PLEASANT VIEW — The last time Weber High’s football team lost a region game was Oct. 21, 2016.
The Warriors had won 13 straight region games since then and two region titles in a row.
On Thursday night, at Weber and on television with many in the state watching, the Syracuse Titans ended the streak.
Sophomore kicker Bennett Carlson kicked a game-winning, 37-yard field goal right down the middle of the uprights with one second left on the clock, completing an epic 24-21 win for the Titans (3-1, 2-0 Region 1).
“I’ve never been that nervous before,” Carlson said. “Weber’s a really good team, hats off to them, the’ve been pretty good for the past two years now. It’s ecstatic, I don’t know how else to explain this. I’m kind of speechless.”
Carlson’s kick came at the end of a game that had all the makings of another blowout Weber win the rest of the region’s become accustomed to.
The Warriors opened up the second half with a 10-play, 87-yard drive, capped by Logan Payne’s 7-yard touchdown run to increase their lead to 21-7.
Syracuse took four plays and 1:33 to respond, scoring a TD with a 46-yard pass from quarterback Bridger Hamblin to receiver Ty Burke.
Burke drew tons of attention on his side of the field, leaving fellow wideout Sam Adams with 1-on-1 coverage. Adams caught 12 passes for 155 yards, most of which came in the second half.
After gaining 11 yards on fourth-and-10, a visibly limping Hamblin found the end zone on a 3-yard scamper to tie the game 21-21 after earlier sustaining what head coach Mike Knight believes is a sprained right ankle.
Syracuse didn’t necessarily stop Weber’s high-powered rushing attack, but the Titans changed how their defensive linemen were attacking in an effort to slow down the Warriors’ dominant offensive line.
It worked well enough to give the Titans time to climb back in the game, time they took advantage of.
“To be able to have the kids make the plays at the tough times, it shows what type of kids they are. The coaches have prepared them so well, it means everything to me,” Knight said.
The teams combined for eight turnovers, seven coming in the first half.
Three of them were on consecutive plays, all fumbles. After the third fumble, Hamblin successfully carried the ball for 2 yards and Weber’s public address announcer said over the loudspeaker, “No fumble on the play.”
Weber started the game with an eight-play drive that ended with Kohl Hogan’s 1-yard touchdown. On the next play, Aisea Moa forced a Syracuse fumble with a hard hit on Burke and Tyler Short recovered the ball.
Payne scored on 2-yard run four plays later to make it 14-0 early in the first.
The Titans responded early in the second on a 3-yard Hamblin TD run. That was set up by a Trey Schofield interception and a trick play when Kobe Rusch took a handoff, then threw the ball to Burke for a 74-yard gain.
“You gotta give those guys credit, they came ready to play and at the end of the day, they made plays and we didn’t,” Weber head coach Jayson Anderson said. “There’s times in the first half, even in the second half where we made critical errors that cost us ... and you know what, that’s the difference in the game.”