The Richfield High School football team gave the second ranked North Sanpete Hawks a scare Friday night in a 21-14 thriller.
The Hawks started out by holding Richfield to a punt in the first four plays of the game. Five plays later, the Hawks were in the end zone with 8:24 to go in the first quarter.
The teams traded punts, and the next Richfield series was cut short by an interception. Richfield’s Kasey Giddings and Wyatt Blackner took turns breaking up Hawk pass plays to force a fourth down situation, giving Richfield the ball as the first quarter ended.
The first sustained drive of the second period saw the ’Cats march the ball 25 yards before stalling out near midfield. The Hawks fumbled on the subsequent possession, and Denim Torgerson jumped on the rock to recover it for Richfield.
The next sequence lasted until the end of the half, but wasn’t enough to get Richfield on the scoreboard.
The Hawks opened the second half with a scoring drive, making a mad dash to the pay dirt in 1:36 with four plays.
Down 14-0, the ’Cats were not done.
Brittyn Riddle returned the kickoff, and then ran the ball an additional seven yards to put Richfield on it’s own 33-yard line. A 15-yard penalty pushed the ’Cats up the field. On a third down play, Gage Morrison pulled down a pass from Gavin Brown to salvage the series, positioning the ’Cats just 29 yards from the score.
Riddle carried for another first down. Brown then hit Jake Hyatt with a pass to put Richfield in the red zone. Riddle carried the ball the final 15 yards for the touchdown, with 5:40 to go in the third.
North Sanpete countered on its next series with another TD, claiming a 21-7 advantage with 1:45 to go in the third.
The ’Cats turned the ball over on downs during the next series. However, Blackner returned the favor by sacking North Sanpete’s QB, and forcing a punt, which went high. Starting out from the Hawks’ 27-yard line, the ’Cats scored in three plays, capped with a 16-yard pass to Riddle.
With 8:28 to go, Richfield was trailing by one touchdown, 21-14.
The teams traded punts, and with 3:19 to go North Sanpete lost the ball on downs.
With 75 yards to go, Richfield started its final march of the night, but it was cut short by an interception with 1:01 on the clock.
The Hawks burned out the clock by taking the knee.
Brown completed 19 of 32 passes for 245 yards. Mayson Hitchens was the top target of the night, pulling down five receptions for 63 yards. Morrison and Riddle both had 57 yards, with three and four receptions, respectively.
Giddings caught two passes for 29 yards, while Hyatt had one reception.
Riddle was the team’s top rusher, eating up 88 yards of turf.
Kicker Kordell Morgan went two for two on PATs.
Blackner led the team in tackles with seven, including one sack.
Richfield is set to take on Manti on the road Friday, Sept. 13. Manti is a 3-0 team, with wins over Crimson Cliffs, Payson and Grantsville.