Prep football: Weber scores 35 unanswered points to beat Fremont, win Region 1 outright
PLEASANT VIEW — The ball lay unmoving in the front corner of the end zone. One set of fans roared. The other made shocked noises.
Only the Weber High players, who had just blocked the punt that sent the ball to the end zone, seemed to know where the ball was. Konrad Kerr jumped on it and slid a little out of bounds. The referee waited a few seconds before signaling touchdown.
It gave the Warriors a shocking 28-17 lead in the third quarter, and served as the moment of bedlam that officially turned Wednesday’s Weber-Fremont game on its head and eventually into a 35-24 comeback win for Weber after it scored 35 unanswered points to cap an unbeaten Region 1 campaign and defeat its rival.
Weber (8-2, 6-0 Region 1) had already wrapped a share of the Region 1 title, but Wednesday’s game had the outright title on the line, plus the rivalry aspect and a possible No. 4 playoff seed attached to it. The win-the-rivalry-game box can be checked off and the No. 4-seed box likely can be as well.
“I’m proud of our kids, proud of our coaches,” Weber head coach Jayson Anderson said. “Our coaches have gone through a lot and the kids have gone through a lot. I think it’s always harder when the bullseye’s on your back because you’re going to get everybody’s game.”
Fremont’s region title hopes were dashed a couple weeks ago, but Wednesday’s game brought with it the chance of moving up to the No. 16 spot in the state playoff bracket and getting a first-round home playoff game, as well as a win over Weber for the first time since 2016 (in a season in which FHS also beat Roy for the first time since 2011).
Now, Fremont (4-6, 2-4 Region 1) is certainly looking at a first-round road game, owing to its No. 17 seed in the RPI rankings coming into Wednesday’s game.
At first, things were all Fremont. The Silverwolves led 17-0 in the second quarter from a Dax Iverson field goal, two Kyler Kotter touchdown runs, some big stops by the defense, good field position and a big punt return.
Kotter’s second TD run was on fourth down from 13 yards out with two broken tackles, and the Warriors were slow picking themselves off the field after the run. The team got itself into the game pretty quickly after that.
Cannon DeVries scored on a 25-yard run from the wildcat formation, then Weber got a defensive stop aided by an Aisea Moa sack.
Moa, who recently committed to BYU, had maybe his best game in a Weber uniform. He had two solo sacks, a big tackle for loss and he prevented a possible big run by FHS quarterback Cannon Koford in the first half alone.
“I’m feeling amazing,” Moa said. “We weren’t worried, we knew we were gonna come back … We talked about it all week, establish the line of scrimmage.”
Said Anderson: “I think Ice (Moa) played his best game. I think he showed right there why teams are looking at him and why he’s going where he’s going.”
DeVries caught a short TD pass in traffic from quarterback Aidan Carter with 16 seconds left in the first half to cut the Fremont lead to 17-14.
Carter took over the starting job two games ago against Olympus after starter Jake Lindsay injured his ankle and had surgery. He played well against Olympus and against Davis in last week’s rainstorm, but Fremont was the first team that had a full game’s worth of film on the junior QB.
Carter did well at times Wednesday, leading a hurry-up offense down the field late in the first half for a TD, and not so well at other times, like a few underthrown and overthrown balls, against the best defense Weber’s played since the Lindsay injury.
A 1-yard TD run by DeVries to complete a long drive and the blocked punt TD gave Weber a 28-17 lead. Fremont lined up for a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that Weber blocked and DeVries returned past midfield.
“That’s a big-time momentum swinger, and then we blocked the field goal, too,” Anderson said.
Ridge Whitney intercepted Carter in the second half on what appeared to be a miscommunication, then when Weber had the ball again, Carter later threw to Stockton Short, who turned in an 11-yard TD to make the score 35-17 in the fourth.
At 35-17, it looked like things were over with about four minutes left. Not even close. David Calvert jumped up for a ball, caught it and got a 38-yard TD out of it to cut the lead to 35-24. Fremont recovered the onside kick with 3:39 left to add to the drama, but the comeback fell short.
“They jumped on us from the start, but winning another region title, three out of the four since we’ve been here is pretty exciting,” DeVries said.
From the moment this game was given its Wednesday placement on the schedule, everyone should’ve expected things would get weird since the rivalry has been the harbinger of chaos in Weber County high school football lately.
There was the near-Weber blowout turned near-Fremont comeback in 2017, a televised Thursday night game at FHS, that saw Weber win 28-20 and end a 21-year region title drought.
There was the two-day, 21-hour game in 2018, another televised Thursday game, this time at Weber. A torrential downpour and a lightning storm stopped a muddy 10-10 game late in the fourth quarter until the next afternoon, where Weber broke the deadlock and won Region 1 again.
In 2019, another Thursday TV game at Fremont, the newly installed stadium lights fizzled out for an hour and only three light banks could be turned on again that night, causing the teams to play on one half of the field the rest of the game, which Weber won 17-7.
Last year’s Friday night, 20-17 WHS win was about as tame as it could get.