Dallin Pan, Alta

SANDY — Neverland is never far away when Dallin Pan is on the field. After trading scores and stops with Weber in the first half Friday night, Alta managed to pull away behind Pan’s incredible five scores and win 36-23.

After a first half that ended with Alta leading by just seven, it was clear some major adjustments were made in the locker room.

“We were a little undisciplined in that first half. We weren’t executing in the way we should have,” said Alta head coach Alema Te’o. “We were down guys, so we had to move some kids around tonight, so there was some confusion on some of the calls we were trying to make. We had to take the first half to kind of diagnose our performance and put kids in the right spots ... and we were fortunate to get the stops against a really good 6A football team.”

Certainly the adjustments worked in the Hawks’ favor, with multiple stops on fourth down and a fumble recovery deep in Weber territory to set up Pan’s fourth score of the game early in the fourth quarter.

Weber stayed strong and brought a well-balanced offensive attack. Quarterback Kohl Hogan threw for two scores, including a beautiful 20-yard seam to Brandt Opheikens in the first quarter, and a 55-yard catch-and-run to Hudson Schenck before halftime.

A chip shot by Pierce Callister brought Weber within four points after the half, but Alta’s defense came to life, making multiple fourth down stops against an aggressive Weber attack and forcing punts.

Then ... there was Pan.

There seemed to be no answer for the senior running back and an admittedly young offensive line, who continued to gain yards while running the ball right into the teeth of Weber’s defense. “They were lined up in an eight-man front, and we were still able to move the ball” noted Te’o. “We’ve got a young o-line and these guys were able to learn a lot tonight, so hopefully we can continue to move forward from here.”

Alta’s run-heavy defense was complemented by a healthy passing game, with quarterback Cinco Lucero able to get the ball into the hands of his guys consistently, allowing the Hawks to mix up their play calling and keep Weber on their toes.

Comment on this story

Moving forward for the now 4-1 Hawks means region play, starting next week against Cottonwood.

“Now we’re in region so everything counts. The key for us is we have to win and take it one week at a time” said Te’o.

Dallin Pan with his 13 touchdowns on the season is certainly confident moving into next week’s contest: “I feel like the o-line’s just gonna step it up again, and do the same thing we did today.”

Weber now sits at 2-3 heading into a contest with Syracuse, who just earned their first win of the season over Layton.