BOUNTIFUL – The Bountiful Braves football team had every going against them to start Friday night’s game against rival Viewmont at Viewmont High School.
But a pair of rushing touchdowns by Kaden Simmonds and two key interceptions by Austin Parkinson helped the Braves win back-to-back games to open the season as they downed Viewmont 21-14.
“The kids fought hard and I think we had a lot of pride in coming back,” said Braves’ coach Larry Wall. “I was proud of the way our guys hung in there. We didn’t get our heads down and they played hard right until the end and that was the difference.”
Bountiful’s game plan didn’t go exactly as planned to start the game; however. A three and out gave Viewmont possession in Bountiful territory, and the Vikings took the initial lead when Hunter Anfinson threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Zack Larson.
With the first quarter winding down and the Braves forced to punt again, Viewmont’s Jared Barnum returned the ensuing kick 90 yards and give the Vikings a 14-point lead after the quarter.
“To come out and get down 14-0 and say ‘well we’ll talk about it tomorrow’ isn’t what our guys wanted,” said Wall. “They didn’t panic and our defense really stepped up from that point.”
Bountiful’s first drive of the second quarter ended in a touchdown, a 59-yard pass from Parkinson to Kaden Larsen that helped get the Braves back into the game. Viewmont’s next possession ended when a bad snap on fourth down gave Bountiful the ball on the Viewmont three yard line.
Simmonds punched in the touchdown from a yard away to tie the game at 14.
“I can’t say enough about Simmonds tonight,” Wall said. “He came in, was on both sides of the ball … he made some big plays for us and showed us how well his stamina is.”
Parkinson’s first big defensive play came in the fourth quarter when he intercepted an Anfinson pass to set up short field position for the Bountiful offense. With the ball at the Viewmont 27 yard line, Simmonds took all three carries and scored on a one-yard touchdown to give the Braves a seven point lead.
The second interception was the one Bountiful needed most, a goal line pick with fewer than 30 seconds left in the game that allowed Bountiful to kill the rest of the clock and get the win.
Simmonds finished the game with 66 yards rushing on offense and 10 total tackles on defense. For Viewmont, Anfinson and Barnum combined to rush for 92 yards. Anfinson also threw for 91 yards on 10-of-24 passes with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Bountiful will play Logan at Logan High School next Friday night at 7 p.m. Viewmont will make a short trip to Woods Cross High School to battle the Wildcats the same night.