Bountiful• They don't name football stadiums after unsuccessful coaches, so you have to think that veteran Bountiful head man Larry Wall knows a little bit about high school football as he prowls the sidelines of the field with his name on it.
One of the things he has always done is to schedule the toughest teams he can find in preseason, a fact that didn't seem to intimidate Bountiful on Friday night as it upset defending Class 5A champion Lone Peak 31-21 in the season opener.
"Coming into the start of a new year, you are always optimistic," said Wall. "We always play the toughest people we can play. They were the very best team in the state last year and I think they will be again this year."
It didn't look like Bountiful would stay in the game, as Lone Peak quarterback Braden Miles drove the Knights, who were undefeated a year ago, to an easy touchdown with just over a minute gone in the game, with Miles diving across the 1 for the score.
But the home team put together an impressive first half on offense, as Ryan Curtis scored on a 45-yard punt return and Trevor Lloyd hit Tanner Redding on a 66-yard pass play. Lone Peak tied it on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Miles to Talon Shumway, ending a wild first quarter.
Caleb Maynard gave Bountiful the lead for good on a 25-yard field goal, and the home team took a 24-14 halftime lead after Lloyd hit Sam Merrill on a 5-yard strike.
Both teams seemed to lose their offense in the third quarter, which turned into a punt festival. Lone Peak experimented with junior quarterback Baron Gajkowski to open the second half, but went back to Miles late in the third period.
And Miles almost brought the Knights back, bringing them to within 24-21 on a 23-yard pass to Shumway with 10:19 to play. At that point, Bountiful put together a game-changing 80-yard drive despite losing Lloyd to a knee injury. Backup Jordan Hayes was forced to play quarterback in the middle of that decisive drive, hitting Redding on a key pass play that set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Jakob Hunt with 3:01 to play.
"We were a little outmanned size-wise," said Wall. "Conditioning helped us out a little. Our guys worked real hard this summer and we had the advantage in conditioning. â¦ Hays came in and did a nice job. What we always talk about is that, when your time comes, you've got to be ready to fly."
Storylines Bountiful 31, Lone Peak 21
R The Braves score 24 of their points by halftime in knocking off the Class 5A champ Knights.
• Lone Peak looked like it would roll early, scoring its first touchdown just over a minute in.