The challenge made was one James Cordova has presented a thousand times before.
Seconds after the Pine View Panthers executed a perfect onside kick to put the ball back in the hands of All-State quarterback and BYU commit Kody Wilstead, the Judge Memorial coach asked his defense to give him one more series.
Judge Memorial 18, Pine View 16
O Pine View QB and BYU commit Kody Wilstead threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Bulldogs.
» In his first career start under center for Judge, QB Ayden Auer scored a touchdown and tossed a two-point conversion.
» Judge plays at 4A Woods Cross next week
"I need you to play your hearts out," Cordova pleaded.
The Bulldogs had emptied their tank. While the Panther star heated up as the night wore on — he went 5 of 6 on the game-defining drive — Judge ultimately found retribution for last year’s 38-24 season-opening loss when Pine View’s last-gasp 29-yard field-goal attempt drifted wide right.
Headlined by a fantastic defensive performance, the defending 3A state champion Bulldogs beat last year’s 3AA runner-up Pine View 18-16 on a rainy Friday night in downtown Salt Lake City.
"[Pine View] came in and we were up on them at halftime last year and they came back and rallied and ran us off the field," Cordova said. "To compete with these guys, they’re our measuring stick."
A year ago, Pine View scored 24 second-half points and Wilstead threw for 411 yards in the victory.
On Friday night, Wilstead threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns, but the Bulldog defense made the 6-foot-6, strong-armed quarterback work for every yard. When he wasn’t flushed out of the pocket by Judge’s defensive line, the linebacker corps made sure Wilstead couldn’t find comfort — in the pocket or on the run.
"This year, he never got a chance to set his feet," Cordova said. "As a quarterback like that, you let him set his feet, it’s over."
Judge senior Michael Kearns gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with his 62-yard first-quarter touchdown scamper. Pine View responded on the ensuing drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Wilstead to receiver Steve Bangerter. Judge and Pine View traded field goals — a 48-harder by Bulldog Tim Hemmersmeier and a 29-harder by Panther Ethan Baer — as Judge held a 10-9 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
First-year starting QB Ayden Auer later scrambled in from 4 yards out for a touchdown and hit receiver Sport Falemaka for the two-point conversation to put the Bulldogs up 18-9. The Judge defense held the Panther offense to a turnover on downs. Two plays later, Judge was on the Pine View 2-yard line, but penalties derailed a promising drive. Hemmersmeier’s 29-yard attempt hit the upright.
Wilstead warmed up, inching Pine View within striking distance with his 18-yard touchdown pass to Preston Allen with 2:02 remaining.
This year, however, Judge ensured a Panther-dominated second half wouldn’t be part of the script.
"We were able to hold them to 16 points," Cordova said. "I still can’t believe that."
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