SALT LAKE CITY – Mountain Crest linebacker Tanner Lofthouse had 17 tackles and the Mustangs defense forced three turnovers in a 17-7 4A semifinal win over Stansbury Thursday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Mustangs shut out Stansbury in the first half and the Stallions’ lone score came in the third quarter. The rest of the game, Lofthouse and the stingy Mountain Crest defense kept Stansbury far from the end zone.
Mt. Crest opened the game with an impressive drive, culminating with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Brady Hall to Nick Nethercott to make it 7-0. Twice more in the first half the Mustangs drove deep into Stansbury territory. The first penetration ended with an Eli Wells 33-yard field goal that made it 10-0 early in the second quarter. Wells, who hit the game-winner against Dixie last week in the fourth quarter of the quarterfinals, missed a long field goal later in the game.
The Mustang defense then forced a fumble, with Lofthouse jumping on the loose ball. Mt. Crest then took just five plays to cover 30 yards, with Beau Robinson diving in from 3-yards out for a 17-0 lead.
The only score of the second half for wither team came when helped cap the only sustained drive of the game for the Stallions with a 5-yard run by Tavita Gagnier. That cut it to 17-7, but Stansbury would not threaten again as the Mustangs defense, with help from a decent run game, put the semifinal in the books.
Robinson, who scored both touchdowns for Mt. Crest last week in an 18-17 win at Dixie, finished the night as the top rusher. He ran for 117 yards on 21 carries. Hall added 49 yards on 14 carries and also passed for 139 yards on 10 for 15 attempts.
The Mustangs, 12-1, have now won seven games in a row and will play for the 4A state title next Friday morning (Nov. 17) at 11 a.m. This will be the eighth appearance in a state championship game for the Mustangs, who are 3-4 all time in title games.
Mt. Crest will play the winner of Friday’s semifinal between Orem and Sky View in the championship game. The Mustangs lost to Sky View 16-13 in their only defeat on the season. The Bobcats scored a touchdown on the last play of the game in that contest. Orem and Mt. Crest have not met each other on the football field in this century.
The Mustangs’ last state title was in 2005, when the Mustangs beat Highland for the 4A title behind quarterback Brady Zimmerman and receiver Cameron Webb.
In Thursday’s other action, 5A semifinalists squared off with Skyridge downing undefeated Corner Canyon 34-33 and Lehi defeating Springville 41-21. The two winners will face off for the 5A title next Friday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
This Friday’s action has the two 6A semifinals. Lone Peak will battle East at 11 a.m., followed by Bingham vs. Herriman at 2:30 p.m. The other 4A semifinal will then cap the day with Orem and Sky View going toe-to-toe at 6 p.m.
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