With less than 30 seconds to play, it was looking like the Grizzlies were going to overcome a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit.
But Gabe Harris from Stansbury had other thoughts. The Stallion defensive back was a thorn in Logan’s side all night, and the closing seconds was no different.
Harris picked off his fourth pass of the night to thwart the Grizzly rally. Stansbury left Crimson Field with a wild 47-42 victory.
“We tried our hardest,” Logan’s Isaac Larsen said. “It was a good game, back and forth. They (Stallions) pulled it out, but that’s all right. We will live and learn. This is a good game to learn from. We will come back next week.”
The Grizzlies (0-2) showed vast improvement from the season opener at Provo.
“They fought every single snap, and I’m so proud of them for not giving up,” first-year Logan head coach Bart Bowen said. “When we were down 20, it would have been real easy to say this game is over. We had opportunities. We gave it everything we had.”
The Stallions (1-1) from Region 10 had scored early in the fourth quarter to take a 41-21 lead. It was looking grim for the hosts, especially after they turned the ball over on downs to start the final period and again on their next possession. Both times the Grizzlies had reached the 14-yard line and stalled.
After forcing a three-and-out, Logan got the ball with less than six minutes to play. Quarterback Ethan Wilson guided the Grizzlies 46 yards in six plays to paydirt and capped the march with a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:35 to play.
“I didn’t even think he (Wilson) had the ball on that touchdown run,” Bowen said. “That’s how good of a fake it was.”
It took Logan exactly 18 seconds to score another TD. Chris Dien recovered a pooch kickoff at the Stansbury 30. JJ Sargent hauled in a 29-yard pass from Wilson which set up a 1-yard scoring plunge by Wilson to pull Logan within 41-35.
Stansbury responded two plays later with a 79-yard TD pass. Kru Huxford hit the speedy Harris, who also played on the offensive side of the ball, and he got free down the sidelines. The extra point was missed.
The Grizzlies showed resiliency and drove 85 yards in nine plays. Sargent hauled in his second TD pass from Wilson in the game, this time from 27 yards out. Noe Moreno booted the extra point to pull Logan within 47-42 with 2:18 to play.
Once again the Grizzly D held strong, forcing a punt. The Grizzlies got the ball back with 65 ticks left on the clock. Two 17-yard passes had the Logan faithful going crazy as the Grizzlies reached the Stansbury 36-yard line. Harris smashed those hopes with his fourth pick in the game.
Harris returned it to the end zone, but it was called back because of a penalty. Still, all the Stallions had to do was kneel once and the game clock expired.
“I think tonight we saw that if we play together, we can become something special,” Bowen said. “Things don’t always go your way, but that’s life. We need to keep rolling with it.”
Harris returned two of his four picks for scores as he had a 81-yard TD return in the first quarter and a 42-yarder in the third. He also caught six passes for 161 yards.
The Stallions finished with 534 yards of total offense, with 315 of that coming on the ground. Tommy Christopherson had a game-best 21 carries for 188 yards and two scores. Huxford passed for 219 yards on 14 of 20 pass attempts and the one TD, while also rushing for 51 yards on 14 carries and another score.
The Grizzlies had 553 yards of total offense. Wilson passed for 431 yards on 24 of 57 attempts, with three TDs and five INTs. However, most of those picks came from deflections off Logan receivers. Wilson also had 36 yards rushing and two scores.
“The first interception is on me,” Bowen said. “We called the bubble screen into the sun and our receiver couldn’t see it, bounces off his chest, interception for a touchdown. ... We had some things happen you just don’t see very often. Tonight was the night of deflections, I guess.
“... You look at the stat sheet and it looks like we just hucked it up. Half of those incomplete passes were either deflections or dropped balls. Ethan (Wilson) played his heart out.”
Sargent hauled in nine passes for 163 yards for the Grizzlies, while Larsen made four receptions for 123 yards and a score. Kade Thornley led the Logan rushing attack with 66 yards on 12 carries, and also caught four passes for 79 yards. It was the first time Larsen has played on the offensive side of the ball this young season.
“I loved it on offense,” Larsen said. “I’m going to keep doing it. ... I give a shout out to quarterback Ethan Wilson for giving me those good balls.”
Logan scored first to start the game, converting two fourth-down plays. The second came on fourth-and-four when Wilson found Sargent for a 35-yard score down the sidelines.
Stansbury answered with a 34-yard TD run by Christopherson. Harris put the Stallions ahead with his first pick six.
Early in the second quarter, Larsen forced a fumble, scooped up the loose pigskin and high-tailed it 93 yards to tie the game at 14-14. It was just a sign of plenty of fireworks to come.
It was the beginning of a crazy back-and-forth contest.