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Herriman • The Syracuse Titans overpowered the Mountain Ridge Sentinels to clinch a 35-23 victory to move onto the quarterfinal round.
Syracuse’s Tyson Stapley had a big night for the Titans. Stapley opened the scoring with a long touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jake Hopkins.
Hopkins and Stapley were on fire all night, including two big pass plays late in the first half: the first was a pass from Hopkins to Stapley from their own 39-yard line all the way to the Mountain Ridge 30-yard line and the other was a 25-yard touchdown pass on 3rd and 10.
Mountain Ridge would find the endzone before the half, as quarterback Ayden Helm would find Collin Sublette in the endzone a few plays after Ethan Garn put the Sentinels deep into Syracuse territory.
With the Titans up 14-10 at halftime, head coach Michael Knight’s message was simple.
“We needed to finish,” Stapley said of the Syracuse coaching staff’s message at halftime. “The past few games we did not finish at all, we would come out alright but then we wouldn’t finish.”
Knight urged his team to keep the tempo up and not fall for the tricks the Sentinels were throwing at them. Those words proved to motivate the rest of the game.
Syracuse was forced to punt on their first drive of the second half. But then it all started going south for the Sentinels. Helm threw his first pick-six of the game once they got the ball back. The ball was overthrown, which made it easy for Brevin Hamblin to pick it off and take it in for the score. The same situation would happen later in the game but this time Daxton Faddis would be the one scoring for Syracuse.
The Titan defense would make life extremely hard for Helm, who would miss multiple plays throughout the second half after taking a beating. His toughness would help his team though as he would get them to the 1-yard line with his feet and Uluave would finish the drive off with the touchdown.
Braxton Stark would score the game-winning touchdown for Syracuse with 3:14 left in the game while Uluave would score the final touchdown of the season for Mountain Ridge with 1:06 left in the game.
Syracuse will now take on Weber in the quarterfinals of the 6A playoff bracket. The two teams met earlier this season in which Weber came out on top. The rematch between the two schools will be next Friday, Nov. 5 at 6 pm at Weber High School.
It was an emotional night for Mountain Ridge. Prior to kickoff, the Sentinels held a moment of silence for Ali Schweitzer, the mother of senior Conner Schweitzer who passed away early Friday morning. Syracuse players could be seen giving Conner flowers at midfield during the coin toss.