RIVERTON—After a Week 1 loss to 5A power Corner Canyon, Pleasant Grove has done nothing but play strong defense and employ a resilient offense. The Vikings continued that trend Friday night in a 31-14 win over Riverton.
“I thought we played pretty consistent. Our defense is continuing to play well, flying around, making plays,” said Vikings head coach Mark Wootton. “We stopped some big drives. I thought (Riverton) came out very, very hard and physical...and our kids just made some good stops.”
After big kickoff returns during the first half, Riverton struggled to move the ball against Pleasant Grove’s defense, giving away the ball on multiple occasions.
Those turnovers gave Pleasant Grove great field position, which they capitalized on. After several run-heavy performances, Vikings quarterback Jake Jensen was able to show off his arm, throwing for two scores and adding a third on the ground.
“All the guys executed big, we had a fumble recovery which gave us good field position,” said Jensen. “We’re just trying to continue to build off of everything each week, and continue to get better.”
Strong play on both sides of the ball allowed Pleasant Grove to overcome a number of penalties throughout the game.
“You hate to complain, but when it’s that lopsided, it’s frustrating,” Wootton said regarding the penalties levied against his squad. “I think our kids played through it and that shows the maturity of our team...Our kids are a confident bunch of kids and they’ve had the opportunity to play together a lot, so hopefully we can keep that going.”
After falling behind by 17 early on the third quarter, Riverton seemed to catch a break, stopping Pleasant Grove on third down deep in their own territory to force a punt, and punching in the score on the resulting drive.
Riverton quarterback Dayne McDonald found the end zone with his arm and his legs but was eventually benched after multiple turnovers.2 comments on this story
The play of the game came late for Pleasant Grove, who lined up to punt just past midfield when punter Dayne Christiansen pulled up and found Easton Fowler inside the Riverton 5-yard line, which set up an easy score and officially put the game out of reach.
After two straight wins over quality opponents, Pleasant Grove is looking forward to a challenge next week in Bingham.
“(Riverton) got after us pretty good last year, so our kids were pretty motivated, but obviously now you’ve gotta go against Bingham,” said Coach Wootton. “Hopefully there’s an airline strike and they don’t get back (from Phoenix) and they have to forfeit.”
Riverton will visit West Jordan next week, who now stands at 4-0 after a strong win over Hunter.