Summit Academy Bears beat Manti,
34-21, push Templars out of tourney
By James Tilson
Nov. 2, 2017
BLUFFDALE—The Manti Templars football team finished their play-off run last Friday evening by falling to the Summit Academy Bears, 34-21.
The Templars actually controlled the tempo and score of most of the game, either tying or leading until late in the fourth quarter. Two late interceptions doomed the Templars, giving Summit Academy the opportunity to pull ahead late in the game.
It was obvious from the beginning that the Templar strategy was to slow down the clock, so as to offset the Summit Academy “hurry-up, no-huddle” offense.
The Templars have several players who go both ways on their team, so coach Cole Meacham decided to take as much time as possible between each offensive play, and to call a majority of running plays, to preserve team energy for the fourth quarter.
And for three quarters, the strategy worked. The Templar running game was very effective, as Lance Fowles and Dallin Rasmussen continued to pick their way through the Bear defense to pick up first down after first down. For the game, the Templars had 17 first downs to the Bears 13.
Interspersed through the running plays were strategically placed passes that turned into explosive plays. The first touchdown of the game was set up by a Kyle King pass to Travis Thompson for 52 yards. That made the score 7-0 for Manti.
Summit Academy came back to tie the score at 7 mid-way through the second quarter. A little later in the quarter, Summit grabbed an interception from King to score the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute left in the half.
But the Templars got a huge kick-off return from Fowles that put the ball all the way to the Bears’ 1-yard line where the Templars punched in the ball one play later to tie up the game heading into half.
Using the momentum from Fowles explosive play, the Templars took the first possession of the second half and marched down the field behind the running of Fowles and Rasmussen to score again and make the it 21-14. However, Summit was able to answer on its next possession and tie it up at 21.
Fatigue began to make itself felt, as the Templars began making mistakes and penalties late in the third quarter. On the Templars’ next drive, four penalties helped to stall out the offense and led to a turn-over on downs.
The Templar defense held firm, forced a punt from the Bears, and put Manti in position to try and take back the lead.
But it didn’t happen. The first of two interceptions late in the fourth quarter spelled the end of the Templar hopes. Summit converted both turnovers into touchdowns to finish the game 34-21.
Although many of the linemen from this team will be graduating, several key, including both quarterbacks and at least one running back from this year’s play-off team, should be back next year.