Spring Mountain’s football team could have folded when it fell behind by 14 points in the second quarter Friday.
Or when visiting Indian Springs took a 12-point lead midway through the fourth.
Instead, the Eagles rode 24 points in the final 7 minutes to a dramatic 46-42 Class 1A Southern League win — their first over the Thunderbirds since 2005.
“That’s the real impressive thing with our guys; they just didn’t give up,” Spring Mountain coach Aaron Masden said. “We talked all week about fighting through adversity.
“We put them through a lot of hard drills doing extra conditioning. Our whole motto was, ‘What are you going to do when challenged with some adversity,’ and obviously it paid off.”
Spring Mountain (3-1, 2-0) rallied to tie the game at 34 with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Robby Lindbloom, only to watch Indian Springs take a 42-34 lead on Adam Reinke’s 22-yard scoring strike to Junior Baker with 3:05 left.
But Brandon Thompson returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a score, bringing the Eagles within 42-40 as the two-point conversion run failed.
Indian Springs (1-2, 0-1) muffed the following kickoff, and Spring Mountain’s Samuel Batton recovered the fumble at the Indian Springs 15-yard line. Moments later, James Maestas’ 13-yard TD run gave the Eagles a 46-42 lead.
The Thunderbirds drove 55 yards without any timeouts in 1:47 to the Spring Mountain 10, where they ran out of time.
“That’s how we practiced last week,” Maestas said of the frantic finish. “(Masden) said, ‘You’re going to practice like you’re down by three touchdowns. It was intense, it paid off.”
Lindbloom threw for 107 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to Markess Harris (five receptions, 78 yards). Maestas carried 14 times for 67 yards and one TD.
Reinke completed 15 of 28 passes for 313 yards and three scores. The junior also caught a 51-yard TD pass and rushed for 29 yards.
Baker caught four passes for 162 yards and three TDs, and teammate Xavier Pena had eight receptions for 117 yards.
The Eagles are off to their best start since opening 6-1 in 2005 — their last trip to the playoffs.
“This is huge for us,” Masden said. “We talked all week about Indian Springs being our rival. This can be a game that can determine the playoffs. The winner’s kind of sitting in the driver’s seat at this point.”
In addition to the muffed kickoff return, Indian Springs also handed Spring Mountain points when Batton recovered a fumble in the end zone late in the first half to bring Spring Mountain within 22-16.
“They’re a good team,” Faga said. “We made a lot of dumb mistakes. That was our problem. To give momentum to a team like that, you can’t do that. Our mistakes, they capitalized on and played a good game.”
Canyon View (Utah) 27, Boulder City 18 — At Cedar City, Utah, the Eagles (2-2) used two third-quarter touchdown passes from Ross LaMarca to pull within 20-18, but were unable to get any closer.
LaMarca, who threw for 157 yards, hit Joe Woodbury with a 69-yard scoring strike and Preston Swasey with a 55-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
Devin Combs carried 13 times for 74 yards for the Eagles.
Steven Kaposta had 14 tackles to lead the Boulder City defense.
Laughlin 74, Tonopah 42 — At Laughlin, the Cougars (3-1) outscored the Muckers 44-8 in the second half.
Denver Otteson threw for 130 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 78 yards to lead Tonopah (0-3).