The first thing out Pleasant Grove head coach Les Hamilton's mouth was nothing but praise for Orem and their quarterback.
"Man, that is one tough team. Orem is going to win a lot of games this year. Every time we'd knock down their quarterback, he'd jump right back up and come firing at us again. They're good," Hamilton said.
Looking at the game stats, the final information is impressive as both teams produced over 400 yards of offense each. The difference was that Orem was completely shut out during the first quarter and Pleasant Grove played a great game for all four quarters.
Orem had possession of the ball five times during the first quarter. They punted the ball back to Pleasant Grove three times, lost the ball on a fumble and had a pass intercepted. The Viking defense stepped up early and often to put the Tigers away. Pleasant Grove's offense then came through as they scored on four of five possessions, missing a fied goal on their first effort. Their other four possessions resulted in three touchdowns and a successful field goal. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 24-0 and everyone thought the route was on.
Orem had the ball to begin the second quarter. Five plays into the quarter, Tucker Camp, Orem's junior quarerback, found one of his senior receivers, Nolan Gray and scored on a six yard pass to finaly get the machine rolling. Senior Josh Evans added the PAT.
Pleasant Grove scored twice in the second quarter on an eleven yard pass from senior quarterback Jeremiah Evans to senior Marcos Garcia and an electrifying 52 yard interception return by senior DB Jared Ivan. Senior Cesar Madrigal hit both PATs and at the half, PG was up 38-7.
Both teams scored once in the third quarter on passing plays and the Vikings also scored one more time the final quarter. Orem scored twice in the last period, once by pass and the other by rushing. The final score being 52-28 in Pleasant Grove's favor. Take away the first quarter, and it is a much closer game.
Orem had challenges running the ball as they rused 24 times for only 15 yards. The passing game is what made things interesting as the Tigers went 29 of 57 passes for 396 yards, totaling 411 yards of offense, with 21 first downs and 9 penalties for 78 yards.
Pleasant Grove had 18 carries for 168 yards, 13 of 21 passing for 302 yards for a total 470 yards offense. The Vikings picked up 13 first downs as well as 15 penalties for 143 yards.
"Our offense and defense both came up big, but we made too many mistakes and had too many penalties. It was a great game, but we have a lot of work to do to prepare for Timpview next week," Hamilton said.
Evans threw 11 of 18 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings and two of those scores went to senior receiver Spencer Romney who had 5 catches for 237 yards.
"Romney made those scores happen" Evansn said . "He is a great athlete and very quick". Romney praised his teammates saying "We prepared hard to be where we are right now. We have film of our next game and we need to work more to be prepared for Timpview".
Next Friday, August 30, Orem will travel to play Pineview High School. They beat Judge Memorial 38-24 to start their season.
Pleasant Grove will travel to Orem to play Timpview High School. The Thunderbirds beat Skyview 34-28 to open their season.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.