LEHI — A pair of 2-1 football teams took to the field Friday as the Kearns Cougars dropped in on Lehi and came away with a 12-8 final score.

Most of the offensive scoring was complete in the first quarter as the Kearns offense continually shot itself in the foot with penalties, and the Lehi offense couldn't seem to hang onto the football.

Just over four minutes into the ball game, the Pioneers marched down the field on a 50-yard drive, doing all of their damage in the passing lanes. Lehi quarterback Jordan Smith had five completions in seven attempts, and finished it off with an 11-yard touchdown pass to CJ Fredrickson to put the Pioneers up 6-0 in their bid for three wins this season.

But merely one drive and less than four minutes later, the Cougars came up with their own touchdown on a two-yard run by Alamoti Vaenuku, who made many of Kearns' big offensive plays through the game. But he had plenty of help on this drive as a 62-yard pass from Tyson Adamson to Dominick Cagle on third and 14 on the Kearns' 30 put the Cougars on the 8-yard line with first and goal. Taylor Whetman added the extra point on what turned out to be a big difference maker in the game.

The Cougars then finished off the first half strong as they blocked a Lehi punt in the end zone and picked up a key safety to give themselves a 9-6 lead heading into the locker room. Kearns then added its final points to the scoreboard with just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter on a 33-yard field goal by Whetman. But, despite losing big ground on almost every remaining offensive possession, the Cougars were able to hold on to their slim lead for the victory.

The Pioneers helped by giving the ball away on two interceptions and a pair of fumbles. Kearns defensive back Fatu Moala led the stingy Cougars defense, picking up both interceptions and breaking up several more plays on the night.

But the Pioneers never gave up, and after pushing the Cougars back to their own 5-yard line, Dylan Stadel continued his great defensive play this season by making a tackle in the end zone and picking up two points for his team. After the Cougars punted the ball away on their next drive, the Pioneers went on another drive down field reminiscent of their scoring drive in the first quarter. A pair of passes for 16 and 37 yards on consecutive plays from Smith to Jordan Dew put the Pioneers on the Kearns 12-yard line with 36 seconds to play and four downs to make something happen.

But unlike the final seconds of the Pioneers' game against Provo last week, no connections were made as four passes fell incomplete, and the Cougars clawed their way to victory, making themselves 3-1 this season. Lehi fell to 2-2.


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