In a crazy finish to the high school football regular season, the lights beamed a little bit bright in Salt Lake at Judge Memorial on Friday night.
The region title and playoff seeding was on the line as the Morgan Trojans put their undefeated region record on the line, hoping to stop a Judge team that had been on a roll after two early losses.
Entering the game, Judge was also trying to avenge the first round loss they suffered at the hand of the Trojans last year in the state playoffs. Both teams brought in offenses that were proven to putting points on the board, but just a week earlier Judge had shut down the vaunted Manti offense.
Judge struck first with a 2-yard run from Max Barnett, which was a sign of things to come for their offense. The Trojans were unable to score in the first quarter for the first time all season, but opened up the scoring in the early moments of the second quarter.
Matt Murdock took the ball and made his way 11 yards for the touchdown. That tied the game for a short period of time, then Judge took to the air to take the lead 14-7. Quarterback Sean McMininee rolled out and launched the ball to Kaden Elliss, who was open near the sideline. He went untouched into the end zone for a 49-yard play.
The Trojans were able to move the ball and took a considerable amount of time off the clock but struggled getting the ball into the end zone.
Judge started the third quarter right where they left off in the second by giving Barnett the ball. He opened up the scoring off the second half with a 5-yard run, which gave them a commanding 21-7 lead.
The Trojans responded with a lengthy drive, which consisted of a heavy load of running from Murdock. But he and the offense were stopped short of the end zone on third down at the 1 yard line. A pre-snap penalty pushed them back five yards, which made all the difference. Ben Saunders was unable to avoid the sack and Judge took over. That goal line stand put the Trojans in an unfamiliar situation being down by two touchdowns heading into the fourth quarter.
The Trojans’ defense kept Judge off the board, but their offense was unable to capitalize. Saunders did finally find the end zone at the end of the game on an 11-yard scramble, which brought the score to 28-14 for Judge.
The loss dropped the Trojans to 8-2 and 4-1 region play. They will have a home game in the quarterfinals as they will face Richfield High School this afternoon at 4 p.m. Richfield enters the game losing three of their last four games, but with a 7-3 record. They are lead by Brodie Ellis, who has 1,145 rushing yards with 9 touchdowns.