Sandy • Jordan, the defending Class 5A state champs, might have been easy to overlook in the state tournament after losing five games in the regular season.
But after Friday's convincing 62-42 victory over Pleasant Grove team, the Beetdiggers and star junior quarterback Austin Kafentzis appeared poised to make another serious run at the title.
Kafentzis ran for five touchdowns and passed for another to outduel the Vikings' Jerimiah Evans, who turned in another strong game in a contest featuring two high-powered offenses.
The Jordan quarterback said the team's early losses had a lot to do with working new players into the system.
"At the beginning of the year, we had a lot of new guys," Kafentzis said. "They needed to step up. We are figuring out what defenses are trying to do. We are strengthening our weaknesses. And there are a lot of guys who have stepped up."
Despite the fact 104 points were scored, defense played a big role. Jordan created four Pleasant Grove turnovers in the decisive second half.
It also was a game of spurts. The Beetdiggers rolled out to a quick 14-0 lead on a 4-yard run by Kafentzis and a 64-yard scamper by Clay Moss.
But then Pleasant Grove, led by Evans, Spencer Romney, Jacob Ivan and T.J. Wind, scored the next 21 points to take a seven-point lead. At that point, Jordan reeled off five straight touchdowns to guarantee itself a berth in next week's semifinals against Brighton.
"It was a weird game," Jordan coach Eric Kjar said. "We are doing a good job and playing better."
Kafentzis, who had scoring runs of 4, 19, 1, 11 and 1 yards and hit Ryan Shaver on a 6-yard scoring play, credited the defense.
Jordan 62, Pleasant Grove 42
O The Beetdiggers force 4 second-half turnovers.
• Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis, a Wisconsin commit, runs for five touchdowns.