2A football: South Summit overpowers Grand for crown (with video)
Ogden • South Summit waited 25 years for a state championship.
The Wildcats wrapped it up in about 10 minutes Saturday.
South Summit, as it did to most opponents this season, overpowered Grand County with speed and power to claim the Class 2A state championship with a 42-8 rout at Weber State.
"It's a great feeling. There's nothing like it," said senior Carson Freestone, who scored three rushing touchdowns.
South Summit (11-1) turned two early Grand turnovers into touchdowns, and Freestone's 5-yard TD run with 1 minute, 53 seconds left in the first quarter effectively put the game out of reach at 21-0.
The championship is South Summit's first since 1988, and third overall. It was the first for South Summit coach Jerry Parker after two finals losses.
"It's been 25 years, and we have been close so many times," Parker said. "We needed it. We needed it. I'm so happy for everybody."
Grand (10-2) turned over the ball four times and failed to generate any offense against a quicker Wildcat squad. The Red Devils were outgained 404 yards to 203, including being outgained 116-113 in the first half by South Summit running back Colby Averett alone.
South Summit linebacker Daxton Hansen intercepted two Jacob Francis passes and sacked the Grand quarterback once.
"We've got a very strong defense. It pulls us through every game," said Hansen, with tears running down his cheeks. "And here we are, No. 1. ... It feels amazing. Indescribable."
The Wildcats' only hiccup this season was a two-point loss to North Summit, which cost them the 2A North title. In chilly conditions Saturday night, the closest thing to a South Summit hiccup was a few dropped passes that could have gone for touchdowns.
But moving the ball through the air wasn't necessary. Not with a rushing game that racked up 353 yards 238 of those in the first half.
"I challenged the offensive line and told them, 'It's on you. We're going to play hard and fast, and it's on you.'" Parker said. "They took it to heart. Those kids came out and fired out and took care of business."
Averett (147 yards) led the way with a bruising, downhill style that left Grand defenders prone on the Stewart Stadium turf. Averett scored on runs of 18 and 4 yards en route to a 35-0 halftime lead.
"That's just what we planned on kicking off, getting good field position and jumping on them early," Averett said.
Grand prevented the shutout with a 3-yard Koi Cook touchdown run with 30 second left.
O South Summit wins its first state title in 25 years with a dominant effort on both sides of the ball.
• The Wildcats force four turnovers and turn two into first-quarter touchdowns, including one of Carson Freestone's three scores.