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The already slim number of undefeated teams in the state of Utah got slimmer tonight as Mountain Ridge took down West Jordan in a thrilling overtime victory, 32-26.
Mountain Ridge quarterback Hayden Helm’s 9-yard touchdown run in overtime gave the Sentinels the victory.
“I knew it was there,” Helm said. “I was so excited. I saw them, they were coming after [running back Cade Uluave] and the hole was wide open. My line did great.”
The Sentinels scored on their first possession of the game on an Uluave rush. The junior was featured multiple times on the opening drive, with multiple chunk plays before his touchdown.
On Mountain Ridge’s next possession, quarterback Ayden Helm was able to find Ethan Garn deep downfield to get the drive going. But after Helm took a big sack, the Sentinels sent lefty kicker Brody Laga out for a near 50-yard field goal. Laga’s kick would be good from the distance and extend the lead, 10-0 with 6:59 in the first quarter.
Things started moving along for West Jordan once they got the ball back and they finally got on the scoreboard when Octavian Heflin broke off a 28-yard run. That 10-7 score would hold at the end of the first.
With 42.7 seconds left in the half Allan Moea’i would barrel his way into the endzone to give the Jags the lead. The PAT attempt was no good, resulting in a 13-10 score at the half.
“I just told them we’re in this thing like we know it’s gonna be a dogfight, they’re a good football team and you know just keep playing, we got to come out and make plays. We got to get a stop on defense and then get a score,” Mountain Ridge head coach Mike Meifu said.
Mountain Ridge got to work in the second half, feeding Uluave on the first two plays of the drive. Both of those huge runs lead to the Sentinels being in the red zone rather fast. Helm took it himself from 10-yards to score and re-establish the lead. After another West Jordan three-and-out Semisi Kinikini extended the Sentinels lead with another touchdown. Laga’s PAT attempt would be no good.
At the end of the third, it was 23-13 and looked as if Mountain Ridge was going to cruise to an easy victory.
But Heflin and the rest of the Jags team weren’t going to go down without a fight. On the opening play after the touchdown, the running back took the ball from the WJ 40-yard line all the way to the MRHS 5-yard line. Dillon Kuehne would be the one to catch quarterback Boston Farmer’s touchdown pass on fourth and goal to close the gap to 23-19 after the missed PAT.
It was then the Sentinels turn to go three and out, giving the ball back to West Jordan with 5 minutes remaining in the game. Carter Baldwin then scored a touchdown for the Jags that would put them back in the lead.
With 4 minutes left on the clock, Mountain Ridge was down by just three points but the Sentinels were forced to punt.
West Jordan would give the ball back to MRHS with 1:11 left in the game. Mountain Ridge’s Jaren Dickson had a huge grab for about 15 yards plus a roughing-the-passer call that put the Sentinels on the West Jordan 33-yard line.
Meifu sent Laga out for the game-tying kick a few plays later and the sophomore would nail it from the West Jordan 37-yard line sending the game to overtime.
“I love that guy. He is my hero. Brody is a stud, he’s going places after high school,” Helm said.
In overtime, West Jordan started with the ball and came up empty-handed after an incomplete pass and some runs that led to nothing.
But when the Sentinels got the ball, the team had all the gas left in the tank. Uluave opened things up by getting the team from the original line of scrimmage all the way down to the 9-yard line. On the following play, the Jaguar defense keyed in on Uluave leaving Helm wide open and able to scurry into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown.
This dramatic win for Mountain Ridge was an extremely important comeback game after losing their first game of the season last week to Bingham. Helm says that that loss was a fluke and this should prove that the team is one of the best in the state.
Mountain Ridge takes on 5-3 Riverton next week. Meanwhile, West Jordan will look to get their impressive season back on track when they take on Bingham.