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SANDY — At the start of the school year last August, it was Mountain Crest's football team, led by quarterback Alex Kuresa, that everyone thought had the best chance of bringing a state title to Hyrum.
It turns out that Jaycson Yeates and Mountain Crest's other futbol team had the real championship moxie.
The underdog Mustangs claimed the 4A boys soccer state championship in thrilling fashion Thursday night, as Yeates headed home the overtime golden goal to cap a 2-1 victory over Mountain View at Rio Tinto Stadium.
"We just knew if we played our game they weren't going to beat us. If we play our game, we're one of the best teams in the state and we showed it today," said Yeates, who scored Mountain Crest's regulation goal as well.
The winning goal came nine minutes into overtime, and in very bizarre fashion.
Kaleb Bilodeau sent what seemed like a pretty harmless free kick into the box from about 45 yards out, a ball that Mountain View keeper Keegan Black seemed to have a bead on the entire time. Just as Black tried grabbing it, though, Yeates elevated and flicked the ball past Black and into the back of the net.
"Keeper played it well, I just got the littlest flick on it. It's not like it was his fault, I just got a great flick and it went in," said Yeates.
The goal was Yeates' 16th of the season, and he was immediately mobbed by teammates as they celebrated the first boys soccer state title in school history.
"A lot of people were overlooking us in this run that we had. The guys had the confidence and knew they could do it. This senior group was amazing," said Mountain Crest coach Mike Gurney.
Until Yeates' winning goal Mountain View seemed to have all the momentum when Edgar Cordova equalized in the 73rd minute after burying in a fantastic diagonal through-ball from Bryan Solis.
The Bruins carried that momentum into overtime and had several dangerous opportunities for their own golden goal.
Despite the mounting pressure, Gurney thought his defense did very well to clean things up.
"Once again, the theme of the whole season has been composure of the defense. They fought through a lot of adversity after we gave up that goal," said Gurney.
Gurney also believed the Mustangs were the superior team in the air heading into the game, and that proved to be the difference on both of Yeates' goals.
Yeates, who scored five goals in a game against Sky View earlier this year, put Mountain Crest ahead in the 42nd minute as he flicked a cross from Josh Worley just over the reach of Mountain View's charging keeper.
Mountain View had no choice but to commit more numbers to the attack during the rest of regulation, and it was eventually rewarded just seven minutes from the end of regulation on Cordova's finish.
Unfortunately for Mountain View, the match ended like so many others recently. Despite making its fourth title game appearance in the past five years, its record in those matches is now 1-3, with the lone state title coming in 2009.