WEST JORDAN Down by seven and facing a potential upset in the fourth quarter, the Riverton Silverwolves turned to Aaron Jaussi. The senior answered the call with two touchdowns, two extra points and an interception to push the Wolves past the West Jordan Jaguars 21-14 Friday night at Jaguar Stadium.
With less than a minute in the game and the score tied, Jaussi, a 6-foot running back/defensive back/kicker, found a patch of open space in the West Jordan end zone and calmly caught a perfectly thrown pass from sprinting quarterback Davis Johnson.
After kicking the extra point, Jaussi then sent the ensuing kickoff past the end zone, resulting in a touchback and tough field position for the Jaguars. As if that weren't enough, Jaussi then dashed West Jordan's hopes with a critical deflection to prevent a long pass, then intercepted quarterback Jace Rogers' last gasp Hail Mary to end the game.
"My buddies on the team, they always keep me motivated," Jaussi said. "I do it for them, and they do it for me. A lot of our success stems from our coaches and our offensive line."
Earlier in the fourth quarter Jaussi tied the game after taking a handoff on what could only be described as a fake-fake reverse 25 yards to the end zone. It could be considered redemption for the one play all night he didn't make an intercepted halfback toss in the second quarter that led to West Jordan's first touchdown.
The Jaguars, for their part, were able to make a game out of one many had predicted they would not be in. Their defense held steady for most of the night, forcing Riverton to become much more creative than usual. After Nicholas Strong picked off a Johnson pass in the end zone, Brandt Henslee and LeRoy Love led the team on an 80-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a short touchdown run by Chester Whiteman. D.J. Tialavea got open in the end zone to catch a two-point conversion that made the score 14-7 to end the third quarter.
"Defensively we played darn good, they kept us in the game," Wolves coach Mike Miller said after the game. "Jaussi is a very good football player. We like to try and utilize him whenever we can."
Love, among the state leaders in rushing yards, was held to just 48 yards thanks to the aggressive play of Riverton's Remington Russell and Sean Gibson. Gibson also recovered a fumble that killed an effective West Jordan drive halfway through the fourth quarter, setting up Jaussi's heroics.