SALT LAKE CITY — Mountain Crest’s players stood in stunned silence.
For the second time in three years, their state-championship hopes slipped away by a matter of inches. As Timpview stormed the Rice-Eccles Stadium field in celebration, virtually no Mountain Crest players moved. Several laid in the end zone in tears, a few slammed their helmets into the ground, but most just stood on the sideline in shock after Timpview’s fourth-down sack sealed a dramatic 38-31 double-overtime victory.
For most of Friday’s 4A title game it looked as if Mountain Crest would pull off the upset of Timpview. Had it not been for the ridiculous playmaking of Timpview quarterback Jake Lloyd in fourth quarter and overtime, it would’ve been the Mustangs swarming the field in celebration.
“They just made one more play,” said Mountain Crest do-it-all-star Eddy Hall.
Things got a bit heated at the end with some Mountain Crest coaches yelling at the officials and UHSAA members, but coach Mark Wootton didn’t really want to get into that afterward.
“If I have to take second and be with these kids, that’s fine,” said Wootton. “These are great kids.”
Not many people thought Mountain Crest could slow the high-flying T-Birds’ offense, but Wootton never doubted his players could compete. The Mustangs were one of the best defenses in 4A all season, and they lived up to that billing against Timpview.
It was because of that tremendous effort that Wootton was so heartbroken afterward.
“That’s what these kids have always done — that’s why it hurts so bad,” said Wootton. “People don’t understand what goes into taking a bunch of kids that are willing to just stick it out and fight and get better, play for their school, play for their community. It just hurts. You hurt so bad for those kids because they did everything they could and still came up short.”
The loss stung for everyone on Mountain Crest's team, but particularly the seniors. When they were sophomores back in 2010, their team lost a heartbreaker to Highland in the 4A state championship game, 37-36.
The momentum swings were eerily similar in the 2010 and 2012 championships, and each time the Mustangs came up an inch short.
“They did everything we asked them to do in a day and age when they claim kids won’t and these kids did,” said Wootton. “No one can question Mountain Crest’s effort. You just want so bad for the kids to do that. These are going to be great young men and they’re going to be great the rest of their life.”
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