Lehi senior defensive back River Moore set the tone in the first quarter.
The Springville Red Devils were in the middle of their first drive of the 5A high school football championship, and hadn’t given up many yards to Lehi to open the game. But Moore picked off a pass and ran it in for a touchdown, portending the type of defensive performance the Pioneers would put together.
“It just the offense know we’re coming, we’re hitting and we’re not letting back, we’re not holding out,” Moore said.
Lehi won the 5A title with a 35-6 victory over Springville on Friday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium. It’s the first championship for the Pioneers since 2017.
The Pioneers intercepted six of Springville junior quarterback Ryder Burton’s passes. Moore had three of them, tying a championship game record.
Additionally, Lehi had nine sacks as a team, forcing the Red Devils back 77 yards throughout the game in the process. The nine sacks were a new state record.
“I don’t think people realize a turnover elevates your team more than it should, and it deflates the other team more than it should,” Pioneers coach Ed Larson said. “That’s why they’re so crucial.”
Lehi junior quarterback Jackson Brousseau went 13 of 26 for 188 passing yards and four touchdowns. He found four different receivers in senior Jaxon Christensen, junior Carson Gonzalez, junior Boston Bingham and senior Steele Cooper.
Gonzalez also rushed for 133 yards.
Senior Seth Rigtrup rushed in the lone touchdown for Springville on a 4-yard run midway through the second quarter.
The Pioneers built a 14-0 lead before Rigtrup’s run, and scored 21 unanswered points to run away with the game.
Brousseau said watching the Lehi defense perform like it did gave the offense confidence to “come out there and do our job and know that we had a defense to back us up.”
Lehi beat Stansbury by two touchdowns to earn its spot in the title game. After that performance, Larson expressed disappointment in his team’s performance despite getting the victory.
But there didn’t seem to be anything to be disappointed about with how the Pioneers completely dominated the Red Devils on Friday. He said he was numb from getting showered with celebratory ice water shortly before the game ended, and that he’d probably be more reflective next week about winning the title.
But from a football standpoint, the coach was pleased.
“Right now, this is a fantastic feeling,” Larson said. “From the football side of things, this is what you’re striving for, and our kids did it.”
Lehi has only 15 seniors graduating from the team. Brousseau is already looking forward to the team’s potential for 2022.
“That’s the goal, to come back and do it again next year,” Brousseau said.