NEPHI—Being heavily outmatched and sporting a shallow roster, the Hawks can at least say they had some fun on Friday night.
The North Sanpete football team couldn’t keep up with the defending champions as the Hawks fell to Juab, 41-12, on the road last weekend. Juab showed North Sanpete their taillights early with a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised to victory. The Hawks moved to 2-5 overall on the season and dropped to 0-2 in the 3A South.
Senior quarterback Landon Bowles passed for a touchdown, his ninth of the season, but he also threw his 11th interception of the season as he finished with four picks.
“The worst of it all was the turnovers,” Coach Rhett Bird said. “That’s something that we can control.”
North Sanpete’s offense sputtered to open as they have for the past several games. Juab’s quarterback opened fire on the Hawks’ secondary from the first play and passed for over 100 yards before the first quarter was over.
While Bowles was still trying to get the offense going, the Hawk defense came alive in the second quarter, forcing a punt on consecutive possessions by the Wasps. On North Sanpete’s second possession, the offense finally clicked into motion as Bowles completed pass after pass to drive downfield.
On second down at the Juab 15-yard line, Hawk fans were rewarded for their travel with a spectacular highlight as Bird’s offense ran to perfection the trick play famously known as the Philly Special. Bowles handed off to senior Dakoda Harward for what looked like a jet sweep left, but Harward pitched to junior Ty Allan. Wheeling right, the backup quarterback planted his feet and delivered an arcing pass to a wide-open Bowles for the touchdown.
“We’ve been setting that play up for weeks now,” Bird said. “When we called it, I looked at [Ty] and said, ‘Hey, Ty, it’s wide open,’ and Landon was so excited to get that catch.”
With a few seconds remaining in the quarter, North Sanpete tried again to trick Juab with a go route out of a fake kneel formation, but Bowles widely overthrew the receiver and was intercepted to end the half.
Leading 27-6 after halftime, Juab’s defense came up with a big play early as Bowles’ threw a pass to Allan that was picked off again. The Juab defender made a stunning play on the ball to secure the interception then dragged two tacklers backwards as several Wasp defenders came over and pushed him all the way into the endzone for a pick-six, the third interception touchdown for Bowles this season.
As the Wasps built up to a 41-6 lead late in the fourth, North Sanpete’s final drive was enough to leave with pride. Returning from injury, senior Xander Shelley came in and peeled out a string of first down runs. Then Bowles used his arm to get the Hawks down to the 18-yard line. Finally, Allan ended the drive with a highlight-reel play as he streaked to the end zone and went horizontal to catch a touchdown with just his right hand even with pass interference.
North Sanpete’s depth remains in limbo, but Bird reported that four of the players who were suspended three weeks ago prior to the game against Desert Hills will be making their return when the Hawks host the county rivalry with Manti this Friday. It’ll be the ninth straight meeting between the two teams, with the Templars holding a 6-2 advantage in that span.