undefeated team this season. But who, pray tell, could challenge Bountiful?
"Maybe Skyline could give us a tough game," said Bountiful linebacker Kory Andreasen, mindful of the Eagles, who earned the 4A crown earlier in the day on the same stadium turf.
Okay, so a dream Skyline-Bountiful matchup is impossible. So Braves fans are left to relish its rout of the Bears, which was evident at intermission considering the 31-8 halftime advantage. However, Bear River earned respect by rallying from a 41-8 deficit with three fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Much of Bountiful's success was in stopping Bear River's bread-and-butter backfield of Jared Burnham and Brian Theurer, who finished with 97 and 64 yards, respectively. "They (the Bears) are bigger than we are, but we are quicker to the ball," said Andreasen.
That meant that the Bears were forced to put the bulk of their offensive successes on the shoulders of 145-pound quarterback Shawn Fuhriman, who threw for two final-period scoring passes and rushed for another late TD. For the game, he was 30-of-45 for 393 yards.
Bountiful jumped out to a whopping 31-8 lead in the first half - and about the only thing that was close was the total yards for the two high-octane offenses. In fact, Bear River outgained Bountiful 217 yards to 216 (the Bears would finish with 551 yards for the game).
Bountiful's Aaron Roderick picked off a pass to stop Bear River's first possession, returning it to the Bear 9-yard line and setting up Jake Murdock's 6-yard score, with Jason Haslam's PAK making for a quick 7-0 Brave lead with the game less than two minutes old.
Bear River immediately answered with its own touchdown, set up in part by a 46-yard pass from Fuhriman to Ryan Goodliffe and a 22-yard run by Theurer. Theurer then scored from 3 yards out at the 8:30 mark, with the Bears going for two points on a swinging-gate formation, with Fuhriman passing to Kody Merritt for the conversion for the 8-7 lead.
Scoring on each of its first-half possessions, Bountiful followed with a 45-yard field goal by Haslam, a 2-yard scoring run by Jones, and then a pair of 1-yard TD dives by Jones. Haslam was good on all three PATs.
While Bear River was able to move the ball from time to time, the Bears weren't able to maintain any consistency or mount any real scoring threats. Their final four possessions of the half ended with a fumble on their own 18, a fourth-down fumble at the Braves' 23, a punt from near midfield, and the end of the half.
Bountiful added 10 more points in the third quarter on a 32-yard field goal by Haslam and a 94-yard run by Jones, who was stopped once at the line of scrimmage and again just beyond before breaking for has to be one of the longest runs in state-playoff history.
But it was Bear River who did all the scoring in the fourth quarter, as Fuhriman threw TDs of 9 and 21 yards to Goodliffe and a two-point PAT pass to Ryan Garfield. Furhiman added a 1-yard TD run on the game's final play for the 41-28 final score.