Bountiful • The Kearns football team let up after building a 21-0 lead at the half, and it nearly cost the Cougars.
A scrappy Viewmont team scored 16 points in the third quarter, but Kearns righted the ship with a 35-yard field goal and a fourth-and-1 stop late in the game to seal the 24-16 victory.
“We knew we needed a stop, and our guys stayed low and got penetration,” Kearns lineman Marcus Toilolo said about the fourth-and-1 stop that snuffed out the Vikings’ comeback.
Kearns looked in total control early. The state’s leading rusher, James Felila, busted off a 61-yard touchdown run to open the scoring, and he followed that with a 2-yarder early in the second quarter.
The Cougars put an exclamation point on a first half that saw them outgain Viewmont 231 to 47 yards when Jordan Floyd hit Kyle Norman with a 41-yard bomb just before the half.
“It’s fun blocking for James because he hits the hole hard and keeps moving after contact,” Toilolo said about the dominant first half.
But Viewmont wouldn’t go away.
Mitch Dalley hauled in a 2-yard touchdown from Hunter Anfinson, then he scored on a safety when a bad snap sailed through the end zone. The Vikings struck again late in the third when Anfinson hit Blake Williams with a 22-yard score.
“We challenged our kids to come out hard in the second half, but you have to hand it to Viewmont for fighting back,” Kearns coach Bill Cosper said.
With Viewmont closing in, Kearns went back to Felila and its bruising offensive line. Felila finished the game with 211 yards rushing, but the drive stalled at the 18 and Kearns turned to kicker Bryce Whiting, who hadn’t made a field goal this season.
Whiting delivered under pressure to stretch the Kearns lead to eight.
“Bryce came out about four or five games into the season, and he delivered tonight,” Cosper said.
Thursday’s football scores
• Pine View 38, Bear River 21
• Tooele 45, Ben Lomond 7
• Cyn. View at Cedar
• Desert Hills 46, Hurricane 38 (3OT)
• Snow Canyon 28, Dixie 21
• Hunter 38, Taylorsville 14
• Kearns 24, Viewmont 16
• Wasatch 42, Union 7
• Granger 56, West 35
• Alta 42, West Jordan 0
• Stansbury 14, Grantsville 13
• Morgan 52, Ogden 21
Friday football schedule
• Summit Aca. at Layton Chr., 4 p.m.
• Beaver at Grand, 7 p.m.
• Bonneville at Sky View, 7 p.m.
• Bountiful at Woods Cross, 7 p.m.
• Brighton at Jordan, 7 p.m.
• Clearfield at Cyprus, 7 p.m.
• Cottonwood at Copper Hills, 7 p.m.
• Duchesne at Monticello, 7 p.m.
• East at Highland, 7 p.m.
• Emery at N Summit, 7 p.m.
• Enterprise at San Juan, 7 p.m.
• Gunnison at S Summit, 7 p.m.
• Juab at Delta, 7 p.m.
• Judge at Uintah, 7 p.m.
• Layton at Fremont, 7 p.m.
• Logan at Box Elder, 7 p.m.
• Manti at Millard, 7 p.m.
• Mon. Valley at Altamont, 7 p.m.
• Murray at Hillcrest, 7 p.m.
• N. Sevier at ALA, 7 p.m.
• Northridge at Davis, 7 p.m.
• Park City at Juan Diego, 7 p.m.
• Parowan at Kanab, 7 p.m.
• Payson at Carbon, 7 p.m.
• Rich at Diamond Ranch, 7 p.m.
• Richfield at S. Sevier, 7 p.m.
• Roy at Mtn. Crest, 7 p.m.
• Skyline at Olympus, 7 p.m.
• Syracuse at Weber, 7 p.m.
• Westlake at Herriman, 7 p.m.
• Whitehorse at Rock Point, Ariz., 7 p.m.