×
×
homepage logo

Weber High football gets playoff monkey off back, advances to all-Region 1 quarterfinal

By Patrick Carr - | Oct 29, 2021
1 / 11
Weber High quarterback Aidan Carter (11) reaches back to throw as Layton's Zach Barber rushes during a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
2 / 11
Weber High's Logan Payne (38) sacks Layton quarterback Garrett Gifford (11) during a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
3 / 11
Layton High's Porter Hansen (13) powers through potential Weber tacklers during a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
4 / 11
Weber High receiver Jett Hill turns upfield with the ball against Layton during a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
5 / 11
Layton High's Garrett Gifford (11) hands off to Tyler Wensel (7) during a 6A second-round playoff game against Weber on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
6 / 11
Students yell during a 6A second-round playoff game betwen Layton and Weber on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
7 / 11
Weber High running back Logan Payne celebrates a touchdown against Layton during a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
8 / 11
Students gesture during a 6A second-round playoff game between Layton and Weber on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
9 / 11
Weber High's Luke Willden (89) reaches down to recover a fumble against Layton during a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
10 / 11
Layton High's Porter Hansen is seen during a 6A second-round playoff game against Weber on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.
11 / 11
Weber High's Luke Harris (82) gets to Layton quarterback Garrett Gifford (11) for a sack during a 6A second-round playoff game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, at Weber High School in Pleasant View.

PLEASANT VIEW — It had been four years since Cannon DeVries threw a touchdown pass to Aisea Moa.

There was no time like the present, not just for the two future BYU teammates to connect in the air again, but for Weber High football to wave goodbye to its recent playoff demons.

A 30-yard TD double-pass from DeVries, who hasn’t played quarterback since his ninth-grade year, to a wide-open Moa served as the dagger with 3:39 left in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 35-21 win Friday night against Layton that sees Weber advance to next week’s 6A state quarterfinals.

The celebration on the Moa TD catch also served as the moment that two seasons worth of pent-up heartbreak and emotion poured onto the field.

The Warriors (9-2) had lost in the playoffs at home the past two years against Region 1 teams it had defeated in the regular season (WHS beat LHS 24-20 this September). Now, they’ve won nine games in a row for the second time in five seasons.

Friday’s game at first followed a similar script to the losses in 2019 and 2020. This time, Weber advanced to the final eight.

“It means a lot, it’s something — it’s all that work kind of paying off a little bit, and the same message is we’re not done. We gotta keep preparing and prepare the right way so we can keep this thing going,” Weber coach Jayson Anderson said.

The Warriors got up early, 14-0. Aidan Carter completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Logan Payne and then a 65-yarder to an in-stride DeVries. Carter threw four touchdown passes with zero interceptions, overcoming a rough start to the game.

At the same time, the Weber defense wreaked havoc on Layton’s offensive line and quarterback Garrett Gifford while LHS didn’t have starting running back Elias West due to injury.

“This week and last week were the best practices we’ve had all year, so I think everyone was just locked in and ready to go,” DeVries said.

The Warriors sacked Gifford four times in the first half, including twice on fourth down. Teegan Humphreys had two of the four sacks. The Weber defense kept the pressure on in the second half and sacked Gifford another handful of times.

Eventually, Gifford threw a short touchdown pass to Nic Sanders to get the Lancers on the board, though they missed the extra point and trailed 14-6.

Layton took over at its own 20-yard line with 1:56 left in the first half after a missed Jayce Jones field goal and engineered a scrambling, fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants drive to get down to the Weber 4.

That’s where Sanders caught a short TD pass followed by Porter Hansen lofting a jump pass on the two-point conversion to Brigham Lawson for a 14-14 game.

LHS fans roared their team into the locker room while the Weber fans were much quieter.

“We feel like we missed a lot of opportunities in the first half to blow the game open, and just told them to stay the course,” Anderson said.

Pretty soon after the second-half restart, Warriors fans were at full throat when Payne caught a TD pass from the same play he caught his first one. That made it 21-14.

Layton’s second-half drives went like this: interception by Moa, punt, touchdown run by Cameron Garcia, punt, interception by DeVries and the end of the game.

For this LHS group, it was the end of a turnaround season that started with offseason lifting a year ago this week.

There’s plenty for the Lancers to be happy about. Their 6-5 record represents a huge leap forward after a combined record of 7-32 from 2017-2020. At the same time, Friday’s loss to Weber concluded a season that could’ve been a lot more than it was.

LHS’ four regular-season losses were by seven, seven, five and four points. Friday’s 14-point loss was the team’s first double-digit loss of the season.

“We were able to work hard, put our work that we did in the offseason to work, I’m proud of the boys. The boys worked hard, they played hard and they did great, so it was a great season to turn the program around like this,” Layton coach Fotu Katoa said.

Weber’s Luke Willden caught a 28-yard TD pass to make it 28-14 near the end of the third quarter on practically the same throw that Carter threw to Payne for their two TDs. Garcia’s bulldozing, 31-yard TD run gave Layton life, but the DeVries-to-Moa TD double pass made Weber’s sideline erupt.

Since the injury to Weber starting QB Jake Lindsay, Weber’s been putting DeVries back in the wildcat formation to give different looks on offense. But the double pass? It was the perfect situation for it, WHS offensive coordinator Zac Connors said.

“(DeVries is) just such a difference-maker, every time the ball touches his hands, whether he’s gonna hand it off, he’s gonna run it, he’s gonna throw it, you just find ways to be creative to try and get him involved,” he said.

For good measure, DeVries intercepted Gifford to take more time off the clock. Eventually, the clock hit zero when Layton had the ball, making official the win Weber had been seeking for two years.

Newsletter

Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)