Braves football edges Duchesne 15-14
September 1, 2015
To say Friday night was a tough night for the North Summit High School football team’s offense would be an understatement.
Playing against 1A Duchesne in Coalville, the Braves turned the ball over five times. Fortunately for North Summit, though, the defense was up to the task, forcing four turnovers of its own to keep the team in the game.
Trailing 7-0 at halftime, the Braves came out and scored on a four-yard run by Tristan Woolstenhulme to tie things up in the third quarter. However, Duchesne answered with a long touchdown run in the fourth to go ahead 14-7.
Disaster struck for the Braves when the offense fumbled with about five minutes left in the game, giving Duchesne possession. But the defense had one more miracle left in the tank, getting the ball back for the offense.
This time, the Braves were able to capitalize. With just over one minute remaining in regulation, Woolstenhulme again found the end zone, this time from nine yards out.
Facing a tough decision of whether to play for the tie or go for the win via a two-point conversion, Coach Devin Smith let the players decide their fate.
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"We actually have a pretty good kicker," he said. "It wasn’t that I didn’t have confidence in him, I just felt like we had the momentum. We called a timeout after we scored and talked to the kids and that’s what they wanted to do."
The ball ended up in Woolstenhulme’s hands again and he didn’t disappoint, scampering into the end zone and giving North Summit a narrow 15-14 victory.
"He had a great game and some other guys did, too," Smith said. "He’d be the first one to tell you that, not only did the line do a good job, the other backs did a good job blocking for each other."
The real stars of the game, though, were the 11 guys on defense, Smith said.
"Our defense was outstanding," he said. "It was very stingy and the kids played hard. We gave up 14 points, but Duchesne’s a good team and good teams are going to score. They gave us a chance. Normally against a good team like Duchesne, you can’t turn it over five times and win. We were able to close that gap at least [by forcing four turnovers] and that gave us a chance."
North Summit ended Duchesne’s multi-year winning streak last season and, after earning a narrow victory Friday night, Smith said he hopes to continue playing Duchesne in years to come.
"We schedule that game in hopes for a good game," he said. "It’s good for both of us to have a war like that. It’s only going to make both teams better down the road."
Moving forward, Smith said the Braves most notably need to focus on ball control before this week’s game at Enterprise. However, he added, there are other areas that need to be shored up, too.
"We’ve got to work on better execution on offense," he said. "We’ve got to improve our pass coverage in our secondary, too. Those are the big things, along with turnovers."
Playing Enterprise is going to be a tough task, Smith said.
"They run the spread offense and they have some good skill players," he said. "That’s going to be a tough test for us to drive all the way down there and hopefully make that a great game. When you get off that bus, you have to find energy and wake yourself up to allow yourself to get enough adrenaline to go play. That’s not an easy thing to do sometimes."
North Summit (2-0) takes on Enterprise at 7 p.m. Friday night. The Braves’ next home game is scheduled for Sept. 11 against Beaver.