GARLAND, Utah – Even at 80 percent, Adlai Elison’s pretty darn good.
The Hurricane quarterback, battling a painful hip pointer injury, passed for 84 yards and a TD, scored a two-point conversion and intercepted a pass on defense, to lead the Tigers to a 36-24 upset win at Bear River Friday night.
Elison directed the Wing-T to near perfection on the game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter, taking Hurricane 79 yards on nine plays and chewing up four minutes of precious fourth-quarter time. Cody Lebaron capped the drive with a 12-yard scamper for six, giving the Tigers their biggest lead of the night at 36-24 with just over six minutes to play.
Noah Elison, Adlai’s younger brother, would intercept Bear River on the next drive to ice the game and send the Tigers to the 3AA quarterfinals.
Hurricane made sure early in the game that it meant business. After holding the Bear River offense on downs to open the game, Adlai Elison drove the team 74 yards on 17 plays, ending with a Jeremiah Ieremia plunge on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The visitors would lead 6-0 after the PAT was blocked.
That lead was short-lived however, as Bears quarterback Jardee Nessen found wide receiver Gavin Fronk just two plays later for a 77-yard touchdown. The PAT by Jared Olsen put the Bears ahead 7-6 with a minute to go in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, LeBaron coughed up the ball, giving the Bears good field position at the Tigers 34-yard line. Bear River could not capitalize though, and punted. On the following play, LeBaron fumbled again, giving the ball back to the Bears at the Tigers 43-yard line. BR scored quickly, again on two pass plays, the second one a touchdown from Nessen to Brady Parker from 23 yards out. After a successful PAT, the Bears led 14-6.
The rest of the half would belong to the visitors from Hurricane.
The Tigers would score next on a 42-yard field goal by Ethan Stratton with 6:39 to play in the first half to cut the Bears lead 14-9. Hurricane’s defense would bend, but not break, keeping the Bears offense out of the end zone after an 80-yard drive. The march ended in a missed field goal.
It took Hurricane quarterback Adlai Elison just over one minute to put the Tigers ahead 15-14 on a 37-yard pass to Kole Richins. After an Elison two-point conversion run, Hurricane led 17-14 with 1:18 left in the half.
Hurricane defensive back Jack Bussburg would then intercept Nessen’s pass on the next possession and return the ball to the Bears 11-yard line with just 37 seconds to go until halftime. Ieremia would score his second touchdown just before halftime on a 9-yard run to put the Tigers up two scores, 24-14.
After holding the Tigers offense beginning the third quarter, Nessen would find Fronk for his second touchdown of the game. With an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the Bears only trailed 24-20.
BR got the ball back by forcing a Tiger punt, but Nessen was intercepted by Adlai Elison on the next possession. The interception gave the Tigers excellent field position in Bear territory at the 15-yard line. Four plays later, Ieremia would have his third touchdown, this time from two yards out, and the Tigers would go up 31-20 with 2:11 to go in the third quarter.
On the Bears next possession, Nessen drove his team 80 yards, culminating with a third touchdown to Fronk. After a failed two-point conversion, score was 31-26 early in the fourth quarter.
That set up the key late drive by Elison and the Tigers that put Hurricane ahead by 12.
LeBaron led all rushers with107 yards on 13 carries. Ieremia had 95 yards on 24 carries. For the Bears, who finish the season 7-4, Nessen had 370 yards passing. Jeremie Selman led the Bears rushing attack with 75 yards on 20 carries. Fronk had 4 receptions for 126 yards.
Hurricane, 2-9, will now travel to Pine View and take on the Panthers in a 3AA South match-up for the quarterfinals. Hurricane lost to Pine View by three points last month, 34-31.
Stats via HSGamecenter: HHS 38, BRHS 26
Cedar 23, Park City 13
The Redmen led most of the game, but fell behind 13-9 late in the third quarter when PC running back Cameron Maddox busted off a 26-yard TD run.
Cedar didn’t panic, though, putting together a big drive to take a 16-13 lead. A late TD would ice the game for the Redmen, 5-6, who will get another shot at 3AA South champion Dixie next week in the state quarterfinals.
Park City, 3-7, also got a first-half TD pass from Ian Moritz to Alec Wing of 23 yards.
Jeff Rogers booted a 41-yard field goal for Cedar.
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