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Calief Samon dashes for the end zone on a 91-yard kickoff return, hurdling a would-be tackler on the way. Samon’s TD was the icing on the cake in the Badgers 55-13 win over the Utah Shock.

Calief Samon dashes for the end zone on a 91-yard kickoff return, hurdling a would-be tackler on the way. Samon’s TD was the icing on the cake in the Badgers 55-13 win over the Utah Shock. – Bob Bahlmann / Messenger Photo

Badgers power into impressive 55-13 win over semi-pro team

 

By Bob Bahlmann 

Staff writer

9-1-2016

 

EPHRAIM—The nationally ranked Snow College Badger football team made quick work of their season-opening game last Saturday when they defeated the Utah Shock, a semi-pro team from Salt Lake City.

The Badgers went ahead 34-0 before the Shock got on the board and then continued to dominate for the 55-13 win.

“It was a good start,” head coach Brit Maughn said. “It’s always good to get out there on a Saturday and see how they’ll (Snow players) perform.”

The Badgers dominated the running game, getting 216 yards on 30 carries while only allowing 16 yards on 23 runs by the Shock.

The total defensive control of the ground game by the Badgers forced the Shock to throw the ball. They did a little better in the air, gaining 146 yards on 11 completions, but nearly half those yards came on one 63-yard TD pass with 5 minutes left in the game. “That was the only play in the game I was disappointed in,” Maughn said.

“The offense came out and performed well,” the coach added. “It’s always good to put some points on the board early.”

Brian Waiters led the Badger running game with 60 yards on six carries. Josh Labrador had 60 yards on nine attempts. Shaquille Delli averaged 10.6 yards per carry with 55 yards while Darien Crosby added 25 yards.

Starting quarterback Justin Miller completed 11 of 14 passes for 114 yards. Jake Lloyd came into the game later to connect on eight of 15 passes for 83 yards. Alonzo Simpson had 56 receiving yards, Alex Croyle had 38, and Brandon Jones and Calief Samon had 19 each.

Labrador scored on three running plays out of four. Brandon Jones caught two 4-yard TD passes. Samon caught a 19-yard TD pass and ran a kickoff back 91 yards for a TD. Brian Waiters scored on a 7-yard run.

Jantz Arbon led the defense with four tackles, Dreshown Dean had 3.5 and Tyler Swan joined Sione Vehikite with three each.

This Saturday, the Badgers will host Tucson Tech in another preseason matchup. In only their second year of football competition, Tucson is the program-building phase. Still, coach Maughn expects the game to be marked with more athleticism and more intensity than the contest with the Shock.

He also expects more from his own players. “We need more consistency and better effort,” he said. But he understands his team is young. “We don’t want to be at our peak or at our best (at ) the first of the year,” he said.

The National Junior College Athletic Association currently ranks Snow in second place, nipping at the heels of East Mississippi.