LAYTON In case you're wondering, no, this isn't an April Fools' joke.
By the time any of you read this, the clock will have struck midnight on April 1st and the time for such pranks will have passed.
But that probably won't stop folks at Layton High from wishing it was.
No. 4 Viewmont and fifth-ranked Layton collided Tuesday afternoon in what had been billed as an early showdown between two teams that were tied atop the Region 1 table.
To borrow a line from an Agatha Christie book, "And then there was one."
Viewmont midfielder Colton Cook produced another fantastic performance in the middle of the park and scored twice, and forwards Tyler Arbuckle and Tommy Barrett added three goals and two goals, respectively, as the Vikings sensationally routed Layton 8-2.
"If I would've thought that was gonna be the score before the game," said Cook, "I would've just laughed."
He wasn't the only one.
Throughout March, there wasn't any way to differentiate Viewmont from Layton, as the two Northern Utah powers stood within a place of each other in several sets of rankings and entered Tuesday's contest with perfect 3-0 region records.
But it took just one day in April to figure out who's ahead of who.
Is Viewmont's team six goals better than Layton? Absolutely not, and it's pretty clear that everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Lancers Tuesday afternoon. But it's also pretty clear that the debate over who the Region 1 front-runner is has been settled.
Not that Viewmont coach Dave Wigham or his players will put any stock into that.
"We've never considered ourselves a front-runner," he said.
"People are going to open up the paper and see that it was No. 4 vs. No. 5, and they're gonna see '8-2' and they're gonna go, 'Holy hell.' (But) I'm gonna say, 'No, we're no better today than we were yesterday.'"
Barrett tapped home to give Viewmont a 1-0 lead in just the 6th minute, and the Vikes never looked back.
Barrett and Cook each scored twice to put Viewmont ahead 4-1 in the 49th minute, and after Layton pulled another goal back, the Vikings poured in four more goals over the final 25 minutes to add to the Lancers' misery.
Arbuckle impressively netted his hat-trick during that stretch and left midfielder Jake Juarez added another before Viewmont's JV players took over for the final 15 minutes.
At the heart of everything the Vikes did, however, was Cook. An outstanding player a season ago, the senior has taken his game to another level this spring and is fast becoming one of the premier central midfielders in the state.
"Colton Cook is really starting to take a role of just dominating out there," said Wigham.
Of course, the view from the other sideline wasn't quite as rosy. Layton High has shown of flashes of becoming an excellent team this spring but Tuesday's result proved there's obviously lots of work to be done."We got lit up," said coach Rick Talamantez, shaking his head. "I just think that Viewmont came to play. I give them all the credit in the world."