On paper, Friday’s gridiron match up between 5A Mountain Crest and 3A Bear River looked like a mismatch. Unfortunately for the Bears, it was.
The Mustangs scored on their first seven possessions of the first half on the way to a relatively easy 49-13 win in Garland.
Next up for the Bears is another tough non-region match up in Brigham City against Box Elder. Mountain Crest hosts valley rival Logan next Friday.
Friday night it was all about the Mustangs. Just 45 seconds into the game. Bubba Thompson found pay dirt from eight yards out to give the Mustangs a quick 7-0 lead. After the Bears went three and out, the Mustangs drove 58 yards for their second score. Kort Fuller scampered 51 yards on a beautiful counter, putting the ‘Stangs up 14-0 with 9:26 to go in the first quarter.
The Bears did battle back. Keyed by a 35 yard Gage Kaneko run, Tristan Merritt found Gunner Sorensen on an 18 yard scoring strike, to pull within seven with 5:25 to go in the first. But the Mustangs exploded to build a 49-7 halftime lead.
The Mustang’s Sirrill Hall provided some pre-half fireworks. He picked off a Merritt pass near the MC 30 yard line, and then weaved his way for an exciting 70-yard touchdown return.
The Bears where thin, playing without three key injured starters; senior Bridger Beus, junior defensive lineman Josh Madsen and sophomore Easton Payne. Then they lost Kaneko and Sorensen to injury. They were forced to play many sophomores and one receiver came up with a huge touchdown catch.
With 11:03 to go in the fourth, Merritt set up in the pocket and threw a bullet to sophomore receiver Jacob Olsen, who was racing over the middle towards the goal line. A Mustang defender tipped the ball but somehow Olsen was able to corral it for a 15 yard score.
Tanner Schwab completed 7 of 9 passes for 142 yards and three scores in a half of play. Thompson had 43 yards rushing while Fuller added 83 and three scores. Payton Thomas caught one pass for 51 yards and a score. The Mustangs had 325 yards of total offense.
Bear River totaled 202 yards of offense, including 117 yards rushing. But two interceptions hindered any progress. Kaneko had 50 yards rushing while Sorensen had 29 receiving yards and one TD.