WOODS CROSS — One of these years, the football gods will smile kindly on Woods Cross and allow it to end a lengthy losing streak to Bountiful.
Maybe next year.
For the second straight time in the series between the two teams, the Wildcats came agonizingly close to defeating the Braves before falling short in the fourth quarter. Bountiful went ahead for good with 8:56 remaining and intercepted two passes in the fourth quarter to defeat Woods Cross, 22-17, on Friday night.
It was the Braves' 20th straight win over the Wildcats.
"That means a lot to us — it really does," Bountiful's Teau Satuala said of continuing his team's streak. "We talk about it all the time. It's a big thing for Bountiful. It's a tradition to come out here and beat Woods Cross."
Satuala made sure to keep the tradition alive on both sides of the ball. He rushed 16 times for 142 yards. He also intercepted a pass with 7:07 left to stop a promising Woods Cross drive.
The theme of the night was the Wildcats coming close but not being able to finish off the Braves. They had the game's momentum late in the contest and drove down to Bountiful's 28-yard line. But on a second-and-18 play, the Braves' Cam Zollinger intercepted a pass with 1:33 left in the game to end the threat.
"We all have roles on this defense, and I was in the right place at the right time," Zollinger said. "It felt really good — won the team the ballgame." Bountiful then picked up a first down and ran the clock out.
Time seemed to be running out on the Braves' dominance in the series between the two teams early in the game. Woods Cross couldn't have asked for a better start, scoring a touchdown on its opening drive and starting its second drive in Bountiful territory.
The Braves, however, forced the first of three turnovers by recovering a fumble. Their offense woke up when Satuala ripped off a 16-yard run and Zollinger capped a two-play scoring drive by throwing a 69-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Salazar to tie it 7-7. Salazar pulled down a pass from Zollinger on the right sideline, then broke a couple of tackles before streaking to the endzone.
"He's my best receiver," Zollinger said. "I have a lot of faith in him."
The short scoring drive sparked what had been a struggling Bountiful offense.
"I'm proud of our offense today," Bountiful coach Larry Wall said. "Our offense has been a little maligned. They (the Braves' offense) really controlled it in the second half, made it a shorter game."
Bountiful led until late in the third quarter. Woods Cross running back Anthony Kendrick scored on a 21-yard run to make it a 17-16 Woods Cross lead going into the fourth.
David Coffman answered with his second touchdown of the game, scoring on a 5-yard run with 8:56 remaining to put the Braves up, 22-17.
"It was just a great high school game, it really was," Wall said. "It went back and forth, there were ebbs and flows. Great crowd. This atmosphere was incredible."
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