The Stansbury football team may have wrapped up an undefeated Region 11 season with a convincing 35-10 win over Bonneville on Thursday night at Stallion Stadium, but the Stallions were anything but satisfied afterward.
The Stallions fumbled the ball six times, losing three, threw an interception and had a punt blocked for a touchdown, giving them plenty to work on as they prepare for the Class 4A state playoffs after a bye this week.
“We did some really good things and we did some really bad things,” Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen said. “I haven’t been happy all year with the full, complete game. It’s just not where it needs to be for the playoffs. We’ve got a lot of work to try to get ready for the first time.”
The Stallions (6-3, 5-0 Region 11), who clinched their second consecutive region title with the victory, relied on strong defensive play and an explosive offense to get the job done against the Lakers (4-5, 3-2). Bonneville managed just 173 yards of total offense, including minus-13 rushing yards, and didn’t score an offensive touchdown as quarterback Jonah Nelson was under pressure all night. Nelson finished 19-of-45 for 186 yards and was sacked six times — twice each by Dallon Brooks and Kyle McKenna and once each by Justin Matthews and Cole Veach. Stansbury’s defense had nine tackles-for-loss.
Bonneville took a 3-0 lead with 4:20 left in the first quarter on a 27-yard field goal after Stansbury shanked a punt deep in its own territory. The Stallions answered with an 11-play, 85-yard drive, with Silas Young scoring from 32 yards out on the final play of the first quarter to put Stansbury in front 7-3.
The SHS offense struggled in the second quarter, turning the ball over on its next two possessions, but the Stallions’ defense kept the Lakers off the board. Just before halftime, Stansbury’s big-play ability resulted in a touchdown, as quarterback Mitch Lindsay hit receiver Conner McKay in stride for a 57-yard touchdown pass that gave SHS a 14-3 advantage.
“There were some times where we looked good,” Christiansen said. “Mitch threw some nice footballs and we caught them a couple times on some play-action stuff.”
That late touchdown seemed to give the Stallions momentum. Matthews scored on a 23-yard run with seven minutes left in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 21-3, and Young sprinted past the Bonneville defense for an 80-yard TD run with 1:50 remaining. Lindsay and McKay added the exclamation point with a 79-yard hookup with 7:58 left in the game.
Lindsay was 5-for-13 for 170 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Young carried the ball 21 times for 174 yards and two scores as Stansbury had 448 yards of total offense.
The Stallions, who won their sixth region title and clinched their seventh consecutive winning season, will take the final week of the season off while other teams in Region 11 wrap things up with non-region contests this week. Stansbury will play host to the fourth-place team from Region 9 on Oct. 27 or 28 in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“We’ll just stay at it,” Christiansen said. “That’s all you can do with these young kids — stay at it and see if you can quit putting the flippin’ football on the ground.”