Editor’s note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.
Herriman • Jack White wasn’t about to let his Herriman squad lose its home-opener.
The Herriman quarterback threw for three touchdown passes to lead the Mustangs past West High, 32-20.
After forcing an early turnover, White and Herriman (1-1) were off to the races Friday night. The quarterback moved the Mustangs down the field with a deep pass, setting up a 32-yard rushing touchdown by running back Caden Syddall.
On the ensuing Herriman drive White connected with Michael Falatea for a 57-yard touchdown pass.
Herriman wasn’t the only team that got some big chunk yard plays on the night, though. West’s Ma’a Foloti had several deep balls to his wide receivers before being sidelined with an injury late in the game. Late in the first quarter, Villiata Tua’one had one of the more impressive catches of the game as he brought down a pass from Foloti over multiple Herriman defenders. That pass led to the Bronsyn Saena touchdown that put the Panthers on the board.
It wouldn’t be enough to get the Panthers past Herriman.
White was responsible for the play of the game in the second quarter. After recovering a botched snap, White was able to corral the ball while escaping several West defenders. Somehow as he was fleeing the pocket and rushing to the near sideline he connected with Lalo Tafisi who was able to bring the ball down and in for another Herriman touchdown.
West was quick to respond on their next possession, this time as Foloti connected with Kingsley Brown for the score.
Herriman’s following possession was short-lived as Dallas Vakalahi sacked White and on the following play White coughed up the ball which the Panthers recovered. But on West’s first play after the fumble, Brown fumbled the ball, giving it back to Herriman with plenty of time left in the half.
White was quick on the trigger once play resumed, connecting once again with Falatea in the end zone.
“Last game I dropped one that was deep so it felt good to catch it this time with all my teammates counting on me,” Falatea said.
The 74-yard touchdown was the last score of the half, giving the Mustangs a 27-14 lead.
Syddall called the performance the best he’s seen from White since joining the team.
Once the second half rolled around, things started slow for both teams. According to Syddall things were ‘lazy’ for the Mustangs.
The highlight of the quarter came after West was pinned on their own 8-yard line. Herriman’s Jaxson Fullwood was able to drop the West quarterback in the end zone for the safety.
Syddall was also able to kick a 41-yard field goal to round out the Mustang’s score for the night before West’s Bronsyn Saena rushed for one more Panther touchdown.
The victory for the Mustangs was sealed by Max Robinson who snagged the lone interception of the game with under five minutes remaining. Herriman was able to run the clock down to secure their first win of the 2021 season.
West will now turn their focus to an undefeated American Fork team while Herriman will look to avenge their playoff loss to Skyridge. But being in one of the hardest regions in the state is something the Mustangs aren’t going to take lightly.
“We can’t let down,” Syddall said. “In the second half we let up, we just can’t do that. First-half momentum is a key throughout the season and we will be great.”