OGDEN — Ogden High had 19 players injured or missing for its football game against Uintah on Friday night. The Tigers put in a junior varsity receiver as the backup quarterback.
Injuries have riddled every position group and almost everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for the Tigers. Then they were really behind the 8-ball early in the first quarter.
Jace Bauer thought he had wrestled an interception at the goal line away from two other players to stop Uintah’s first drive, but it was ruled a 30-yard catch for the Utes, who scored a touchdown one play later on a quarterback run.
On Ogden’s first drive, starting running back and linebacker Chase Butler ran the ball for 5 yards and stayed down injured. He was the one player Ogden couldn’t afford to lose.
It worked out soon enough. Butler returned later on the drive, caught a 10-yard pass on fourth-and-4, setting up a Logan Shobe touchdown run the next play to tie the game.
That was all Ogden needed to find its feet as the Tigers (2-5, 1-3 Region 10) pleased the Homecoming crowd with a 35-14 victory over the Utes to snap a five-game losing streak.
Butler handed off to Shobe on the next drive, who ran untouched up the middle for a 59-yard touchdown and a 14-7 Ogden lead.
“We blocked really well on offense, everything I did I wouldn’t have been able to do without my line,” Shobe said. “I came through freakin’ huge holes, they really helped us out there and then, our defensive scheme, we knew what we were doing, stopped all their runs and did what we needed to do.”
Ogden’s defense forced three punts and an interception in the first half, eventually making way for a fast and much-needed scoring drive to take a 14-point lead at halftime.
Three plays after converting a fourth down, Tigers quarterback Isaiah Ortiz rolled to the left side and passed to Cooper Crabtree for a 15-yard score on a drive that went 66 yards in five plays and just 1:35.
Ogden head coach Erik Thompson said he was impressed with Crabtree and Ortiz. Crabtree caught six passes for 145 yards with the one touchdown after missing last week’s game with a concussion.
“Winning our first game and losing our last five, I think that got really got into our heads and I think that really made us want to work hard,” Crabtree said.
Shobe bounced outside to the right and ran for a 25-yard touchdown to make the score 28-7 in the third quarter.
Isaac Wilson intercepted Uintah quarterback Easton Taylor on the next drive, earning the right to wear Ogden’s version of the turnover chain that college football teams have taken a liking to.
Wilson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run the next drive, two plays after Crabtree rose up for a 24-yard catch on fourth-and-11.
Uintah didn’t score on Ogden’s defense again until a 54-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter against the backups, but that came after two punts and two turnovers in the second half.
“To have as many guys out, losing five straight and have something bad happen, I think I was most pleased with their response. Offense goes right down and scores and we had to convert a couple third and fourth downs to do it,” Thompson said.
The win might be the springboard the Tigers need heading into next week’s game at Cedar Valley, the new school in Eagle Mountain that has won three straight region games to improve to 3-4.
“Really, we probably left a lot of points out there. We’ve still got to clean up our execution and a lot of that, honestly, probably comes down to when you have different guys in every week and there’s just not continuity. Hopefully we start getting some guys back,” Thompson said.