I was excited to get the opportunity, but then a little nervous, admittedly. But fortunately it worked out and it was just the best feeling ever to kick that one through. —Springville kicker Garrett Lindsey on his game-winning field goal
SPRINGVILLE — Springville kicker Garrett Lindsey went from the lowest guy in Springville to the highest, all in the span of just under three minutes, during the Red Devils' 20-17 win over Alta on Friday.
Tensions are high in any quarterfinal game, and perhaps the tension got the better of the senior kicker when he pushed his 29-yard attempt with 2:56 left and the score tied at 17-17.
"It was awful letting everyone down. Just awful," Lindsey said. "It was bad and stressful, and all I wanted was a chance to get it back."
Lindsey got that opportunity with 14.8 seconds left on the clock and the score still tied at 17-17. This time he lined up his 26-yard attempt perfectly, pushing it through for what proved to be the game-winning points.
"I was excited to get the opportunity, but then a little nervous, admittedly. But fortunately it worked out and it was just the best feeling ever to kick that one through," Lindsey said.
Alta tried a few plays to get back, but the effort went for naught, as the Springville sideline stormed the field, with some players yelling, "We get to eat some more rice!"
Indeed the Red Devils get another shot to play at Rice-Eccles Stadium, which hosts both the semifinal and quarterfinal rounds for the 5A playoffs, for the third straight year.
Getting to Rice-Eccles is seldom easy, and it certainly wasn't for the Red Devils on Friday. The Hawks battled to the bitter end, with Springville coach Willy Child noting as much.
"It was a heck of a game and as everybody knows, Alta is a great football team. They're well-coached," Child said after trying to catch his breath after a raucous postgame celebration. "They're very explosive, (but) our defense and our defensive staff did a great job containing them and kept giving us opportunities."
Springville's offense didn't cash in on all the opportunities provided by the defense but did enough to just get by. Quarterback Ty Eriksson, who was under heavy pressure throughout the second half, made two of the game's most notable plays.
The first play made was on a fourth-and-3 situation toward the end of the third quarter with Alta leading 17-10.
After a bad snap, the senior quarterback was able to gather himself enough to shed a would-be sack from a hard-charging lineman to extend the play. He then scampered out of the pocket to deliver a ball downfield that was flagged for defensive pass interference. Four plays later saw Eriksson delivered a perfectly thrown 27-yard touchdown strike to Ben Schreiner to tie things at 17-17.
"That's Ty. That's what he's done all year," Child said. "He's a great athlete. We don't use him as much as we could, just because we love running the ball, but he makes plays for us. He's a winner."
Eriksson's other big play came on a third-and-22 situation with just under a minute remaining and Springville backed up to Alta's 40-yard line. Again, Eriksson managed to avoid a heavy rush, before finding Schreiner again down the field. As he often does, the senior receiver made a great play on what was a 50-50 ball to set up the Red Devils with first-and-goal from the 5.
"Ben's been huge for us all year," Child said.
As for his ability to extend plays that were otherwise blown-up by the Hawks' defense, Eriksson said, "We just did a little bit more than the play was designed for and knew we weren't going to go down. We refuse to go down and that's how we do it."
With the win, Springville advances to the 5A semifinal round next Thursday to take on Lehi.