HYRUM — Something had to give Wednesday night at Lynn R. Miler Field.
Mountain Crest and Hillcrest both entered the regular season finale with six-game losing streaks. The Mustangs exited with a successful Senior Night.
Mountain Crest scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game while the Mustang defense was being downright stingy all night. The Mustangs rolled to a 41-7 football victory over the 5A Huskies on a cool and windy evening.
“The kids knew their assignments, they did what they were supposed and tackled well,” MC head coach Jason Lee said. “They did a good job.”
How bad was it for Hillcrest (2-8) on offense? The Huskies did not pick up a first down on their own until early in the fourth quarter. Prior to that the visitors had just two first downs, thanks to penalties. Hillcrest finished with just four first downs for the game.
“We play lights out defense just about every week,” said Mustang linebacker Elijah Jackson, who had a sack to end the game. “That’s kind of our thing.”
In fact, Hillcrest had just 35 yards of total offense for the game. The Huskies lone score came on a very short field after a bad snap on a punt play by Mountain Crest (2-8). The visitors got the ball on the 5-yard line and were able to punch it in.
However, the game was in hand at that point.
“We really wanted that win and we weren’t about to let them get any easy points,” Jackson said. “... Now we need to approach the next game with the same focus we brought into this game. We need to keep that mentality going, and our offense really game through today.”
The Mustangs were able to gain 351 yards of total offense. Three quarterbacks played and each drove the team to paydirt at least once. Preston Lofthouse started and threw for 147 yards on 15 of 27 attempts and had one TD toss. The three signal callers combined to throw for 205 yards. Terrell Lee led the receiving corps with five catches for 70 yards, while Zeb Benson hauled in four passes for 41 yards and two TDs.
“Preston did some really good things,” coach Lee said. “He just needs to stay composed and make his throws.”
Eight different Mustangs got at least one carry on the ground. Emilio Veater led the rushing attack with 87 yards on eight carries and a score, while Lofthouse rushed for 63 yards on 14 carries and two TDs.
“We had a good week of practice, and we came ready,” Lofthouse said. “We prepared really well for this team. We had a great game plan, and then players made great plays when they had the opportunity.”
The hosts avoided a big mistake on their first possession of the game when an interception was waved off because of a roughing the passer penalty on the Huskies. Five plays later Lofthouse was scoring from a yard out.
Lofthouse helped set up the second score when he took off under pressure and gained 30 yards. On third-and-goal from the 15, Lofthouse hit Benson along the sidelines, who picked up a huge block from fellow receiver Tony Lopez that sprung him for the TD.
Veater made it 20-0 on the first play of the second quarter when he broke free for a 40-yard score. On their first three TD drives, the Mustangs started in Husky territory each time.
“It felt real good tonight, a lot better than losing,” Lofthouse said. “... Anything can happen in the playoffs, so we are going to come out hard and fight hard and try and upset some teams.”
The fourth possession of the game for the Mustangs was on their side of the 50, but that didn’t slow the offense down. Mountain Crest drove 83 yards in 12 plays, converting a fourth-down play along the way. Lofthouse scored from four yards out to give the home team a 27-0 lead at the break.
The Mustangs punted for the first time in the game in the third quarter, and it became a habit until the Huskies scored.
Mountain Crest put the exclamation on the win when two freshmen quarterbacks got to run a series each. Carson Thatcher completed his only pass — a 28-yarder to Lee — and later scored from a yard out to give the hosts a 34-7 lead.
On the next possession, Casey Croft came on. The Mustangs converted a fourth-down play and later scored when Croft hit Benson, who powered his way into the end zone for a 6-yard score.
“We have some good, young kids,” coach Lee said. “We really do.”
“I was happy for the freshmen,” Lofthouse said. “They moved the offense and scored.”
Mountain Crest celebrated its first home win of the season and may not get a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
“You just need to take it one game at a time, but we have been taking it one day a time here, right now,” coach Lee said. “We will prepare and go play whoever is next.”
MUSTANGS 41, HUSKIES 7
Wednesday at Hyrum
Hillcrest 0 0 7 0 — 7
Mountain Crest 14 13 0 14 — 41
MC — Preston Lofthouse 1 run (pass fail), 7:08
MC — Zeb Benson 15 pass from Lofthouse (Zane Collins pass from Benson), 2:26
MC — Emilio Veater 40 run (kick failed), 11:47
MC — Lofthouse 4 run (Judson Wells kick), 3:27
H — Talon Yates 4 run (Kobe Owen kick), 6:08
MC — Carson Thatcher 1 run (Wells kick), 5:59
MC — Benson 6 pass from Casey Croft (Wells kick), 0:29