Prep football: East pulls away from Bountiful
Bountiful seemed primed for one quarter to do what no other team had done this season hang with East.
Then the second quarter began.
The Leopards exploded for 28 points and 292 yards in the second quarter alone en route to a 49-14 victory over the visiting Braves on Wednesday. Just like that, a one-touchdown game became a 28-point halftime lead.
"They feed off each other," East coach Brandon Matich said about his players. "This is a momentum-type team. It's not just about Ula [Tolutau]. We've got a lot of other guys that can make some plays. We spread it around as much as we can for an option team. You never think you're going to score that many points."
The points, however, matched the average offensive output for the Leopards, who clinched at least a share of the Region 6 title with Woods Cross. East (5-0 region, 9-0 overall) can clinch outright with a win at Kearns next week.
Three of East's four touchdowns in the second quarter covered 61 yards or more. Isaac Valles threw scoring passes of 87 and 83 yards to Joe Tukuafu and Preston Curtis, respectively. Tolutau cut his way through defenders for a 61-yard scoring run to cap the outburst just before halftime.
"[Bountiful] was flowing really hard to the ball, especially to Ula," Valles said. "So we threw some dump passes to see if we could get behind them. We're always happy for another person to get it. If someone's doing good, we're all doing good."
At the start, however, Bountiful looked well prepared. Quarterbacks Trevor Lloyd and Jordan Hayes carved through the defense for completions as the Braves opted for a fast-paced, no-huddle attack.
"If you play a Larry Wall-coached team, you know they'll come in well prepared," Matich said. "We knew we were going to get their best punch. It seems every time we play them, it's a 0-0 first quarter. It takes a quarter for us."
The Leopards weathered the storm and threw their own lightning strikes a quarter later. Tolutau had 126 yards rushing and three touchdowns by halftime, while Valles threw for 249 yards and two scores on just six completions.
The action slowed considerably in the second half, but the Leopards still reached 500 yards of total offense (563) and added two more touchdowns. Bountiful, meanwhile, gained only 27 yards after halftime.
"It's just a special group," Matich said. "I can't put it into words. They play hard and they're passionate. They're a good group of dudes."
Tolutau finished with 140 yards rushing and Valles had 265 yards passing. Tukuafu had 159 yards on three receptions to pace the Leopards.
Lloyd and Hayes combined to throw for 199 yards for Bountiful.