Herriman • Limiting what a football team can do offensively makes it easier to defend. That was the game plan for Herriman during Friday's Class 5A first-round playoff game against visiting Layton.
The Mustangs shut down the Lancers' potent running game and built a 25-point lead in the fourth quarter en route to a 44-33 victory. It was Herriman's first playoff win in school history, excluding a 2011 play-in game against Springville.
"It's a huge step only four years into it," Herriman coach Dustin Pearce said. "Our motto has been either you make history or you're history."
Davis Marriott and the Layton rushing attack were limited to just seven total yards on 22 carries. Forced to throw the ball, Hunter Evans threw for 381 yards on 47 attempts. That played perfectly into the Mustangs' hands.
"That's been their bread and butter," Pearce said. "That's what they want to do. We knew if we could force the pass, it would keep our offense on the field. Any time someone becomes a little one-dimensional, it's a little easier to defend. We knew we had to keep the ball out of [Marriott's] hands."
Brandon Farmer and Braydon Kener both rushed for more than 100 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Farmer posted 107 yards, and Kener, who kept Layton's defense guessing with play fakes, finished with 169 yards.
Kener, who gained 125 yards rushing by halftime, pulled off runs of 30 and 41 yards in the first half after faking handoffs to fullback Beau Bequette.
"We work on it a lot at practice," Kener said. "It keeps defenses on their toes the whole time. All thanks to the line. The holes were there. This is huge for the school. It sets the tone for the whole year and everyone gets into it."
Herriman had lost first-round playoff games to Cottonwood, Logan and East in its first three years before defeating Layton. The Mustangs will host Brighton, a 42-15 winner over Cottonwood, in the quarterfinals next week.
Layton pulled within nine points (28-19) on Evans' 1-yard keeper late in the third quarter before Herriman reeled off 16 straight points. The Lancers mounted another rally after trailing 44-19, but they ran out of time.
Kener attempted just six passes, missing his first three before connecting with Josh McMillin on a 24-yard touchdown. Bequette added some tough yards up the middle, rushing for 59 yards.
"We wanted to come out and establish the line of scrimmage," Pearce said. "We were two or three plays from being up more in the first half."
Meanwhile, Marriott, who came in with 1,287 yards rushing, was limited to 7 yards on 12 carries. However, he did finish with two touchdowns. Evans was under heavy pressure all game and was sacked three times. Harris LaChance and Dylan Bennett were among those applying the pressure.
Conner Johnson, Josh Willden and Austin Muramoto each had an interception for the Mustangs.
O The Mustang defense limits the Lancers to 7 yards rushing on 22 carries.