Highland senior Ben Bergeson didn't think his first-quarter interception return would end up being the difference in the Rams' game against Herriman on Friday night.
But it was.
Bergeson picked off a pass by Mustangs quarterback Kyle Strauss and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown, leading Highland to a hard-fought 7-3 victory.
Bergeson's interception was one of four turnovers by Herriman, which dominated the second half but couldn't manage more than Colt Andolsek's 45-yard field goal in the third quarter.
"We've been saying all week we needed to come out and fight for four quarters and finish the game," said Highland coach Brody Benson. "Defensively, we did that."
On offense, the Rams didn't do much, especially in the second half, when they gained exactly one yard on their first three possessions.
Late in the fourth quarter, however, Highland picked up two first downs and devoured most of the last five minutes.
Herriman's desperate drive in the final 90 seconds reached the Ram 37-yard line, but Bergeson's second interception of the game ended it.
"Offensively," Benson said, "I thought we left a lot of opportunities on the field. â¦ If we want to be as good as we think we can be, we have to clean that stuff up."
Bergeson's first interception came with 3:15 left in the opening quarter.
Facing a third-and-seven from the Highland 33, Strauss was hurried by a fierce rush and didn't get much on his pass.
Bergeson was waiting.
"I saw the [receiver] come out to the flat and that's my job to take that," he said. "The defensive line did a good job to put pressure on the quarterback and he made a bad throw. I was able to break on it and get to the end zone."
Strauss was injured on the next series and did not return. His backup, Braydon Kener, played decently but threw two interceptions and fumbled once against the Rams, who improved to 2-1 this season.