Hawks take out ALA, 42-14,
but pay a hard price
By Matt Harris
SPANISH FORK—The Hawks are back in the winning column, but at what cost?
The North Sanpete football team moved to 7-1 overall with a 2-1 region record as they handily beat American Leadership Academy on the road, 42-14, last Friday to stay securely in second place in Region 14 standings.
North Sanpete’s win was bittersweet, because although the Hawks notched an impressive win over ALA, it came at the late expense of their star and offensive centerpiece as junior quarterback Landon Bowles went down with an injury in the fourth quarter with the game in hand.
The injury was described as an MCL sprain, according to sources who were at the game, although Coach Rhett Bird was unavailable to comment on the injury or the game in general. Those same sources estimated that while Bowles is likely to return soon enough to play in the playoffs, the Hawks will be without their starting quarterback next week and possibly in the final regular season game.
Before getting injured, Bowles was having himself a day, feasting on the ALA defense to the tune of 17-26 passing for 235 yards and two touchdowns. After Bowles left the game, sophomore Tyler Allan played out the remnants of the fourth quarter and completed two of three passes for 23 yards and threw his first varsity touchdown. Senior Brady Jacobsen also threw a touchdown for 65 yards.
In the permanent absence of senior running back Trevin Morley, whose season ended on an injury a few weeks ago, sophomore Pj Cook slotted at running back and led with 7 carries for 49 yards. Senior Jordan Watts took the bulk of the carries with 10 for 36 yards.
Senior Magnus Clawson was a star as a receiver, catching nine passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, one of them a career-high 66-yard completion.
The Hawk defense had the best day of their season, sacking the quarterback four times and grabbing three interceptions, one each for Cook, senior Cole Mickel and senior Parker Lee. It was the first game with multiple picks for the North Sanpete defense this season. The defense also forced two fumbles, one of which was returned by Mickel for a 15-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
North Sanpete was up 21-0 in the first quarter and had built a 28-0 lead before ALA finally got on the board in the latter minutes of the first half.
The Hawks now turn their attention toward a rivalry game on the road as they will be in Manti tomorrow night. The Templars are 3-5, but have heated way up since region play began, posting solid wins over ALA and Union before looking awfully tough in a loss to Juab. With Bowles out, this game could get particularly interesting.