LEHI When Lehi and West Jordan hooked up on the football field for each team's first game of the regular season, they threw in just a little bit of everything a football brain could think of to give the fans some excitement. The one thing they forgot: scoring.
There were goal line stands, blocked field goals, interceptions, fumble recoveries, impressive fourth down conversions, a punter running for a first down, a safety and even a lights out halftime show. But when it all came down to the final scoreboard, the Jaguars squeezed a soccer-like 2-0 victory out of Lehi on the Pioneers' home turf. It was the second quarter that produced every point on the scoreboard, just minutes into the second quarter. And it was some amazing Lehi defense that led to a two-point West Jordan possession instead of a touchdown.
The Jaguars started their drive on the 47-yard line on a fumble recovery picked up by Steve Neville. They then marched down the field and finished off the first quarter on the Lehi two-yard line.
The Pioneers put together their first of two impressive goal line stands as the Jaguars came within one inch of six points, but wound up turning the ball over on downs. The only problem was that the Pioneers found themselves in precarious position and couldn't manage to escape the end zone on their second down and 10 play from the one-inch marker. The Jaguars' defense produced the safety with 10:46 remaining in the half, and that was the only scoring either team could manage.
"We knew our defense was solid and would come in here and give them fits. We have good guys out there, but they pitched a shutout," said Lehi coach Derrick Peyton, who wasn't especially pleased with his offense.
His team did come back with a near-scoring play of it's own as time ran down in the fourth quarter. It all started after another impressive goal line stand that left the Jaguars without the touchdown and the Pioneer offense on the one-yard line.
After driving out to the 14 and finding themselves in a fourth down situation, Lehi punted the ball down field. West Jordan proceeded to fumble the ball, which was recovered by Lehi's Jordan Dew on the Lehi 43-yard line.. The Pioneers then kept up steady driving until reaching the West Jordan 27. Then they ran out of downs and found themselves with 6.5 seconds remaining on the clock. But their attempted 43-yard field goal was blocked at the line by West Jordan's Devon Paraso, a 5-foot-7 junior, and time ran out.
"We came out here and knew we were not playing Lehi. We were playing ourselves, and we also know that defense wins championships," said West Jordan wide receiver Tyson Udy, adding, "I'm so happy we pulled it off in the end. We finished strong and made a statement at the end of the game."
Defense was key throughout as Paraso intercepted a pass by Lehi quarterback Jordan Smith on the Pioneer's first drive of the game with the Pioneers deep in West Jordan territory. Lehi then picked up the fumble after Paraso lost control on the first Jaguar play.
After Neville then picked up the Lehi fumble, and the Jaguars scored on the safety, West Jordan then turned it over on downs before West Jordan's Deshawn Perkins came up with an interception. A roughing the kicker penalty gave Lehi extra life later in the second quarter, and a mere four plays later on fourth and 10, the Lehi punter, Isaih Roberts got himself out of trouble with a long run off a bad snap for the first down and the sideline yelling at him to kick it.
But just four plays later he found himself punting again. West Jordan then missed a field goal to end the first half.
Nobody was sure at halftime whether the game would continue into the fourth quarter or be called because of darkness. As the halftime show began, the stadium lights went out and stayed that was for about 45 minutes.
The referees had given stadium officials until 8:45 to get the lights back on before calling it, and the game finally resumed with just two minutes to spare at 8:43.