Prep football: Bountiful stuffs late Bonneville drive, holds on for 20-14 win
BOUNTIFUL — Bonneville and Bountiful have each been about as average as it gets so far this season.
Heading into the contest at Larry Wall Stadium, overall, the Redhawks had outscored the opposition by two points (82-80), while the Lakers trailed by a pair (149-151). A combined record of 4-5 was a decent representation of the performance on the field.
However, even in the age of RPI, what really mattered is that — along with Northridge — each was tied atop the Region 5 standings with 1-0 records.
While neither squad will wrestle with the Knights until October, the winner Friday night would gain the upper hand with only a five-game league schedule.
It was the Redhawks who made the most of their opportunity in a tightly contested homecoming matchup. After an otherwise stellar game, quarterback Koy Dixon was intercepted by Bountiful’s Jacob Brooks with less than two minutes to play and the ball on Redhawk 45, sealing a 20-14 win for the home team.
In the first half, the combination of Bountiful quarterback Max Barker’s right arm and receiver Teagan Dougher’s ability to find openings in the Bonneville defense set the tone.
The Redhawks dominated early, jumping out to a 14-0 lead. On Bountiful’s first possession, the Redhawks were met with little resistance and moved the ball down the field in chunks. The drive culminated in a 21-yard Barker-to-Dougher completion that Dougher caught just short of the goal line before strolling in at the 9:12 mark of the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Bonneville struggled to string together much offensive momentum. Despite moving the ball into Bountiful territory, each of its initial drives resulted in punts.
The Redhawks extended their lead to 14-0 late in the second quarter with a 93-yard drive. Drew Bowles moved them out of the deep hole with a 25-yard run before Barker went to work. With the ball at the Laker 47, he found Corbin Cottle for a 26-yard pass play, before finishing the drive by rifling a 21-yard pass to Dougher down the middle of the field.
The Lakers finally got into a groove offensively to narrow the deficit to 14-6 with 16 seconds left in the half.
Quarterback Koy Dixon used both his arm and legs to move Bonneville down the field. With the ball resting at the Redhawk 35, Gavin Pelagio-Williams made a nice catch over the middle over a Bountiful defender and outraced the Redhawk defense to pull the Lakers to within a touchdown.
Bountiful attempted a failed onside kick to open the second half and the Lakers were back in business. Dixon, who rushed for 178 yards on 29 carries, broke out of a congested pack and capped a Bonneville scoring drive with a 24-yard touchdown scamper.
Qwestyn Fielding then completed a pass in the back of the end zone to Avery Eberhard for a two-point conversion to make it 14-14.
The Lakers had a chance to forge ahead but a pair of failed fourth-down attempts inside the Redhawk 25 came back to haunt them.
In between defensive stands, Bountiful tacked on what would end up being the winning points with a 78-yard drive. Cottle finished it off by diving into the end zone from the 1 with 7:25 to play.
Behind a bunch of tough-yardage runs by Dixon, the Lakers answered by getting the ball to Bountiful 25. But Dixon was marked short on a fourth-and-1 to turn the ball over with two minutes left.
The Lakers forced a Bountiful punt with still over 90 seconds to play, setting up the turnover that closed out the victory for the Redhawks.