Prep football: Highland routs Mountain Crest, 37-7, in season opener
A magnificent late August thunderstorm stalked the field at Highland High School for three and a half quarters Thursday night.
It must have been drawn to the electricity on the field.
The Rams, clad in their signature black, dominated the Mountain Crest Mustangs 37-7 in the 2013 Utah high school football season opener.
Highland, powered by its versatile option offense and dominating play on defense, never gave the Mustangs a chance.
"I definitely, definitely think it's a statement game for us," said senior defensive back Ben Bergeson, who finished with two interceptions.
The game, which went into a weather delay with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter due to severe lightning, was the ideal start to the season for the Rams.
Senior quarterback Jamahl Greer accounted for three touchdowns in the romp running for two and throwing for another. Greer dictated the pace of the game through calls under center and decisions with tailbacks Vili Sekona and Adam Webber.
"It's the opening game and it's a win," said Highland coach Brody Benson. "Back to the drawing board and we'll start work tomorrow."
It'll be hard to find too many slip-ups. Greer and the offense opened the game and season with an 11-play, 80-yard drive, capped off by a touchdown run by the quarterback.
Then the Highland defense wanted a piece of the Mustangs.
And the Rams took quite a big chunk out.
Bergeson intercepted Mountain Crest sophomore Tanner Schwab and returned the pick 45 yards to give the Rams an early 14-0 lead.
Two minutes later, sophomore cornerback Andrew Parkin mimicked Bergeson, picking Schwab and returning the ball 35 yards to give Highland a 21-0 advantage.
After kicker Mike Kerr added a 35-yard field goal on the tail of Bergeson's second interception of the game, Highland marched down the field with less than a minute remaining to score on a 13-yard pass from Greer to wideout Justice Jones.
Greer's banner night continued early in the third quarter when his 65-yard scamper set up his three-yard quarterback sneak to give the Rams a 37-0 lead.
"He commanded those guys and he commanded that huddle," Benson said of Greer.
Mustang star Gaje Fergusen scored Mountain Crest's lone touchdown of the game, a 20-yard touchdown minutes before being ejected by officials for retaliation.
O Join The Tribune's Jennifer Napier-Pearce as she moderates a Trib Talk live video chat at 2:30 p.m. Friday with reporters Chris Kamrani and Aaron Falk and assistant sports editor Kevin Winters Morriss to preview the season. The panel will discuss the biggest issues as the season gets under way, including the UHSAA's move to six football classifications. Panelists also will handicap the region and state championship races. Who are the contenders? Who are the players to watch? Go to sltrib.com to find out.