MT. PLEASANT—A win is a win, but the Hawks would have liked a few more style points last Friday before preparing for a much harder opponent.
Despite a few turnovers and some untimely penalties, the North Sanpete football team was simply too much for the last-place team in 3A, as the Hawks triumphed over the visiting Ben Lomond Scots, 37-6, to move past the first round of the 3A State Championship playoffs and move to 5-6 overall on the season.
North Sanpete Coach Rhett Bird’s playoff record improved to 5-4 in his sixth season.
Of the most major errors, the Hawks had two passes picked off, lost a fumble, were penalized numerous times in a variety of ways and had two red zone drives end with turnovers on downs.
“There were definitely things that we felt like were missed opportunities,” Bird said. “These are things that hopefully come up right now, and that we don’t see them in the weeks to come.”
Nevertheless, North Sanpete didn’t make the Scots’ lives any easier. Ben Lomond’s quarterback completed less only 9 of 30 attempts for 115 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. The Hawks held the Scots to 174 total yards on offense and had four sacks. Senior Andy Mower, senior James Gren and sophomore Brock Jacobsen each had a pick for the Hawks.
Senior quarterback Landon Bowles had a solid day, completing 15-26 passes for 303 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. For the first time this season, it was senior Dante Lowe who led the team in receiving as he had a monster day with three catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Adding to his kicking, Lowe had 18 of the Hawks 37 points for the day. Senior Morgan Bowles backed up Lowe with four catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Xander Shelley was the leader on the ground as the Hawks totaled 92 rushing yards, led by Shelley’s six carries for 43 yards and a touchdown.
It was senior Connor Eliason who put North Sanpete on the board on special teams. As Ben Lomond attempted to punt the ball, Eliason got in front of the punt and smashed it backwards like a volleyball. The ball rolled through the end zone for a safety, the first safety of the Hawks’ season.
Bowles hit Morgan Bowles on a go route for the 54-yard touchdown on the next possession.
Later in the second quarter, Ben Lomond drove through midfield and appeared to score a touchdown that would have made it 16-7 Hawks, but it was negated by a holding penalty. The Scots finally scored in the third quarter on a line drive pass to the left pylon for a touchdown.
The Hawks will be up against a much stiffer opponent this Friday as they travel northward to take on No. 4 Morgan. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.