Grizzlies unable to overcome costly mistakes in football opener (with photo gallery)

LOGAN – Late-game mistakes proved costly in Logan High’s first football game of the season. Box Elder went on to beat the Grizzlies 23-10 in the second game of the inaugural Rocky Mountain Kickoff in Maverik Stadium Friday night.

“(Box Elder) did a great job,” Logan head coach Jayson Anderson said. “At the end of the day they made less mistake than us and scored more points.”

Anderson said he doesn’t believe it is time to hit the panic button. He said his team, for the most part, executed properly and should be able to improve and minimize mistakes.

“We’re a good football team,” he said. “As young as we are, we’re going to be very competitive all year. I mean, we stuck in with a team that is consistently in the playoffs in 4A.”

Box Elder picked up an early 14-0 lead, but Logan battled back and cut it to 14-10 early in the fourth. It came when a Kris Hernandez punt return gave the Grizzlies good enough field position to set up a 22-yard Jonathan Guadarrama field goal.

At that point Logan had momentum with 11:40 left to play, but eventually failed to capitalize.

A costly personal foul on the Grizzlies gave Box Elder a fresh set of downs after what was sure to be a punting situation for the Bees, but Logan’s Eric Donaldson was able to put a stop to the drive when he came up with a big interception at the Grizzly 12-yard line. Logan was unable to move the ball and found itself punting after a three-and-out. That’s when the snap flew over the punter’s head for a safety. Box Elder was now up 16-10 with the ball and only 6:33 on the clock.

The Logan defense was able to back Box Elder up the following drive, but the Bees found a way out. Box Elder faced a third-and-16 on its own 38, but quarterback Dylan Rodriguez completed a pass over the top that eventually went 62 yards into the endzone and put Logan in a two-touchdown hole with barely more than 3 minutes left on the clock.

“We had the one mishap on the big pass play,” Anderson said. “It’s one of those you wish you could get back. It’s one of those things where I second-guessed myself and called something. I should have went with my gut, but it happens sometimes.”

It wasn’t just late-game mistakes that cost the Grizzlies. Box Elder scored the first points of the game after Logan’s punt from its own endzone went out of bounds at the 18-yard line. It took the Bees just three plays to get running back Kole Evans past the goal line.

The Bees’ second score came when Rodriguez led his team on a long drive down the field and finished it when his 23-yard scramble went down the sideline and into the endzone. Logan retaliated the very next series as sophomore quarterback Jonny Parkinson attacked through the air. After completing a 10-yard pass on a crucial third-and-7, he connected with wide receiver Charlie Jensen for a 17-yard gain and eventually completed the 22-yard touchdown pass to junior Brandon Dodd.

“Jonny (Parkinson) is going to be a special player,” Anderson said. “He is very poised. He understand what defenses are doing. He’s going to be a special player. His preparation before the game was outstanding.”

Logan will travel north to Smithfield to take on valley-rival Sky View Friday night.

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