BRIGHAM CITY -- If the Bees are going to win a share of their first league title since 2010, they will have to do it in Cache Valley.
Box Elder converted three Mustangs' turnovers into 17 points Wednesday in a decisive 31-8 Region 5 victory over defending league champion Mountain Crest at Ferguson Field.
"I can't think of a better feeling," said Bees senior quarterback Shad Watson, who ran for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass in his final regular-season home game.
Box Elder, 4-1 in its last five games, beat the state 4-A runner-up Mustangs -- on a four-game slide -- for the first time since 2007, ending a six-game skid versus Mountain Crest.
"We knew we had to beat Mountain Crest to be in the running for the league title," said the 18-year-old Watson, who has verbally committed to BYU-Hawaii for basketball.
"To me, Mountain Crest is our biggest rival, even bigger than (cross-county rival) Bear River," he said. "We always know Mountain Crest is going to play us tough. I totally respect each team."
Undefeated Logan has clinched no less than a tie for the league title with the Bees playing there Oct. 24 in their Region 5 finale.
"If we play together like we can, I don't think anybody can beat us," Watson said. "It's all three phases -- offense, defense and special teams -- that synergy. This was one of our better games, and while there are some things to fix, it was overall a pretty solid game for us."
Teegan Hubbard, Breckin Gunter and Connor Udy each had an interception, and Jayk Brooks -- who ran for a 49-yard touchdown at 11.3 seconds of the third quarter -- also blocked a Mustangs' 35-yard field-goal attempt.
"This game we wanted to come out fast, play hard and keep the pedal down, which I feel like we did," Watson said.
"We wanted to keep up the energy and not relax like we did after scoring first against Sky View (in a 28-23 road loss on Oct. 10)."
Box Elder built a 24-0 lead at 8:07 of the third quarter on Peter Gerlach's 30-yard field goal. He was wide-left from 35 yards, but Mountain Crest was assessed a 5-yard running into the kicker penalty.
"I like to balance it out and keep the defense guessing," said Watson, who threw a first-quarter interception that the Mustangs failed to capitalize on.
"We have so many good backs and a lot of weapons on this team. It makes it a lot funner for me."
Mountain Crest will miss the 4-A playoffs for the first time since 2004, a run of nine consecutive postseason appearances.
Contact reporter Dennis Larsen at 801-625-4264, email@example.com.