MORGAN -- The Trojans' horses were running wild Friday.
With its plethora of running backs churning out 254 yards and three touchdowns on 48 carries, state 3-A North runner-up Morgan High got its bounce-back win.
"I love the physicality of the running game, the fact we can run it down their throat," said Trojans senior running back/linebacker Kade Carrigan. "The running game is effective because we play as a team, for sure."
Carrigan rushed for a game-high 125 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in Morgan's 32-13 quarterfinal-round victory over Richfield on a beautiful fall day at Trojan Field.
Morgan (9-2 overall) advances to the 3-A semifinals on Nov. 9 versus 3-A South champion Manti (9-2) at Southern Utah University.
"Manti or Emery, it doesn't matter," Carrigan said. "We'll play whoever is there."
The Trojans, making their 46th playoff appearance, improved to 48-39 in the playoffs and 7-3 against the Wildcats in the all-time series.
Richfield (7-4) and Morgan were playing for the first time since 1991.
"We expected to see quite a bit of the running game, and we played assignment football," said Carrigan, who had one of the Trojans' three second-half interceptions.
Morgan converted those three turnovers into 14 points and did not turn the ball over.
"Holding onto the ball is something we stress a lot," the 18-year-old Carrigan said. "If you don't turn the ball over, you're not beating yourself."
The Trojans generated 370 total net yards, and only committed one penalty for 15 yards.
Senior quarterback Ben Saunders completed 4 of 11 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Carrigan had two receptions for 62 yards, including a 30-yarder for a touchdown at 1:53 of the second quarter.
"Whoever scores is fine," he said. "The receiving touchdown was all the offensive line and the play call. I just ran the right route. It was the right play call at the right time."
Ben Holland had 69 yards on 12 carries and Matt Murdock scored the game's first touchdown on a 13-yard run before being injured.
Murdock was on crutches on the Morgan sideline during the second half. "We kind of dedicated the second half to Matt, who may have a hip injury," Carrigan said.
"The team is very close. We're friends and we all hang out," he said. "When we come out and play as a team, our offense is unstoppable. We like to use the term synergy. That is the theme of the team, to play together rather than as individuals."
Christian Elton and Cole Wilkinson had the other two Trojans' interceptions.
"We stayed focused in every practice this week, not looking ahead at all. Our sole focus was Richfield," Carrigan said. "We let Judge Memorial take it to us last week (in a 28-14 road loss). We wanted to come out strong, be the aggressor and set the tempo."
Richfield sophomore quarterback Brandon Willardson, who was making his second start in place of injured senior Spencer Henderson, was 13 of 27 for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wildcats, who trailed 18-13 at halftime, had 303 total net yards. Richfield ran for 122 yards on 27 carries, but was shut out in the second half.
Contact reporter Dennis Larsen at 801-625-4264, email@example.com.