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Herriman Journal

Herriman pulls off miracle come-back win against Westlake

Sep 07, 2021 12:16PM ● By Justin Adams

A host of Herriman defenders take down a Westlake receiver. (Justin Adams/The City Journals)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

When it comes to Utah high school football games, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more miraculous ending than what the Herriman Mustangs pulled off against Westlake this weekend. 

Trailing 14-10 late in the fourth quarter, the Mustang defense forced the Westlake offense into a 4th down situation. Rather than punting the ball away and forcing the Herriman offense to march down the field with almost no time remaining, the Westlake coaches called for a pass play. 

But junior safety, Michael Falatea, who initially was on the field to return the expected punt, saw the play develop and knew just what to do. 

"I saw the QB drop back, so I just reacted," Falatea said. 

He jumped the route and intercepted the ball, then took it all the way back for a touchdown with just seconds remaining on the clock. 

Head coach Dustin Pearce said the unlikely ending was proof of the team's 'never quit' mentality.

"Just never give up. Keep playing the game. Crazy things happen," he said. "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good."

It's a good thing the Mustangs were lucky because they definitely weren't good for stretches of the game. The team was hampered by penalties, 11 for 103 yards. Many of them stalled Herriman's own drives, or extended drives of their opponent. 

"We were very undisciplined. We have to be a lot better in that aspect of the game," Pearce said. 

With the win, Herriman improves to 2-2 on the season. Next up for the Mustangs is a road trip to play Kearns for their final non-region game. 

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