Wildcats football wins double-OT thriller
September 1, 2015
When South Summit senior Isaac Tillett graduates at the end of this school year, the Morgan High School football team won’t be sad to see him go.
Two years ago, Tillett caught a 54-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to give South Summit a 13-12 victory over the Trojans.
After a loss at Morgan last year, Tillett was back to his Trojan-slaying ways. On Friday night in Kamas, the Wildcats battled Morgan to a 7-7 tie after four quarters of play. The Wildcats failed to score on their first possession of overtime, but a Matt Lee interception of a Morgan pass sent the game into double overtime.
In double overtime, the Wildcats faced fourth-and-goal from the Morgan one-yard line. Tillett lined up in the backfield, received the handoff and powered his way across the goal line. After tacking on the extra point, South Summit led 14-7.
Tillett said he wanted the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
"I was getting in, no matter what," he said. "It’s a very emotional game for me. I used to live in Morgan, so I played with these guys and a lot of them are my buddies."
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Needing seven points to tie or eight to win, the Morgan offense was stymied by the South Summit defense, sealing the victory for the Wildcats. South Summit Coach Aaron Tillett said he was thrilled with the way the Wildcats played on that side of the ball.
"I felt good defensively most of the night," he said. "We felt good about our run defense. Every year, it goes down to the very end against Morgan. They are so physical and really make us have to play. Credit to our guys for just finishing the job."
"We expect nothing but perfection from our defense," Isaac Tillett added. "That’s our specialty. We take our pride from our defense."
The Wildcats and Trojans battled through a scoreless first quarter before Morgan found the end zone early in the second. With 2:37 left in the second, Jordan Miller put the Wildcats on the board, pounding his way into the end zone from the one-yard line.
Though Miller didn’t have any long runs on Friday night, Aaron Tillett said the running back gave South Summit exactly what it needed.
"I don’t know what his [yardage] total was, but he earned every yard," he said. "He was taking a beating, but he’s got to do that for us. We’re proud of him. We knew we could get four yards [per play] and that’s what we stressed all week — be happy with four yards. It never really happened big for us all night, but we chunked it out. We just turned it over and that’s what slowed us down."
Whenever the Wildcats turned the ball over, though, the defense was ready to pick up the slack. South Summit’s four offensive turnovers only led to seven points for Morgan. Tillett said the Wildcat defense was able to play well against Morgan because of the confidence they have in the secondary.
"We’re fast on top, so we can really send a lot of people in the box," he said. "You saw Matt Lee, Isaac and Brady [Bess] — we feel good putting them across the back line against almost anybody, which allows us to put eight up front to play the run. That’s what we did tonight and that helped us a lot."
Though the offense had a rough night, Tillett said scoring on a pair of one-yard runs bodes well for the Wildcats down the road.
"Against a team like Morgan, that makes us feel really good," he said. "I don’t know that we’re going to see that much physicality in 2A. We’re an edge team that likes to get out and run. If we can show that we can pound people inside, too, I think that will raise some flags for some people."
South Summit improved to 2-0 with the win. After two tough games against San Juan and Morgan, Tillett said he’s happy to be 2-0, but the most important thing is that the Wildcats are competing against difficult opponents.
"It doesn’t matter if we win by one point or 50 points, we’ll take it," he said. "I like how we played. We want to win, but we hung with them and that’s what I felt good about. Now we go to 3AA and Park City, they’re better. They’re going to want a big piece of us on their field next week."
The Wildcats take on Summit County rival Park City (2-0) on Friday night at Park City High School. Isaac Tillett said if the Wildcats can clean a few things up offensively, a 3-0 start to the season is definitely possible.
"If we go to Park City next week and play exactly like we did today, but just limit the turnovers, and play with the amount of heart we showed, I have faith in the coaches and faith in my brothers out on the field that we can go to 3-0," he said.
Friday night’s game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Dozier Field.