Ben Lomond football outlasts weather delay, Providence Hall in 21-14 victory
OGDEN — Lightning and heavy showers delayed the start of the Ben Lomond and Providence Hall non-region football game for more than two hours Friday night.
Once underway, the Scots fashioned a flurry of points early before holding off a furious Patriot comeback in the fourth quarter, capturing a 21-14 upset victory in the season opener for both teams.
The few hearty Ben Lomond fans who stayed for the game were thus left to ponder all the positives from the promising performance.
Fortunately, the home team provided plenty of highlights through the first three quarters and it was enough in the end.
Freshman quarterback Mananse Tuatagaloa threw two touchdown passes to lead the way in an impressive debut of his high school career.
“I was a little bit nervous, but the line did good on blocking and the receivers did their job — they’re a bunch of ballers — so I felt better at the end,” Tuatagaloa said. “The plan was to run the ball until I got my nervousness out, then open things up.”
Junior Omar Murillo kicked two field goals — a 30-yarder at the end of the first quarter, then a 36-yard boot to open the second stanza — and Ben Lomond took a 6-0 lead.
Tuatagaloa, now with the butterflies gone, connected with junior wideout Hunter Christensen on a 59-yard catch and run touchdown pass to give the Scots a 13-0 lead midway through the second period.
“It was a great catch by Hunter Christensen and he just ran it all the way back,” Tuatagaloa said. “It was just great blocking by the O-line that allowed me enough time to throw it that far.”
Sharing the love, Tuatagaloa then hooked up with his brother, Aunese, for a leaping 19-yard touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone as the lead mounted to 21-zip at the 3:32 mark of the third quarter.
“I just saw him in a matchup and I just threw it up and he caught it,” Mananse Tuatagaloa said. “We practiced that play a few times at home. It wasn’t new to us.”
With the comfortable lead, the Scots then got a little sloppy, drawing a roughness penalty on a quarterback sack, and the Patriots turned that mistake into points, getting on the board (21-8) with 9:31 left in the fourth.
Christensen intercepted a pass later in the quarter to hold off another Patriot drive, then Providence Hall added a final score with 1:39 remaining to close the gap.
The ensuing onside kick failed and Ben Lomond ran out the clock.
Apparently, the sprinklers come on at midnight at Ben Lomond, because the last two kneel-downs took place under a different kind of downpour — but no one on the Ben Lomond side of the ball cared as the celebration began.