We came together after that first drive (in the second half) when we got stopped, and we came back out and scored. —Cammon Cooper
SALT LAKE CITY — Lehi and Highland entered Friday night’s bout having combined for 266 points in the prior three outings. That set up a showdown between two hot teams sitting atop the Region 6 standings. In the end, it was Lehi that pulled away to earn a 40-21 win over the Rams.
“Highland is a storied program with a great team again this year,” said Lehi coach Ed Larson. “Hats off to them, they came in and played their butts off too. This was a big region win.”
It was the first time the two teams have squared off, but is likely to be a top matchup in years to come if the region remains the same.
As far as Lehi’s key to success, it came as no surprise that quarterback Cammon Coooper led the Pioneers. The standout tossed six touchdowns in the victory, including three to Dallin Holker and two to Kade Moore.
“We do well when No. 12 (Cooper) does well,” said Larson. “When he is on his game, we are able to spread out the ball because we have a lot of weapons. Our offensive line did a great job blocking and our defense was pivotal late.”
Highland trailed 27-14 at halftime, but cut the deficit to 27-21 after Cole Peterson kept the ball and scampered in from 25 yards out with 6:08 left in the third quarter. Highland’s defense had shut down Lehi on its second-half opening drive and looked to have some momentum. But that momentum was slowly crushed over the next three minutes as Lehi marched down the field to match the Rams’ score.
The Pioneers capped that scoring drive with Cooper tossing to Moore from 25 yards out to extend the lead to 34-21.
Cooper said his team worked on scoring in the red zone this past week because it’s been something the group hasn’t done consistently of late. He also credited the squad with fighting throughout Friday's game and finding ways to get the ball in the end zone.
“We came together after that first drive (in the second half) when we got stopped, and we came back out and scored. That’s when we knew we were rolling and were back into it.”
Cooper finished the night with close to 350 yards. He did have an interception in the outing, but the Rams couldn’t make good on the turnover after committing two false starts on the following drive. Penalties were a theme for Highland in the outing.
“At one point we were doing really well, but then we had a series where we had some false starts, and a hold, and had to punt the ball,” said Highland coach Brody Benson. “We never got back from that point, and Lehi is a talented and good team. We needed to play a clean game, but had too many self-inflicted wounds.”
The Pioneers put the game out of reach with their final score with 5:48 left to play. This time Cooper found Kyler Welsh from 8 yards out for the red zone touchdown.