American Fork bludgeons visiting Pleasant Grove
Brian E. Preece Herald Correspondent
Oct 5, 2018
The Pleasant Grove versus American Fork football game featured a packed house and plenty of enthusiasm from both sets of fans. The Cavemen came out decked in red while Pleasant Grove wore their blue jerseys.
In this gridiron battle between two Region 4 and 6A goliaths, American Fork threw the first punch. Pleasant Grove counterpunched but was then the Cavemen simply bludgeoned the visiting team winning by a tally of 45-21.
The Cavemen struck first as Boone Abbott scored on a 1-yard run. Pleasant Grove responded as Jake Jensen connected with Jackson Hill on a 42-yard touchdown pass. Then the Cavemen reeled off 31 straight points, including scoring a whopping 28 first-quarter points to take total control.
“We controlled the momentum for all but one play in the first half,” said American Fork coach Aaron Behm.
Abbott was on fire and threw four touchdown passes in the first half, including three to Chase Roberts.
The first connection to Roberts covered 77 yards and was one play after a Pleasant Grove touchdown.
Pleasant Grove couldn’t move the ball on its next possession and Jensen was injured on a scramble play which derailed the Viking offense the rest of the night.
Roberts then scored on American Fork’s next possession hauling in a 33-yard pass from Abbott. Kyle Thompson connected on this third straight PAT to put American Fork ahead 21-7.
The Cavemen weren’t done with their first quarter blitz as Abbott and Devin Downing hooked up on a 8-yard score.
Pleasant Grove couldn’t muster much offense and was forced to punt again. The Cavemen then took a more methodical approach running off nearly seven minutes of clock and marching down to the 2 yard-line. Pleasant Grove’s defense stiffened and after a delay of game penalty Thompson nailed a 25-yard field goal to put the home team out in front 31-7.
Pleasant Grove’s offense was forced to punt again and after a 20-yard return by Downing, Abbott led to team to one last score with 23.3 seconds left in the half. Abbott was true on a 10-yard pass to Roberts on a fourth-down conversion and American Fork went into the locker room with a commanding 38-7 lead.
Both teams scored in the third quarter as Pleasant Grove back-up quarterback Caleb Campbell found Rex Connors on a 60-yard score. American Fork responded with Abbot’s fifth touchdown pass, this one just from one yard out to Bodie Schoonover.
In the final stanza, Pleasant Grove’s Dane Christiansen broke off a 45-yard run while Thompson split the uprights from 27-yards away to give American Fork the last laugh.
Both teams face gargantuan matchups next week as American Fork (7-1 overall, 3-0 Region 4) visits the defending league and state champion Bingham Miners (7-1, 2-1) while Pleasant Grove (4-3, 1-2) will travel to Lone Peak (4-3, 2-1).
In regards to next week’s game against Bingham, Behm is excited for his team to have this challenge.
“It is something we wanted,” said Behm. “We knew the schedule was put out there that Bingham was the last region game, and you just hope you put in the work that makes that a significant game and here we are.”
A win by the Cavemen will lock up the Region 4 title while Lone Peak will hope to defeat Pleasant Grove and have Bingham win to possibly throw the league into a three-way tie for first place. A win by the Vikings would give them the third seed while dropping Lone Peak to the fourth seed. If Lone Peak wins and American Fork wins, the Knights would finish in second place in the league while dropping Pleasant Grove to the fourth seed.