BOUNTIFUL -- After so many years of dominance, three things were sure for Bountiful residents: death, taxes and the fact the Bountiful Braves would beat Woods Cross.
Now, two years in a row, the third is a very shaky proposition, as Woods Cross pulled off the upset over the highly-rated Braves, beating Bountiful on the Braves' homecoming, 22-14, in Region 5 play.
"We heard a comment that this team wasn't as good as our team last year," Woods Cross coach Justin Spencer said, in regards to his team's motivation. "This team has 60 kids with character; 60 kids that work together and there isn't a star."
"Who is the star? We don't have one. We have a bunch of kids who are becoming a family."
The Wildcats came out hot early as they scored on an 80 yard touchdown pass to Xequille Harry from Clay Kidman on their first play of the game, to take a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
"We wanted to try and get our quarterback into a pass that he likes, and he took shots down the field and we should have done it more, probably," Spencer said.
After forcing a Bountiful three and out, the Wildcats came right back, driving down the field through a variety of running plays. Then, Kidman completed a pass to Braxton Gunther to put Woods Cross within striking distance. Kidman would score on a one-yard quarterback draw. The Wildcats converted a two-point conversion, and took a 15-0 lead to end the 1st quarter.
The Braves came back swinging in the second quarter, driving down inside the twenty yard line. Then, on a play where Woods Cross covered the receivers downfield, Bountiful quarterback Trevor Lloyd threw an interception to Mason Newton.
"We played awesome defense," Spencer said. "I absolutely can't say enough about our guys defensively. They are the heart and soul of our team."
Bountiful would force a three and out, and the Braves got back to working the ball down the field. Team co-captain Houston Heiumuli scored on a nine-yard draw to cut the score to 15-6 with two minutes before halftime. However, a 94-yard kickoff return by Woods Cross' Brandon Kinsey reignited the Wildcats, and gave them a 22-6 lead at halftime.
The third quarter proved to be the Braves' time, as Bountiful continually controlled field position. The Braves would score on a five-yard run by Heiumuli, and picked up a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 22-14 as the third quarter ended.
However, Woods Cross made just enough plays to control the fourth quarter. The Wildcats' defense made play after play, forcing Bountiful into their final possession with about three minutes left in the game. On third and long, the Wildcats' Deion Saumalu batted down a pass and on fourth down, the Wildcats sacked backup quarterback Jordan Hayes to give Woods Cross its second consecutive win over their cross-town rivals.
* HIGHLAND 16, CLEARFIELD 8: At Salt Lake City, the Falcons ran out of time in their quest for the tying score.
Viliami Sekona carried the ball 23 times for 137 yards and a touchdown to lead Highland to the Region 6 win.
The Rams struck early and held Clearfield scoreless through the first three quarters.
In the final quarter, Brock Martinez and Jaden Markos hooked up on a 5-yard TD play.