Stansbury’s fast-paced and opportunistic offense scored 21 first-quarter points and held on to defeat a talented Mountain View team 31-28 Friday night on homecoming.
“It was an excellent win over a great opponent that had only one loss on the season and was up to about fourth in the RPI,” said Stansbury coach Eric Alder. “Our offense exploded in the first quarter. We moved the ball and executed like a machine. Players make plays and players win games and we made enough plays to win the game.”
The Stallions improved to 4-1 in region and 5-3 overall and jumped to fifth in the Class 4A Ratings Percentage Index.
Stansbury took the opening kickoff, drove 63 yards and scored in about 3 minutes and 45 seconds with sharp execution from the offensive line and big gains from speedy running back Tommy Christopherson, who scored the opening TD on a 4-yard run.
Quarterback Kru Huxford also connected with Cayden Clark on a 15-yard pass to keep the drive on the move.
Mountain View responded with a 65-yard TD drive on its second possession of the game to knot the score at 7-7 with 4:38 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Stallions were soon back on the move behind the running of Christopherson. He took off on 30-yard run on one play to move the ball to the Bruin 11-yard line, and scored two plays later on a 4-yard run to make it 14-7 with 2:09 remaining in the first.
“A big key to the win was our play up front in the trenches. I give all the credit to our offensive line. Our defensive line also made big plays when we needed it,” Huxford said.
The defense made a big play right after the second Stallion touchdown when Daxton Brown caused a fumble recovered by Payton Didericksen at the Bruin 26-yard line.
Stansbury struck quickly on a 26-yard TD pass from Huxford to Jordon Snow. Kolton Loertscher’s third PAT kick in the quarter made it 21-7 Stallions in the first 12 minutes of the game.
Alder said his offense played a bit sloppy in the second quarter while he was fuming over a ball placement on fourth-and-2. It would have given the Stallions a first down at the Bruin 25 early in the second quarter.
“I take responsibility for it. We never played quite the same after that,” the coach said.
Neither team scored in the second quarter, with the Stallions up 21-7 at halftime.
The Bruins started the third quarter the way the Stallions started the game with a long TD drive. With an uptempo pace, the Bruins drove 80 yards for a score capped off by a 25-yard TD pass to slice the Stallions’ lead to 21-14 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter.
The visitors were on the march again late in the third quarter and drove to the Stallion 6. On fourth-and-6, the visitors lined up for a field goal, but instead of kicking, the holder pitched to the kicker who tried to run for a TD. Stansbury’s defense forced him out at the 3.
“We were ready for it. I saw the guy take off and I hit him low and he went out at the 3,” said Huxford, who also plays cornerback on defense.
Stansbury was able to move the ball out to its own 44 and flip the field with a punt to the Bruin 16 early in the fourth quarter.
The Stallion defense then stepped up and forced a punt that was blocked by Andrew Hanson and recovered by Kyler Kolb, setting up the Stallions at the Bruin 4-yard line.
Christopherson rushed up the middle for a TD on the next play to make it 28-14 with 10:52 left in the game.
The visitors responded with a 75-yard TD drive to slice the score to 28-21 with 8:52 remaining.
The Stallions punched back and drove the length of the field to add a 22-yard field goal from Loertscher to go up 31-21 with 3:47 remaining.
The Bruins then drove 65 yards to score a TD with 1:06 left to make it 31-28.
Lawson Wihongi recovered the ensuing onside kick to secure the victory for the Stallions.
Christopherson ran for 177 yards on 38 carries, while Huxford passed for 76 yards with five completions. Snow caught three of those passes for 40 yards.
Several players recorded multiple tackles in the victory including Jake Nunley, Didericksen, Huxford, Mason Stewart, Wihongi, Clark, Kolb, Dillon Carpenter, Hanson and Brown.