Weber football erases 10-point deficit in 4th quarter to hold off upstart Layton
PLEASANT VIEW — Over the past few years at Weber High, there have been a handful of games recently that have had a certain edge to the atmosphere, either in an actual Region 1 championship game or a de-facto region championship game.
In a few weeks, Friday’s tussle with Layton High may turn out to be the former. For now, it felt like the latter.
In possibly its toughest region test so far, Weber passed, holding off upstart Layton 24-20 in a game the Warriors trailed 20-10 early in the fourth quarter.
The game-sealing play came on fourth down for Layton when Weber (5-2, 4-0 Region 1) blitzed, hit LHS quarterback Garrett Gifford as he threw and Cannon DeVries picked off the pass.
Part of Weber’s challenge Friday was defending Layton’s potent passing attack. For a drive, the Lancers (4-3, 2-2) looked like they’d throw all over the Warriors.
Gifford threw a deep pass down the middle of the field to Micah Parkinson in double coverage and Parkinson came down with the ball. On third down at the 11-yard line, Gifford lofted a perfect fade pass to the corner of the end zone to Brigham Lawson for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead.
Weber’s first two drives went into the red zone and both times, Layton got stops. The Lancers’ defense stopped Aisea Moa on a third-down run, then chased quarterback Jake Lindsay out of bounds on another third down.
Jayce Jones made a 22-yard field goal to put Weber up 3-0, then hooked a 35-yarder with the score 7-3 for Layton.
The Lancers went ahead 13-3 on the ensuing 15-play, 80-yard drive after a short scoring run by Elias West on fourth down, who nearly had 100 rushing yards by halftime.
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That drive was helped at one point when Weber hit Gifford late on a fourth-down run to the sideline, a call Warriors coaches argued to no avail. Layton was in the end zone a few plays later.
On the next drive, Weber’s offense finally got into the end zone and it turned out they just needed to be on the other side of the field. Jake Lindsay threw a deep pass to Jett Hill down the right side for an 87-yard catch-and-run touchdown to cut the lead to 13-10.
Layton has been Weber’s kryptonite the past two seasons, beating the Warriors 28-27 in the 2019 playoffs and scoring a 34-15 win last year to give WHS its only blemish in a Region 1-winning season.
Weber can say all it wants that it thinks of Layton as another game, but the reality is the Lancers have been more in the Warriors’ head than anyone else lately.
And this year, Layton has slowly turned from Region 1 question mark, to darkhorse, to contender by beating Davis and Fremont to open region play before an overtime loss to Farmington last week.
The Lancers flexed their title-contending credentials again as Gifford delivered another perfect touchdown pass, this one a 21-yarder to Nic Sanders, for a 20-10 lead in the third quarter.
They forced a punt on Weber’s next drive and had a 45-yard field goal attempt blocked to give Weber some life going into the fourth quarter. Lindsay evaded pressure and scrambled in for a touchdown run to cut the LHS lead to 20-17 early in the fourth quarter.
For what seemed like all night, Weber’s defense had issues stopping Layton. But the Warriors forced a three-and-out, then went backwards on two penalties and a loss of 5 yards on a run play, and punted back to the Lancers after wasting what appeared to be a golden chance to take the lead.
Layton punted back to Weber, and the Warriors backed themselves into second-and-24 on their own 34.
It was no matter for Lindsay, who threaded a perfect pass down the left sideline to Stockton Short for a 66-yard, go-ahead TD with 3:54 left.
That set up the final deciding sequence when Weber blitzed Gifford, hit him as he threw, and DeVries had a cherry-picked interception to end the game and give Layton a second gut-crushing loss in as many weeks.