Five lead changes in the game so far…Morgan leads Juab 21-13. A touchdown and two-point conversion give Juab a one-point lead, 22-21, with just over three minutes left. Six lead changes. A 30-yard field goal by Morgan with just over a minute left swings the score in the Trojan’s favor once again, 24-22. Seven lead changes. A long pass completion by Juab to Morgan’s 16-yard line with 14.8 seconds on the clock. A final pass on fourth down and 10 is caught by the Wasps but stripped by the Trojans. Time expires. No more lead changes!
The Morgan team ecstatically celebrates their 24-22 victory as the hometown crowd finally takes a breath. Morgan’s senior kicker Carson Flitton bookended the Trojans’ scores with his first field goal (37 yards) at 7:17 in the opening period and his final, 30-yard, game-deciding kick with a 1:14 in the fourth. Sandwiched between, early in the second quarter (11:49), was another 29 yarder. 10 points for Flitton on the day!
“I couldn’t be prouder of our long snapper, holder, kicker, and field goal team for coming through in the clutch,” Morgan Coach Kovi Christiansen reported. “I loved to see the fight, and there were big plays on both sides. It was an unbelievable high school game. It is so nice to have a kicker with experience and guts.”
Christiansen continued, “I was so proud of our kids for hanging in there. Juab was a great team and was prepared for us. I think we could have played better, but it was good to get a close game like that under our belt.”
With seven lead changes, tenacious defense and aggressive offense, the game was a thriller for fans on both sides of the ball. After Flitton’s first field goal, Juab responded with a touchdown and two-point conversion four minutes later to take the 8-3 lead. Flitton’s second field goal brought Morgan within two, 6-8, but on the Juab’s next drive, Morgan senior Colten Hansen picked off the ball at the 23-yard line and returned it for six. The Flitton PAT gave Morgan a 13-8 lead with 10:23 remaining in the first half.
Neither team scored again before the half and well into the third quarter. Morgan stopped Juab on third and goal with an interception by Brenon Sanders that was forced by Dexter Gilson, but Juab was later able to connect on a three-yard pass with 4:46 remaining in the third period. The Wasps’ two-point attempt failed, but they regained the lead 14-13.
At the 2:37 mark, the Trojans scored on a hook-and-ladder play. Quarterback Carter Thackeray passed the ball to Jack Cameron who lateraled it to Trevor Jarrett and ran in for the score. Back-up sophomore quarterback Ryder Lish came into the game and converted the two-point pass to Tyson Hurd to give Morgan a 21-14 lead.
The Trojans were able to hold the Wasps until late in the fourth quarter. After Juab intercepted the ball on the 8-yard line, the Morgan defense made three goal line stops, but Juab slipped into the end zone on fourth down on a one-yard run and followed it with a two-point conversion to take the lead 22-21 with 3:22 remaining in the game.
The Trojans final drive involved a third-and-9- conversion with a pass from Thackeray to Cameron and a a long pass from Thackeray to Hurd moved the ball quickly down the field. After an injury time out, a Juab time out, a Morgan time out and an officials’ time out, Flitton was finally set to take his final field goal with 1:14 on the clock. Flitton’s fabulous foot drove the ball straight through the uprights to put Morgan ahead 24-22.
But Juab wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. They connected on a deep pass that placed the ball on Morgan’s 16-yard line with 14.8 seconds remaining. The Trojan defense held, and on the final play of the game, 4th down for Juab, Hansen stripped the ball after the Wasp receiver caught it and sealed the victory to the delight of the exuberant, but exhausted fans.
Morgan, the lone surviving 3A North team, now advances to the semifinal game against North Sanpete, the #2 seed from the 3A South, on Saturday, November 3, at 11 am at Provo High. The Hawks prevailed over Union 21-7 in their quarterfinal match up. The #1 3A South seed, Summit Academy, who beat Richfield 40-21, will face Juan Diego, the #3 3A South seed, at 1:30 at Provo High in the other semifinal game. The Soaring Eagle topped Grantsville 41-14 in their quarterfinal.