Mt. Ridge football rolls past GrangerAug 21, 2021 12:05PM ● By Justin Adams
Running back Semisi Kinikini runs for a touchdown during the second quarter. (Justin Adams/The City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Seemingly nothing could slow down the Mountain Ridge football team Friday night as they cruised to a 56-12 victory over Granger.
The Sentinels put up 49 of their points in the first half, as they scored a touchdown on all but one of their possessions. For three straight possessions, they scored on the very first play of the drive.
“It was great to put some points on the board,” said senior quarterback Ayden Helm, who threw for four touchdown passes and ran for another.
Helm said the team has had better offensive games and better defensive games, but that this was the best overall game in the program’s short history. “It was all but flawless,” he said.
Head coach Mike Meifu agreed.
“I’m proud of our guys. They dealt with a lot this week. School starting. The wildfires and lightning cancelling practice. I’m proud of the way our guys handled all that stuff and handled business tonight,” he said.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Sentinels forced multiple turnovers. Senior defensive back Tommy Lewis, who returned a fumble for a touchdown last week, added an interception and another fumble recovery.
“We played great. We couldn’t have done anything differently. There’s not really anything else to say,” he said.
Another standout was junior wide receiver Jaren Dickson, who caught two touchdown passes, his first as a varsity player.
“He was a baller tonight,” said Helm.
You’d think that catching one’s first varsity touchdown passes would be the highlight of the game, but Dickson told the Herriman Journal his favorite moment came from the second half when the second string players were in.
On a critical third down, quarterback Rylen Balser threw a long pass downfield. Senior wide receiver Lukas Banks and a Granger defender both went up to get it. At first it even seemed like it might have been an interception, but Banks emerged from the struggle with the ball in his hand, sending the Sentinel sideline into an uproar that rivaled any of the celebrations from the many touchdowns in the first half.
Helm said the team’s enthusiastic support during the second half just shows how close they are as a team.
“It was fantastic. We’re a team all the way down. We care about each other so when we see the guys that have worked for playing time, it’s awesome to see it pay off.”
“That’s the closeness of our team,” echoed Meifu. “Everyone talks about starters and things like that, but a lot of people in the stands, they don’t see the stuff that goes on every single day. The scout team preparations, being good teammates… We want to see those guys get in there and make plays because they work really hard too.”
Coming up for the Sentinels is a six-game stretch in which five of the games will be on the road. However, Meifu said the team is only focused on the first of those games, a trip to Heber valley to take on Wasatch next week.
“Our whole mantra is to be 1-0 each week and then just stack those together. That’s what we’re trying to work for.”