BOUNTIFUL Thank goodness for kickers. At least Bountiful feels that way after Joe Lake kicked what proved to be the game-winning field goal for the Braves on Friday night on Viewmont's field.
The 17-14 victory marked the first time since 2002 that either team had won two games in a row in the annual crosstown rivalry. Last year the Braves also won on a field goal.
"It really was the difference in this game to go in 14-14 at halftime and then have them kick off, only to have us march down the field and get the points that put us ahead," said Bountiful coach Larry Wall. "It was a gut check for our guys to come back in this game."
Wall's team fell behind early on the defensive side, while it struggled to get things going on the offensive side of the ball. Bountiful's first two possessions went three-and-out, while Viewmont was rolling.
On their second drive, the Vikes took the ball downfield 86 yards and scored on a 25-yard run by Ryan Workman. Workman's keeper wasn't a typical call out of a timeout, but proved the right one as the quarterback went untouched into the end zone. On Viewmont's next drive, Workman hit Dustin Grigg from six yards out for the score.
But as much as Bountiful struggled in the first quarter, it more than made up for it over the next 12 minutes. The Braves handed the ball to Mitch Johnson, who carried nine times on the opening second-quarter drive to put Bountiful at the Viewmont 13. There, Bountiful made a great play call that saw Drew Miner hit tight end Cullen Clark on the far side for the easy score. Lake added the kick to cut the deficit to 14-7.
The next score came off a play that backfired for the Vikes. With Bountiful facing fourth down and one, Viewmont plugged the box to try and stop the Braves' run. But Jake Folkerson stepped over the defenders and marched into the end zone from 31 yards out. Lake was good again for the point-after to make for the 14-14 halftime score.
"That really was our O-line on fourth and short," said Wall. "We snapped it quick and caught them off guard a little bit."
The only score of the second half was Lake's 25-yard field goal on Bountiful's opening drive. The Braves won the battle on the ground with 197 total, while Viewmont out passed its rival 254-82 yards.