The Stallions reached the 5A state semifinals for the second straight season, and for the second straight season they lost to the eventual state champion the Lehi Pioneers. Both teams entered the semifinals with undefeated records.
The Pioneers rolled to a 35-0 halftime advantage and were able to shut out the Stallions 42-0. Lehi moves to 6A for the 2023 football season and the Stallions will compete in the 4A classification.
“We’re at the top of the mountain, but not at the peak yet,” Stansbury coach Eric Alder said after the defeat at Rice Eccles Stadium. Alder has compiled a 39-12 record in four seasons at Stansbury. The Stallions were 22-3 in two years of competition in the 5A classification.
The Stallions advanced to the semifinals with a 42-7 home victory over Olympus in the quarterfinals at Stallion Stadium.
The No. 21-ranked Titans were fresh off a quarterfinal upset over fifth-ranked Brighton High School. Stansbury, coming off a come-from-behind win over Cedar Valley wasted no time as the semifinal matchup began.
The Stallions opened up its first drive of the first game with an early first down, following a 35-yard bomb thrown by quarterback Ezra Harris to Brock Wilson. After Harris picked up his own first down on a rushing play, the drive was capped off by Dylan Hamilton with a 14-yard touchdown run to open the scoring and give Stansbury an early 7-0 lead.
The Titans then tied the game at 7-7.
Capitalizing on a turnover, Stansbury once again brought the ball down the field and it was Harris who drove in a three-yard run to put the Stallions ahead 14-7.
Things only got worse for the Titans as the half was winding down, with a failed drive leading to a lengthy Stallions drive. In the final four minutes, Stansbury brought the ball down from midfield and found itself in scoring position with less than 30 seconds remaining.
With 21 seconds left, the Stallions converted on a third-and-three when Harris tossed a short pass to Hamitlon to put the team up 21-7 at intermission.
The Stallions scored 21 in the third quarter to win the game 42-7 and earn a second trip to Rice Eccles in as many years.
Notable stats from the quarterfinal victory included 91 yards rushing by Harris, 75 from Helu, 71 from Brock Wilson and 24 from Hamilton.
Harris connected on 10-20 passes. Trent Jones caught four balls for 89 yards, Hamilton four for 30, and Brock Willson nabbed a 30-yard pass.