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Four-star recruit Lander Barton shines on both sides of the ball in Brighton’s win over Murray

The Bengals turn their attention to the postseason following a 59-6 victory over the Spartans

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brighton High School linebacker Lander Barton at football practice in Cottonwood Heights on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.

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Murray • Brighton High School closed out their regular season with a blowout win over Murray High School on Wednesday night 59-6.

With this win the Bengals finish the season with a 7-2 record overall and a 4-1 record in region play.

“This is a big one because this solidified our region championship, so we’re region champs back to back and it just puts us on a good roll going into next week and playoffs,” senior Lander Barton said.

The Bengals were certainly rolling Wednesday.

After Murray went three and out on the first possession of the game, Bengals halfback Kace Gurr was given the ball on the first play from scrimmage for Brighton and took it 40-yards to the house for the touchdown.

Brighton’s next possession ended with a 7-yard pass touchdown from Jack Johnson to Barton to push the score to 14-0. Later in the first, Gurr would break off another huge touchdown run, racing 44 yards untouched to put the score up 21-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, Brighton opted for the onside kick which they recovered. That set up another score, as Barton once again found the endzone on a delayed shovel pass from 20-yards out. Barton would finish his scoring for the night with a pick-six with 7.5 seconds left in the first quarter.

When he took the field again, this time on defense he recorded three sacks in back-to-back defensive drives for Brighton. His best of the night pinned Murray 7-yards behind the sticks.

Barton did not play in the entire second half but could be seen coaching and supporting his teammates on the sidelines throughout the remainder of the game.

“He’s an impact player. I mean he’s kinda known for that. He made some changes offensively and defensively to impact the game and that’s what we count on him for,” head coach Justin Hemm said after the game.

Dante Mcmaster also got in on the scoring action for Brighton early in the second quarter. His 29-yard TD put Brighton up 42-0 with 9:59 left in the half.

The Bengals final touchdown of the half came on the heels of a 29-yard breakaway rush from Gurr. He was able to punch it in from a yard out on the following play.

Brighton was able to kick a field goal as time expired in the half to put the lead at 52-0, as the teams headed into the half.

Bowen England scored the final points for Brighton late in the third quarter as he high-pointed the ball over a Murray defender and then broke several tackles to find the endzone.

Murray’s lone points of the night came as the game clock expired. Quarterback Kyler Nielson rushed the ball into the endzone to avoid the shutout loss on senior night. Even though the win wasn’t at home Barton still felt like it was a good way to end the regular season.

“I feel good. It was a fun one. I mean it was a good team win because everyone was doing stuff and you know I had opportunities to make plays. I did and it was just a fun game,” Barton said.

According to Hemm, Brighton is now getting some players back from injury who will be key in this team making a deep run into the playoffs. Even with those players coming back Barton says there are some key things the team needs to focus on if they want to win it all.

“We need to stop giving up some drives because we gave him some drives tonight. So we got to we’re got to eliminate that and clean some stuff off and I think it would be good,” Barton said.

Brighton will wait to find out who their first opponent will be on their road to a state title, while Murray will most likely start prepping for the 2022 season after finishing 3-6 this season overall and 0-5 in region play.

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