HYRUM A missed field goal and two turnovers, including a fumble inches from the goal line, are never a good recipe for playoff success. Fortunately for Mountain Crest, those turnovers weren't too costly because on a beautiful November Friday in Cache County, its opponent acted like it was playing in a blizzard.
Bonneville put the ball on the turf six times losing two in addition to throwing three interceptions, all of which Mountain Crest happily accepted in a convincing 25-13 quarterfinal victory.
The Mustangs advance to Thursday's 4A semifinals to meet No. 1 Timpview at Rice-Eccles Stadium at 2:30 p.m.
Realistically, it was Mountain Crest's mistakes, not Bonneville's stout defense, that kept Friday's game from escalating into a major blowout.
"We thought we did a pretty good job moving the ball, but we just kept turning it over," said Mountain Crest coach Mark Wootton. "I know I was frustrated, we were in situations we should've gotten more points."
Leading 14-7 midway through the second quarter thanks to a pair of Alex Knowles first-quarter touchdown runs, the Mustangs had a field goal blocked one play after a dropped pass in the end zone.
Later in the half, Mountain Crest again came up empty, fumbling on a first-and-goal situation at the 1.
Making matters more frustrating, on the final play of the half, Mountain Crest's Ethan Rasmussen intercepted a pass at midfield and returned it to the 3-yard line before being tripped.
After squandering first-half chances, the Mustangs finally went to work in the second half. Nate Call booted a 29-yard field goal to make it 17-7. Early in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs extended the lead to 25-7 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Alex Kuresa to Matt Stewart, followed by a successful two-point conversion run by Riley Crosbie.
It was another solid performance by freshman Kuresa, who passed for more than 200 yards in his third start since taking over for the injured Ethan Lofthouse.
Even though Lofthouse has recovered from his hip flexor injury and is healthy enough to take over the Mustangs' QB reigns, he's content serving as the team's No. 1 tailback instead with as well as Kuresa's playing.
"Our team grew up," said Lofthouse. "I came back to a whole bunch of men, we're not boys anymore. Whatever it takes for our team to win."
Lofthouse rushed 18 times for 76 yards, also anchoring the defense at middle linebacker.Bonneville tacked on a late touchdown run by QB Spencer Unga to make the final score respectable.
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