The South Summit offense was struggling against the top-ranked 3A Morgan Trojans on Friday night in Kamas. It seemed like the Wildcats were getting stuffed by the larger Trojans' defense no matter what play was called.
With Morgan holding a 12-7 lead and the Wildcats facing a third-and-long from the Morgan 46-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, it looked like South Summit would once again have to punt.
But, though the Wildcats' passing attack hadn't been effective all night long, one play made a huge difference.
Junior quarterback Ty Jones took the third-and-long snap and dropped back to pass. Sophomore wide receiver Isaac Tillett came streaking across the middle of the field before turning towards the corner of the end zone.
Jones's pass floated over a Morgan defender and came down perfectly into Tillett's hands, allowing the speedy receiver to stay in stride and sprint into the end zone to give the Wildcats a 13-12 lead. That score would prove to be the difference in South Summit's win, vaulting the Wildcats to a 2-0 record.
South Summit coach Jerry Parker said the touchdown pass was executed perfectly.
"TD pass that's the play I called," Parker joked. "We've been practicing that play all year and finally, on Friday, I brought (Jones and Tillett) in and we ran it with just cones so I could show them what I was looking for. And, by heck, they did it."
Jones, who also scored the Wildcats' first touchdown on a 40-yard run in the second quarter, said having a receiver like Tillett makes a quarterback's job easy.
"I just got him in stride his speed caught up to it," he said. "(Tillet's speed) is amazing to have. It's such a benefit."
Tillett returned the praise, saying he knew his quarterback would deliver when it counted.
"He's an amazing kid one of my best friends out there on the field," he said. "I trust him so much when it comes to making the right choices and I knew he was going to get me the ball."
Tillett, Jones and Parker all know that the real stars of the game were the South Summit defenders, who time after time kept the Trojans out of the end zone in key spots.
"They battled," Parker said. "We were giving up a little bit of size up there and we battled through four or five injuries and cramps. The defense was held together by glue at the end."
A missed field goal attempt by Morgan with less than two minutes remaining on the clock sealed the victory for the Wildcats.
"They drove it clear down there again, but our kids did an excellent job of holding," Parker said.
"I credit the defense for all this," Jones added. "They worked so hard for this. We were prepared. I felt confident in that."
After a couple tough losses to Morgan the last two years, the Wildcats were happy to finally end up on top.
"We've had great battles with them the last two years and it always comes down to the end," Parker said. "We just haven't been able to come out on top."
"I was really waiting for this opportunity as a starting quarterback to take charge and get a victory," Jones added.
Next up on the Wildcats' schedule is a road game against American Leadership Academy.
Parker said not getting too caught up in Friday's big victory will be important.
"That's my job. I'm going to keep them on edge," he said. "I'll figure out some way."
Jones said he's confident he and his teammates won't forget their ultimate goal.
"We just have to take it game by game," he said. "We'll take the next team and we'll break it down (on film) and stay focused. We've got a good chance of taking state if we just keep with it. We've been working our butts off all year for this."
But, Tillett said, the Wildcats know they've established themselves as the team to beat in 2A.
"Beating the number one 3A team is an eye-opener for the other 2A teams," he said.