SANDY Desperate to get their first win at Sayers Field in nearly two years, the Jordan Beetdiggers finally christened their new home turf with a heart-pounding 29-22 comeback win over Riverton on Friday night.
After a first half that saw Jordan take a 21-6 lead, the Silverwolves managed to dominate much of the second half and pulled ahead 22-21. With less than two minutes remaining, 'Diggers quarterback Alex Hart would cap a stellar night with an 11-yard draw into the end zone to put Jordan ahead. Hart then found his favorite target on the night, Corey Hunt, for a two-point conversion and the winning margin.
Hart racked up 315 yards with three touchdowns through the air, plus the game-winner on the ground. Hunt nabbed seven catches for 144 yards, two touchdowns, the two-point conversion and an interception to end the game.
"I was flustered in the third quarter, but the last series I stepped it up," Hart said. "If we would've lost, I would've cried. You gotta give credit to our receivers and line they were way good."
The win sends the 'Diggers into Region 2 play with new-found confidence, while Riverton must regroup before heading into Region 3 play.
"We got a lot of young kids that are learning, and that's what preseason is all about," Jordan coach Alex Jacobsen said. "Football in the state of Utah is pretty good, and if you're not ready to play, it's going to be a challenge. We're not taking anybody lightly."
Hart found Hunt early and often, connecting with the junior receiver for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Along with another Hart toss to Tyler Brown and three sacks by the 'Diggers' defensive line, Riverton found itself down 21-6 at half.
But a different Silverwolves team emerged in the second half. Confident and assertive, they shut down the Jordan spread offense, thanks in large part to defensive tackle Anthony Crawford and a stifling front seven. The offense wore Jordan down on several lengthy, punishing drives led by Zach Spencer and Dillon Draper. Down 21-19 and facing a stiff wind in his face, kicker Michael Allem calmly nailed a 40-yard field goal to give Riverton the lead as the fourth quarter began.
After stalling the Beetdiggers' offense again, the Silverwolves had a chance to seal the game late after a personal foul on a punt gave them a first-and-10 inside the Jordan 20-yard line. But the defense stripped receiver Tad Carter two plays later, and the turnover gave Jordan one final chance with 3:11 left in the game.
Riverton was able to get within striking distance as time ran down, but a leaping deflection by Philip Tarver and Hunt's interception kept them from scoring.