I didn’t really get a choice. They just asked, ‘Can you (play quarterback)?’ and I said, ‘OK.’ I am always accepting of the challenge, so I picked it up. —Brady Hall
HYRUM — Anyone familiar with Mountain Crest football will remember the 2012 season. It started with a convincing 54-14 victory over the Mountain View Bruins and ended with one of the most entertaining championship games in recent memory, a 38-31 double-overtime Mustang defeat at the hands of the Timpview Thunderbirds.
Sandwiched between those games was one of the Mustangs' best seasons in the past decade. The team swept through Region 5, a region that that season sported the likes of Logan, Box Elder, Sky View and Roy, not to mention Bonneville, en route to a region title (2012 is the last season in which the Mustangs have won a region title).
Come playoff time, Mountain Crest was even better, handling Timpanogos and Bountiful in the opening two rounds of the playoffs (the Mustangs defeated the Timberwolves and Braves by a combined score of 77-6).
The semifinals were one of the season's biggest tests, as the Highland Rams held the Mustangs to just 14 points. Of course, the Mustangs held the Rams to a measly six, pulled out the win and advanced to the 4A state title game.
No player had a bigger impact on the 2012 Mustangs' run to the state championship game than running back/former and occasional starting quarterback Eddie Hall.
Hall was dynamic throughout the campaign, rushing for over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was especially effective in big-game scenarios, rushing for 253 yards and two scores against the rival Bobcats, while rushing for 197 yards and two touchdowns against the Grizzlies.
Hall scored a touchdown in each playoff game he appeared in (Hall missed the quarterfinal contest with Bountiful).
The former Mustang star finished his career in Hyrum with over 2,000 passing yards and 20 touchdowns (Hall was the starting quarterback for Mountain Crest in the 2011 season), along with nearly 2,500 rushing yards and 29 scores.
Needless to say, it was difficult for Mountain Crest to replace Hall and the entire graduating class of 2012.
In 2013, the Mustangs managed just two wins, the following year, only four.
And then, something changed in 2015. Brady Hall, the younger brother of Eddie, joined the team.
While Brady had little to no impact in 2015 — he carried the ball just six times for 22 yards — the Mustangs had themselves a bounce back season, finishing 9-2 with a quarterfinal loss to the Bingham Miners.
The 2016 season was an abject disaster, courtesy of the creation of Ridgeline High School and a host of other reasons, but it was in that campaign that the younger Hall assumed the mantle of starting quarterback.
“I didn’t really get a choice," said Hall. “They just asked, ‘Can you (play quarterback)?’ and I said, ‘OK.’ I am always accepting of the challenge, so I picked it up. We are here now, so it worked out pretty well.”
Did it ever.
This season, Hall has been one of the best quarterbacks in 4A, throwing for almost 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Hall has also showcased the dynamic rushing ability of his older brother, rushing for a team-high 825 yards and nine scores.
“I mean we play kinda the same way. We have since we were younger,” said Hall. “(Eddie and I) both have the same mentality. He came here and paved the way for our family ,and it's nice to step up and be in the same position he was.”
“I grew up watching (Eddie) play,” added Hall. “I mean, it’s crazy. You want to fill your brother's shoes, especially the ones that he left me. That’s why I wear the same number he did. Some people even say we look alike.”
In truth, the 2017 Mustangs may have gotten the better Hall, though that is certainly up for debate. In favor of Brady is the fact that the current Mustangs' quarterback is only a junior, and yet he has already led his team to the state championship game.
On Friday, Nov. 17, at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, Brady will have the chance to do something Eddie couldn’t, win a state title.