OGDEN -- A new era of Ben Lomond football officially began Friday night with the Scots accomplishing something they hadn't done in two years -- win. The emotionally charged Scots scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to come from behind to defeat the Union Cougars 14-6 in a thrilling season opener for both squads.
Both Ben Lomond scores came on fourth down Alex Craft to Malcom Shipman touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. The first from 14 yards out with 6:38 remaining that gave B.L. the lead, and the second, a 32 yarder with one minute left on the clock clinched the outcome.
"We still have a lot of growing up to do, but I can tell you, this is what we've been working for," said first-year Ben Lomond coach Don Kenyon.
Opening-game jitters prevented both teams from generating much offense in the first half as they settled for a scoreless tie. The Scots managed just 45 yards of total offense by half time.
The second half was a different story. Ben Lomond put together the first serious drive of the contest by taking the second half kickoff and marching down to the Cougars' 11 before attempting a field goal that would have given it the lead. It was blocked, however, and Union capitalized on the miscue when J.J. Morley outran Ben Lomond defenders for a 70-yard TD run two plays later.
The Cougars were poised to increase their lead when on their next possession Morley broke loose again for a 65-yard scamper to the Ben Lomond 10. Only a game-saving tackle by Nate Watkins, who ran Morley down, prevented Union from upping its lead. The Ben Lomond defense stiffened and forced Union to attempt a field goal that was botched.
That seemed to be the momentum buster the Scots were hoping for as they took over on their own 8 and marched 92 yards in 16 plays to take the lead with 6:38 to play on the first Craft-to-Shipman scoring pass.
Craft, who came of age in the second half, engineered the game-clinching drive on Ben Lomond's next possession, an 80-yarder that culminated on a sliding catch in the end zone by Shipman.
Craft gained more confidence and poise in the second half as he led the Ben Lomond offense to 252 yards of total offense compared to just 56 in the first two quarters.
"He (Craft) made plays in the second half when he had to," Kenyon said. "There's still some work to do there, but did a lot of good things out there tonight."