Sandy • Alta and Jordan combined for five touchdowns in the opening quarter Friday.
But when the pace slowed down, it was the visiting Beetdiggers who utilized an effective run game and got some big defensive plays in a 42-28 victory.
“We still needed to get going after a couple of losses,” Jordan running back Clay Moss said. “They’re our rivals, and this is really going to get us going.”
Jordan (4-3, 2-0) got its usual productivity from quarterback Austin Kafentzis, who finished with 227 yards passing and 154 on the ground.
Kafentzis hit wideout Mason Kruger with an 11-yard TD pass for a 28-21 lead with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left in the first half. The Beetdiggers trailed 21-7 earlier in the contest.
But the end of that play saw Kruger, who led Jordan with 111 yards receiving, get ejected for an unsportsmanlike penalty. Jordan increasingly utilized the tough running of Moss to sustain drives and eventually open a 42-21 lead after Kruger’s ejection.
“It was crucial,” said Moss, who rushed for 121 yards, about the increased emphasis on running the ball. “It got the clock going and it just beat ’em up physically.”
Alta (2-4, 0-2) jumped on the ’Diggers early thanks to a pair of touchdown runs by Tanner Sansom.
Hawks quarterback Chipper Lucero passed for 369 yards, but Jordan ended three Alta drives with interceptions. Jordan also got a defensive touchdown early in the second quarter when Moss stripped Alta receiver Logan Harrison and ran 28 yards to pay dirt.
“It’s going to be tough everywhere you go in this region,” Jordan coach Eric Kjar said. “You always think your backs are up against the wall every game. At least that’s our mentality.
“We’ve done that [fall behind early] a couple of times against these guys. We did it last year too. We just needed to regroup and do things the right way.”
Jordan faces undefeated Bingham next week, while the Hawks travel to Copper Hills to continue Region 3 play.