CEDAR CITY Saturday's 2A championship game was supposed to be something special, an occasion 14 years in the making. It was the first football championship game in any classification pitting undefeated teams since 1993.
Amazingly, it was over before halftime.
"These kids just never cease to amaze me," said North Summit coach Jerre Holmes, whose team claimed the 2A title with a 30-6 rout of Millard. "If you'd a told me it would be 24-0 at halftime I'd said there's no way in the world that will ever happen."
You can't blame Holmes for feeling dumbfounded about the events that transpired at SUU's Eccles Coliseum.
Not only was North Summit going up against the most dominant team in 2A this year, but it was doing so with banged-up running back Dallin Donaldson, who broke his carrying hand in two places in the semifinals. Both were moot points all game.
Not only did Donaldson play, but he was fantastic, rushing for 55 yards and a touchdown as North Summit exploited a 45-minute to 15-minute edge in time of possession. Defensively, North Summit made Millard look bad. The Eagles finished with a paltry 139 yards of total offense and only eight first downs.
"We just executed so well on both sides of the ball," said Holmes, who in his eighth season in Coalville helped guide North Summit to its first football title since 1991.
Things began to unravel early for Millard thanks to a series of unfortunate events. Just six minutes into the game, North Summit's Whit Jones recovered a muffed Millard punt return in the end zone to take a 6-0 lead in a game where the Braves missed all five extra points.
As great as the early touchdown was, Holmes tried to quell his excitement on the sidelines.
"I've watched them on film five or six games, and whenever someone scores on them they just get hungrier. That's what I expected, but somehow we stopped them again," said Holmes.
North Summit extended its lead to 18-0 midway through the second quarter on touchdown runs by Donaldson and Taylor Bates, but it wasn't until the final two minutes of the first half that things got out of control.
With Millard punting deep in its own territory, North Summit broke through the line of scrimmage with several blockers forcing punter Clancy Mortensen to scramble and he was tripped up inside the 20 yard line.
Two plays later, despite a holding penalty that backed North Summit up, Deven Holmes connected with Drew Robinson from 24 yards out to extend the Braves' lead to 24-0.
"That's what big games are about mistakes, and who takes advantage of them. I really believe that," said Holmes.
Millard's hopes of a second-half rally were quickly brushed aside when North Summit opened the third quarter with a 16-play, 7:30 scoring drive. It was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run from Caleb Adams, who finished with 60 rushing yards. Jake Richins led the team with 93 yards.The Eagles finally broke the scoring hex on the final play of the third quarter, but Zack Wilcox's short scoring run did nothing to break the spirts of the Braves who also beat Millard in last year's 2A boys basketball championship game.