Orem sealed the 5A quarterfinal win by recovering an Olympus fumble inside the 5-yard line with under 10 seconds remaining
HOLLADAY — The final play of Orem’s 31-28 victory over Olympus was a kneel-down. That wasn’t very exciting.
The dozens of plays that proceeded it were jammed with excitement, however, as the Tigers rallied from a halftime deficit to take a seemingly insurmountable lead — only to see the Titans nearly surmount it.
It ended with a shocking Olympus fumble. With 1:58 remaining, the Titans scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass by Ryan Thomas. It got them within three points, but they had no timeouts left, so when the Tigers recovered the onside kick attempt, the game looked over.
“All I can say is, ‘Wow.’ We should have been meeting in Rice-Eccles in the championship game, and we knew this was going to be a hard-fought battle, even when we got up big … but wow.” — Orem coach Jeremy Hill
Then Orem fumbled, giving Olympus the ball on its own 34. There was an Orem penalty, and then another, and then a third — the last one wiping out a potentially game-sealing interception — which gave the Titans the ball on the Orem 12 with 25 seconds left.
They ran it 7 yards, down to the 5, and got out of bounds to stop the clock. On the next play, they fumbled, and Jayden Ah You grabbed the ball, securing the astonishing win for the 12th-seeded Titans (8-4).
“All I can say is, ‘Wow,’” Orem coach Jeremy Hill said. “We should have been meeting in Rice-Eccles in the championship game, and we knew this was going to be a hard-fought battle, even when we got up big … but wow.”
Trailing 14-10 at the half, Orem scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 31-14 lead. The Titans struggled to move the ball in the first half, gaining just 70 total yards of offense, but they piled up 206 in the third quarter.
They went ahead midway through the third on a 55-yard run by Buju Tuisavura. Following a short Olympus punt, Jaxon Williams caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Micah Fe’a.
And then, one play after a roughing-the-punter ball freed them from being pinned deep in their own territory, the Titans scored on an 80-yard touchdown reception by Cayden Viertel.
“They did a great job pressuring us and shutting down our run in the first half,” Hill said. “We looked at some stuff at halftime and ran some play-action passes in the third quarter because they were flying to our runners. Micah came up with some big throws.”
Special teams were part of the difference. Fourth-seeded Olympus (10-2) had a bad snap on its first punt attempt, giving the Titans the ball on the opposing 8. One play later, Noah Sewell had an 8-yard touchdown run to give Orem a 7-0 lead.
Olympus averaged 26.3 yards on its three punts, while Orem averaged 47.0 on its four punts by Brinton Paulson and Joshua Singh.
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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News