Preston High football got back on the winning side of the field in game three of the season. They won a non-conference battle against the Star Valley Braves, 28-27.
During the first quarter, Star Valley controlled the ball and the clock with an 89-yard drive across the gridiron. The Braves scored and left Preston with only one minute in the first quarter.
In that time, Preston's Emery Thorson drove 21 yards in three back-to-back plays. Brecker Knapp gained the first down with a quarterback keeper, and followed up with Thorson again. Knapp ended the drive by completing a 53-yard touchdown pass Tyler Lindhardt.
Second quarter started off with Thorson rushing 20 yards. Knapp completed another long touchdown pass, this time to Chevy Nelson, that put Preston in the lead 12-7.
Back on defense Corbin Winward made a big stop and Colton Francis made a tackle in the backfield. Then Chevy Nelson intercepted Star Valley's pass, but the celebration was shorted lived, when Knapp's pass was intercepted at the 30-yard line.
"I saw Star Valley's offense running trips and knew if I could get in front of their receiver, I could get the interception," said Chevy Nelson. "I made the move. The clouds opened up and I caught it."
Charles Iverson tackled the Star Valley ball carrier in the backfield and caused a fumble, but in the scramble Star Valley recovered. Owen Judd, Rhett Larson, and Colten Francis made big stops and held Star Valley's offensive at the goal line until the Brave's quarterback completed an outside pass to score.
Preston was left with only a few minutes on the clock for the first half and Knapp set them up for a drive-by, completing to Ashton Madsen, then Lindhardt. Thorson rushed, followed by a completion to Davon Inglet. Preston was stopped at the 15-yard line on downs. Owen Pearson kicked a field goal and put Preston back on top 15-14.
Third Quarter started out with Preston's offense controlling the clock. Thorson, Inglet, and Charles Iverson moved the ball down the field with the help of the offensive linemen. The drive ended when Brecker Knapp ran in a touchdown from the 2-yard line, putting the score at 21-14 for Preston.
Fourth quarter started off with Preston getting a turnover and Star Valley running in a touchdown to tie the game 21-21.
Preston answered back with a 48-yard return by Charles Iverson, then scored on the following play. Pearson's P.A.T. was good and put Preston 28-21.
Star Valley came back and scored, but Preston's Owen Judd blocked their P.A.T., leaving Preston with a one-point lead.
"We set it so Emery and I could work together and I was able to jump up and bat it down," said Judd.
Preston's offense took control, and with less than a minute in the game, Davon Inglet took the ball to the 27-yard line. Iverson rushed up the middle, followed by Thorson, then Iverson again to put the ball on the 5-yard line. A bad snap went over Preston's quarterback's head. Knapp scrambled to get possession of the ball but Star Valley swooped in and took over on Preston's 6-yard line with 25 seconds left in the game.
Preston's defense held the line and Star Valley's kick was bad, leaving the game to Preston.
"Our offense really stepped it up tonight," said Nelson. "that was a huge part of the win. Being able to have that and add in our strong defense. It was a good game."
"There was a little bit of chunkiness every now and then," said Francis. "We are going to get there, but we have to fight really hard. We know how to fight; coach has taught us well. When I'm on defense though, my goal is to get the ball stopped, be in on as many tackles as I can. I like to hit hard, and I like to hit alongside with my brothers."
"It's good to start getting into the endzone," said Head Coach Eric Thorson. "This is a team with high potential on offense. We have weapons with them and we got better at using them this week but we still have room to grow. ... the strength of this team is its culture. When things went up against us, you didn't even see or feel anything on the sidelines of any kind of let down. They just ran out and knew what they had to do and the focus stayed on winning. We were fortunate to get this win. ...sometimes you make mistakes, but when you're doing things that you can control to the best of your ability, you'll have a better chance at winning."