LAYTON — Neither Davis nor Layton could settle on a playoff spot, so the two Region 1 rivals met Tuesday for the the last position in this year’s 5-A state brackets.
Behind good play-calling and a defense that forced three turnovers the Darts fought back from a 10-0 first-quarter deficit to defeat the Lancers 23-16. They’ll now move on to play Kearns on Saturday.
“The turnovers were the difference tonight,” Davis coach Ryan Bishop said. “You know, I believe we had one and how many ever our defense got — four or whatever — it was was huge for our defense. That’s what we didn’t get the first time we played them. We gave them some, but we didn’t get any back and our defense was great.”
Layton jumped on Davis first as it scored the first 10 points of the game to set the Darts’ defense back on its heels. Those 10 points came from Jeff Ball’s 24-yard field goal and from Davis Marriott, who pounded one in from a yard out to account for the points.
After that, the Darts’ defense really settled in and refused to break, even after giving up some big plays.
That began to pay off as Davis kicker Andrew Fuller booted a 20-yard field goal to cut into the lead to close out the first quarter. Later, Ashton Reinhold snagged a five-yard touchdown pass from Gage Cook to tie the game.
Fuller then gave the visitors the lead with a 28-yard field goal heading into halftime.
The second half was played in a downpour and the Darts knew they would have to run the ball to be successful against an explosive Layton offense. The rain, however, didn’t stop Cook from hooking up with Trevor Leavitt for a 26-yard touchdown strike halfway through the third quarter to put the Darts up 20-10 heading in the final quarter of the game.
Layton had an answer and got it in the form of a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hunter Evans to wideout Marcus Kemp with 6:34 left in the game to cut the lead to four after a missed extra point.
Davis needed to put together a good drive and came up with one that ate up close to six minutes, ending with the final of three field goals for Fuller, this one from 38 yards out that put the lead back to seven at 23-16.
The defense then did the rest, holding the Lancers to a single reception down the field and ended the game by knocking down the final Evans pass to give the Darts the win and also puts them in a bind in preparing again for a short week.
“Hey, we’re just glad we’re in it,” Bishop said. “We’re glad we’re playing and we relish the opportunity — you know — short week or not and we’re in the playoffs.”
• Highland def. clearfield 13-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-16: At Salt Lake City, the Falcons fell to 4-26, 1-8.
• Lone Peak def. Morgan 25-15, 25-14, 25-13: At Highland, the two-time defending state 3-A champion Trojans (16-4 overall, not counting the Utah Classic) were spanked by the 5-A Knights.