Rivalry game. It wasn’t pretty but we’ll take it. —Viewmont head coach Scott Ditty
BOUNTIFUL — What Viewmont’s victory over Bountiful lacked in flash and polish, it more than made up for in grit.
“Rivalry game,” said Viewmont head coach Scott Ditty after the Vikings beat the Braves 14-7 to earn their first outright region title since 2011. “It wasn’t pretty but we’ll take it.”
Miscues, fumbles, interceptions, penalties and a blocked punt that turned into an impressive pass punctuated a game in which both teams worked hard to take home a victory.
“This was our goal coming into the season,” said punter Preston Pitt, who earned one of the night’s most impressive recoveries. “It’s a dream come true. It’s awesome Yeah, it was really ugly, but we know Bountiful is going to come out and compete every year.”
All three touchdowns in the game were 1-yard runs. Viewmont’s both came from running back Cameron Brown. The senior earned his first touchdown with 2:26 left in the first quarter, while the second came midway through the second quarter after an impressive 35-yard pass play from quarterback Davis Weir to wide receiver Jackson Barber.
Willard scored on a one-yard run a few plays later, which made the score 14-7.
Bountiful looked like they might score again before halftime, but the Braves fumbled on the three-yard line and Viewmont recovered with 34 seconds left in the half.
The second half was action-packed, but not all of it is what a football coach loves to see.
The most dramatic series of events was when Brown left the field at the official’s direction and Bountiful ended up blocking Pitt’s punt.
“I’m not going to lie,” said Brown, who unofficially broke the school’s rushing record with his workhorse performance. “I was supposed to be out on the field. But the ref told me to get off because he wanted me to talk to one of our players because he was mouthing off. So I walked off the field, and I totally forgot it was a punt.” As he watched the snap, he realized, he was supposed to be on the field helping to protect Pitt.
“I thought I lost the game for us,” he said. “And then I saw him pick it up and throw it. It was crazy.” Pitt said that after the ball was blocked, it bounced over his head. He chased the ball down, picked it up and as he ran toward the sideline, he saw an open wide receiver, Tyson Handley.
“Honestly, I was thinking I don’t want to get hit,” he said. “So I threw it. I just saw that he was open.”
That gutsy play gave the Braves the ball at the 50-yard line, but Bountiful couldn’t score.
Ditty credited his coaching staff for their work year-round in ending the drought, which follows last year’s tie for the region championship.
He praised Brown, calling him “an absolute beast” and his offensive line.
“My o-line has been terrific all year,” Ditty said.
He acknowledged the moments when emotions made hearing that win just a bit harder. He knew the rivalry game would test them physically and emotionally.
“(Emotions) are always a concern,” he said. “Their kids. “There were definitely some times we had to settle them down. But I’m just proud as heck of our boys. They played well.”