It took 24 minutes, but the Uintah defense finally showed up - and thank goodness it did, because the offense needed some help.
After surrendering 223 yards and 27 points in the first half, the Utes held the Snow Canyon Warriors scoreless in the second half to post a 32-27 nonregion victory Friday night in prep football action."We weren't real happy with the defense in the first half," Uintah coach Curg Belcher said. "We need some work. We're young and we know that, but we'll come along."
The Utes (3-0) made big strides defensively in the second half by holding the SC offense to 109 yards total offense, and producing a big quarterback sack and interception on SC's potential game-winning drive with less than two minutes left to preserve the victory.
After Adam Madsen scored on a 39-yard quarterback keeper with 3:27 left, set up by a 49-yard punt return by Chris Busch, SC (2-1) began its drive on its own 15 and moved it within to the Utes' 15 before Cody Temples sacked SC's Tyler Wittwer for a 12-yard loss. Then Tim Hawkes intercepted a Wittwer pass of a fourth-and-22 play to preserve the win.
"We decided to chase the motion and work on the option," Belcher said. "Basically we came up and made the tackles."
Uintah's Beau Barker, who led the Utes' ground attack with 132 yards on 15 carries, got his team on the board first on the first play from scrimmage with a 68-yard run.
SC's Wittwer answered with a 42-yard run to knot the score at 7-7.
The teams traded scores again as Madsen added a 3-yard run, and Witter hit Garrett Jacobsen from 36 yards out to tie the score at 14-14.
Snow Canyon added another score in the first quarter on a Landon Lounsbury 31-yard run.
The Warriors tried to score the knockout with a Wittwer 1-yard TD run late in the second quarter to take a 27-14 lead, but the Utes only staggered.
Madsen, the state's best-kept secret at quarterback, hit Sidney Merkley just before the half to cut the SC lead to 27-20.
Then the defense took over.
Without allowing a SC score, the Utes added the final two TDs, a 3-yard run by Jeremy Strange and a 29-yard run by Madsen to post their second-straight second half victory. The Utes trailed Cedar at the half one week ago.
"I didn't think we executed as well offensively," SC coach Bill Jacobsen said. I thought we moved the ball when we had to, but we ddn't get the play when we needed to."
Madsen finished with 25 yards rushing for the Utes as well as going 10-for-24 for 169 yards. Lounsbury led SC with 79 yards rushing.
Uintah finished with 372 yards total offense to SC's 332 yards.