During Friday night’s lopsided 35-6 win over the Hillcrest Huskies, Tooele’s football team piled on the points early and often.
The Buffaloes opened the scoring late in the first quarter, when Bram Gustin punched in a 6-yard-run into the endzone to put the team on top 7-0. Following the touchdown, both teams went scoreless until the middle of the second.
That’s when the Buffaloes turned the heat up, extending the lead by two touchdowns over the span of five minutes. Quarterback Kaden Dean scored both touchdowns, which were one-yard runs to end the half with his team ahead 21-0 — but things did not stop there.
Once Tooele received the ball at the start of the third quarter, the team wasted no time in continuing the onslaught on their first drive. Buffaloes junior Vaughn Gritzmacher, who ran for 54 yards total on five carries, finished the lengthy set of downs with a one-yard-touchdown of his own to stretch the margin to 28-0 only four minutes into the quarter.
Hillcrest was able to stop the bleeding shortly, but only because both teams fumbled the ball over the next two possessions. However, they were unable to cut into the lead, with a late-quarter turnover on downs setting up a fourth quarter deficit that was out of reach.
After the Buffaloes put up yet another rushing touchdown to bring the lead to 35-0, this time on a four-yard run by Max Fowles, the Huskies avoided the shutout in the late stages of the game with a touchdown pass. The 35-6 score held and Tooele took home a two-game-winning-streak ahead of their Sept. 22 homecoming game.
On the night, Dean threw 2-for-9 for a total 39 yards passing, but it was the team’s rushing unit that carried the load, offensively. Tooele combined for 396 rushing yards as a team, with Fowles and Rosser leading the way with 181 and 117 yards respectively.
With the wide disparity between rushing and passing yards, Buffaloes head coach BJ Hunter said the choice to run the ball was part of the game plan all along.
“Our offense is predicated on running the ball,” Hunter said. “If they can’t stop it, we don’t have to do anything else.”
Defensively, Hunter added that he was pleased with the team’s ability to stymie Hillcrest’s ground game, a department the team has improved upon over the last two weeks.
“Our defense has done a better job stopping the run the last two games,” he said. “You always need to stop the run to be successful on defense.”
Jacob Proctor led the way in tackles for Tooele with eight solo and two assists, while Rosser and Cameron Barrett recorded one sack apiece forcing a total of nine yards lost for Hillcrest.
The win brings the Buffaloes’ overall record to 2-4, with their 2-0 region record good for second place behind the 3-0 Park City Miners. Tooele’s homecoming game is this Friday against the Jordan Beetdiggers, who hold a 2-3 overall record and sit fourth in 4A Region 10.