Visiting Lehi overcame a 14-0 deficit to rally past Farmington and advance to the 5A semifinals on defensive scores by Jaxson Southard and Jacob Vasquez
FARMINGTON – Lehi entered Friday evening’s playoff game at Farmington having allowed just 35 points in its previous four games.
The Pioneers defense isn’t just good at stopping opposing offenses, but also scoring itself.
Lehi’s defense returned an interception and a fumble for a touchdown and allowed just seven points over the final three quarters, storming back from an early two-touchdown deficit to defeat Farmington 27-21 in the 5A quarterfinals.
“This game came down to turnovers and then who was going to capitalize off of (them),” Lehi coach Ed Larson said.
“Our defense was lights out. I mean, they were outstanding. That’s a heck of an offense, a heck of a team, and our defense just played outstanding football tonight. Hats off to them. It was unbelievable.”
“I think in this game, the energy mattered. We preached it all week long in practice. We had to keep our energy up and no matter what happened we’d have to make plays.” — Lehi’s Carsen Manookin
The Pioneers defense capped their effort with a critical three-and-out late in the game. With Lehi leading 27-21 and 5:47 left in regulation, Farmington took the ball at its own 25. After a 4-yard run on first down, Lehi’s defense slammed the door, forcing an incomplete pass before getting a sack.
“They just came hard, played hard every down,” Larson said. “I can’t say enough about them.”
Farmington jumped out to an early lead when Hayden Toone found the end zone from 3 yards out with 3:36 left in the first quarter. The score finished an 11-play, 53-yard drive that started thanks to an interception by Hayden Wilcox.
The Phoenix extended their lead to 14-0 after Jeremy Wilcox returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown with 11:45 left in the second quarter.
Lehi got on the board with 4:55 remaining in the first half following a 4-yard touchdown run by Carsen Manookin. Manookin also ran for 3 yards to convert a fourth-and-1 from the Farmington 33 on the drive.
Lehi was back in the end zone 21 seconds later when Jaxson Southard returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown.
Farmington stole some momentum early in the second half after an interception by Izaac Guillaume, but it was short-lived. Jacob Vasquez returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown and just like that, Lehi had its first lead of the game.
A pair of TJ Roskelly field goals pushed Lehi’s lead to 27-14.
Farmington got within a touchdown with 8:47 left in the game when Wyatt Evertsen found Jeremy Wilcox for a 22-yard touchdown. The Phoenix then had one last offensive possession but proceeded to go three-and-out.
Lehi’s offense made sure Farmington never got the ball back.
“We practice four-minute offense, and we just did a great job up front and the kids played outstanding,” Larson said.
Manookin had a 2-yard run on third-and-1 as well as a 17-yard burst on the final drive.
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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News