LEHI – Last week, Lehi quarterback Cammon Cooper threw 10 touchdown passes in the Pioneers’ 72-66 double-overtime win over Alta. This week, he had just three touchdowns, plus three interceptions vs. Pine View. Moral victory for the Panthers, right?
While Pine View didn’t get the win, the Panthers did gain the respect of the Pioneers, who are now 2-0 on the young season.
“Pine View came in with a good game plan,” said Lehi receiver Kade Moore, who scored two of LHS’s three touchdowns. “We were a little flat in the first and third quarters, but their defense was solid.”
The game had a little bit of everything – and a lot of penalties. There were more than 25 separate flags thrown and the foul-fest seemed to discombobulate both offenses. Turnovers also played a huge factor with interceptions keeping Lehi from pulling away and one big fumble costing Pine View a chance to tie.
Trailing 21-14 in the fourth quarter, the Panthers got the ball after a Lehi punt at their own 32-yard line. QB Ryan Javines hit a couple of pinpoint passes (to Michael Moten and Dallin Brown) and then Jacob Mpungi took over. The senior running back carried the ball on five of the next six plays, moving the ball inside the Lehi 10-yard line.
But on the fifth carry, a Pioneer defender wrenched the ball away from Mpungi as he reached it inside the 5-yard line. The ensuing fumble was pounced on by Lehi and created the huge turnover with 3:53 to go in the game.
“That fumble didn’t lose us the game,” Hosner said. “Fatigue caused the fumble. We ran him too many times. And what happened next was really bad. It really cost us.”
On the next play, with Pine View’s defense needing a quick stop to save the game, the Pioneers ran a simple dive. PV stuffed it, but in the excitement of the big stop, was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. The 15-yard penalty (the 12th flag of the game on Pine View) enabled Lehi to move the ball out of the danger zone and the Pioneers were able to run out the clock.
“We need to be more disciplined,” Hosner said. “That’s our fault as coaches. We need to prepare our players better so they don’t react like that when an exciting play happens.”
Early in the game, it looked like Cooper and company were starting were they left off in that shootout with Alta. The Pioneers scored two touchdowns in the first quarter – passes from Cooper to Dallin Holker from 19 yards out and Cooper to Moore from 85-yards out – and led 14-0 before many fans had even warmed up their seat cushions.
But Pine View dominated the second quarter. It started right after the second Lehi TD, with Javines leading a 10-play, 80-yard drive to paydirt. Mpungi carried on seven of the 10 plays, but the biggest game-changer came on a 50-yard pass from Javines to Dallin Brown. It was a scramble as Javines was flushed from the pocket and Brown caught it with a defender draped all over him.
The bomb came on the last play of the first quarter, with Mpungi diving in four plays later for a touchdown to make it 14-7 with 11:35 left in the first half.
The next Lehi drive was bizarre, with a total of seven penalties being called on the two teams. But it ended in bonanza for the Panthers when Jakobe Turlington intercepted Cooper and gave Pine View the ball at its own 41-yard line.
This time, it took PV just seven plays to cover the 59 yards to the end zone. Brown and Moten caught passes from Javines in the drive, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Lehi helped. Mpungi had his second TD of the game (and sixth of the year) from 5-yards out to make it 14-13 and Connor Brooksby’s extra point tied the game with 4:55 left in the first half.
Austin Peterson and Samson Doyle each intercepted Cooper before halftime to keep the game knotted at 14-14.
The only touchdown of the second half, and the eventual game winner, came on the Pioneers first possession. After Pine View was forced to punt to open the half, Cooper’s team took over at its own 40. Three runs by Lehi sophomore running back Carsen Manooken (and another PV penalty) moved the ball to the Panther 7-yard line. Cooper then found Moore in the back corner of the end zone to make it 21-14 with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
The rest of the game, the Panthers moved the ball, but could not punch it in, due mostly to penalties and two turnovers.
In fact, Pine View won the game in most facets – except the score. The Panthers had more rushing yards (157-127), fewer turnovers (4-2) and a much larger time of possession (28 minutes to 20 minutes). But Pine View also had more penalty yards (120-90) and the Panthers were 0 for 3 on fourth down in the game. PV also had a difficult time stopping the Cooper-to-Moore connection.
Moore ended up with six catches for 129 yards and two scores and Cooper had 265 passing yards.
For Pine View, 1-1, it was a game of might-have-beens. But the Panthers represented well with Mpungi rushing for 125 yards on 28 carries and Javines passing for 193 yards and rushing for 32 more. Brown had seven catches for 99 yards.
“I’m definitely proud of our defense,” Hosner said. “Yeah, we had some stupid penalties. You’ve got to control your emotions. But I was proud of our kids. Lehi’s got some great receivers and a great quarterback. Games like these prepare us for a tough Region 9.”
Pine View will play its first home game next Friday as Manti visits St. George and Panther Stadium.
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