The Lehi High School football team took control early against the Golden Eagles and despite a plucky effort by the visitors, the Pioneers chalked up their fourth straight victory 37-14 on Friday night (Sept. 1).
Lehi won the toss and elected to defer, so Maple Mountain chose to receive to start the contest. The Eagles weren’t able to move the ball very far and senior Boston Fabrizio made another big punt return to set his team up nicely at the 33-yard line.
Lehi junior quarterback Jett Niu completed passes of 12 yards to sophomore running back Devaughn Eka and 18 yards to senior wide receiver Jace John to move the ball quickly to the 3-yard mark. Eka took it in from there. The PAT attempt never got off so the score remained 6-0 with 8:50 to go in the first quarter.
The Eagles were again limited to a couple of series, but this time and for the rest of the night, they kicked the ball away from Fabrizio. It bounced out of bounds at midfield.
On first down, Niu connected with senior tight end Grayson Brousseau for 41 yards. A penalty took the ball back five yards, but Niu found Brousseau again on the next play for the 14-yard touchdown.
This time the PAT by junior kicker Gavin Fenn was good, pushing the Pioneers out in front 13-0 with 5:09 still left in the period.
Lehi’s next possession ended in an interception at the 2-yard line. Maple Mountain managed to hang onto the ball long enough to finally reach the endzone with the short run and the Eagles cut the advantage to 7-13 with 7:05 remaining to the break.
Not to worry. The Pioneers repadded the lead with a 35-yard field goal by Fenn at the 3:30 mark and senior tight end Kaleb Moore made a great diving catch for a touchdown with under 35 seconds to play to make it 23-7 as the teams headed to the locker room.
The game got a little ugly in the second half with penalties hampering both teams. The visitors benefited from a few during their first possession of the third quarter and they eventually capitalized with a touchdown to narrow the margin to 14-23 with 2:34 to go in the period.
That was as close as they got. Two drives in the fourth quarter were ended by interceptions made by junior defensive back Ozzie Williams and senior defensive back Isaiah Allen.
The one-two punch was completed by another pair of Pioneer touchdowns. After he made a key 17-yard pickup earlier in the drive, sophomore tight end Bryton Niu finished it with a 2-yard touchdown catch from his big brother less than a minute into the final period.
After the Williams-forced turnover and a great grab in double coverage by junior wide receiver Mays Madsen at the 4-yard line, Lehi’s offense sputtered a bit.
However, the Pioneers finally converted on the short field when Moore made a second spectacular catch going to the ground in the endzone at the 9:33 mark, this one for three official yards. Fenn completed the tally for the night with his PAT.
For more photos and information about this game, check out the Sept. 7 issue of the Lehi Free Press.
The Pioneers (4-0) host Herriman (3-1) on Friday (Sept. 8) at 7 p.m.