MORGAN — Now that’s how you play a high school football game.
In a game that many viewed as the Region 11 championship, the Morgan Trojans and Stansbury Stallions battled it out in a slobber-knocker Friday night. The tremendous back-and-forth contest ultimately went to overtime, where the Stallions finally prevailed after quarterback Chase Christiansen faked a handoff to running back Jackson Clausing and went into the end zone himself for the game-winning two point conversion. The 29-28 win keeps Stansbury undefeated.
“There were no losers tonight,” Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen said. “It (came down) to who could make the play at the end. Two great teams battling it out. That was just awesome. Morgan’s unbelievable. They’re a great team. They’re such a solid bunch. That game could have gone any way at any point.”
From the very beginning, the underdog Trojans showed that they were not intimidated by the bigger Stallions. Matt Murdock gave Morgan great field position near midfield on the opening kickoff. Eleven plays later Kade Carrigan scored from one yard out to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter.
Down 21-14, Morgan had the ball and was working on a drive in an effort to tie the game. Unfortunately with 4:39 left to play, the Trojans fumbled the ball away on a handoff attempt to Carrigan. That untimely play appeared to end the Trojans’ night.
But on the very next play, Morgan’s K.T. Tibbitts saved the day. Stansbury went for the dagger, but Tibbitts intercepted Christiansen’s pass in the end zone, giving the Trojans new life.
Morgan proceeded to drive 80 yards for the game-tying touchdown. The drive included a critical fourth-and-eight at the Trojans’ own 22-yard line which they converted when Ben Saunders found Lantzen Toomer for a 12-yard pass completion.
Carrigan gained 50 of the 80 yards on the important drive, which was finished off when Joe Kippen went 15 yards for a touchdown with 59.8 seconds remaining.
Camen Gray’s extra point was partially blocked by Stansbury, but the ball still managed to make it through the uprights.
In overtime, the Trojans went first and scored on three plays. The last was a nine-yard scoring run by Kippen, who absolutely steamrolled a Stansbury defender at the goal line.
“To come down and score like that against a big, bruising defense, our kids just wanted it more,” Morgan coach Kovi Christiansen said.
Unfortunately for Morgan, they couldn’t stop Christiansen at the end. He not only scored the game-winning two-point conversion, but had an 11-yard TD run to set up the winning play.
Morgan’s Carrigan did just about everything a player could do to help his team win. He rushed the ball 20 times for 128 yards and a touchdown, caught a 21-yard pass on the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, and had a big interception in the second quarter that led to the Trojans’ second touchdown. After the game, he could barely walk. And he wasn’t alone.
“I can’t expect anything more out of my guys,” Kovi Christiansen said. “They had a lot invested and I honestly don’t they could have played any harder. Stansbury’s got a great team.”
• BEAR RIVER 47, BEN LOMOND 12: At Ogden, the Bears used a 27-point second quarter to blow things open, and got rushing touchdowns out of four different players to rout the Scots on the road.
• GRANTSVILLE 28, TOOELE 7: At Tooele, the Cowboys earned their first Region 11 victory of the season, controlling the game from start to finish against the Buffaloes