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High school football: Mountain Crest crushes Ogden for moral victory

October 25th, 2013 Posted in Sports

Story and photo by Tavin Stucki

HYRUM — It wasn’t pretty, but Mountain Crest beat the now 2-8 Ogden Tigers 44-18 for little more than bragging rights at the bottom of Region 5 Thursday night.

Just one year after a double-overtime loss in the Utah 4A State Championship game, the Mustangs finished the season 2-8 and missed the playoffs entirely — something they haven’t done since 2003, the year before head coach Mark Wootton joined the staff.

Mountain Crest beat the Ogden Tigers 44-18 Thursday night. Photo by Tavin Stucki.

“I know this year the wins and losses haven’t been as much as what we wanted,” Wootton said. “But when you look at these kids, they’ve won three region championships. They’ve played for a state championship. They’ve been in the semis. A lot of those kids that are seniors this year helped us do those great things.”

But those days are past.

Though the scoreboard showed a blowout similar to what it might have been against a bottom team like Ogden in the glory years, Thursday’s game was plagued by sloppy play and penalties from both sides.

On the opening snap, Ogden quarterback Cameron Mortensen’s pass was thrown several yards behind his receiver’s 7-yard in route and fell harmlessly to the turf. About a minute later, he fumbled the ball away on his own 26-yard line to Mountain Crest defensive lineman Jake Fiefia.

The turnover set up a 9-yard quarterback scramble by senior Brockton Eliason to give Mountain Crest a 7-0 lead.

About a minute later, Mortensen connected with senior running back Josh Shackleford, who slipped behind the coverage on a wheel route up the left side for a 76-yard pass.

The catch would have evened the score, but Ogden sophomore kicker Eli Booth’s point-after attempt was blocked.

After the teams traded offensive touchdowns and Ogden’s 2-point conversion attempt failed, the score was 14-12 midway through the second quarter.

Wootton said Ogden was giving his team all they could handle.

“They have great speed,” Wootton said of the Tigers. “They came out and played hard. I talked to their coach after (the game) and it’s just getting the kids to stay around. Our freshmen played their freshmen earlier and they had a pretty good crew. They’re doing a lot of really good things.”

Both teams’ offensive lines struggled to block, and both quarterbacks were hit with big-yardage intentional grounding penalties in the game.

The Mountain Crest defensive pressure earned a sack-fumble deep in Tiger territory. Mustang defensive end recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, giving Mountain Crest a 21-12 lead with less than four minutes to play in the half.

A bad snap on an Ogden punt a minute later led to a safety and a 23-12 lead. With 26 seconds left in the half, Eliason threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Taylor Mendenhall to make it 30-12 at the half.

The Mustangs were poised to score on the other side of halftime, but a 95-yard fumble return by Shackleford pulled the Tigers to within two scores.

Mortensen finished the game with 13 completions on 24 attempts for Ogden, with 207 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Tigers, finished with -54 yards rushing.

Mountain Crest finished off the final game of the season with a 44-18 win, Wootton’s 150th career victory.

“It’s been a tough year as far as wins and losses go, but we have a lot of kids who just played their heart out as hard as they could,” Wootton said. “It didn’t go our way all the time, but they’re great kids and they have a lot of courage. I’m really proud of them.”

The Mustangs put up 452 yards of total offense, backed by Eliasen’s 14 completions on 23 attempts for 182 yards and three touchdowns through the air.

“It’s pretty cool,” Wootton said, “pretty cool for these kids to go out with a win.”

NW

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