Wasatch Wasps Win, Advance to 5A State Quarterfinals
According to the Deseret News, when No. 5 Wasatch took the field on Friday night against No. 12 Lehi in the second round of the UHSAA Class 5A state playoffs, the Wasps were actually the underdog.
Lehi was a trendy upset pick considering it barely lost to two of the top teams in the state, and some figured the Pioneers would get the job done against Wasatch.
Well, somebody forgot to tell the Wasps that.
Playing in front of a raucous crowd on Friday afternoon, Wasatch jumped out to a 26-0 lead before hanging on and picking up the 26-19 win over visiting Lehi.
The Wasps were flawless through three quarters, as their balanced offense was too much for Lehi and its stout linebacking crew.
Wasatch came out running the ball behind sophomore Chris Cook, who behind his big offensive line, consistently found holes to run in. But when Lehi attempted to stack the box, quarterback Adarius Edwards took over and constantly found star wide receiver Jarinn Kalama, who dominated in single coverage.
Cook got the scoring started midway through the first quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run, giving Wasatch a 7-0 lead. Kicker Ashton Southam made it 10-0 late in the first quarter when he drilled a 22-yard field goal.
The second quarter played out nearly identical to the first with Cook scoring midway through, this time on a 1-yard touchdown run. The score was setup on a great Edwards-to-Kalama connection that went for 43 yards.
Southam then hit a 27-yard field goal with just over one minute to play in the opening half, giving the Wasps a 20-0 lead at the half.
Cook tacked on what would be the game-winning touchdown midway through the third quarter when he broke several tackles en route to a 41-yard touchdown run, making the score 26-0.
But as it had done all season, Lehi refused to go away.
The Pioneers began their comeback in the fourth quarter when Takeshi Faupula scored on a 10-yard run with 9:00 to play in the game. Lehi went for the two-point conversion but failed.
After a three-and-out by the Wasatch offense, Lehi quarterback Creyton Cooper took matters into his own hands and scampered down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown run with just 6:15 to play.
The Wasps then produced another short drive on offense, and Lehi took over once again. The Pioneers made it a one score game when Cooper hit Faupula on a 50-yard screen pass, making it 26-19 with 2:09 to play.
But Wasatch was able to run out the clock and advance to the quarterfinals.
The Wasps will travel to face No. 4 Salem Hills this Friday night, with kickoff set for 6 p.m. The game is rematch of Region 8 foes when just three weeks ago, Wasatch fell 21-0 to the Skyhawks. Salem Hills defeated No. 13 Box Elder 44-13 to reach the quarterfinals.