HERRIMAN — American Fork knew it had an offense going into Thursday night’s non-region finale at Herriman.
But the Cavemen defense matched its prolific attack against the Mustangs.
Boone Abbott completed 22-for-33 passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns, and American Fork jumped out to a 24-0 lead before easing past host Herriman, 37-12, Thursday night.
BYU commit Chase Roberts caught seven passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns for the Cavemen, and Devin Downing added 59 receiving yards and two scores.
“We put it all together. It wasn’t just me; our whole team was looking great,” said Abbott, who also ran for 20 yards before taking three sacks late.”They made it all possible. We grinded this weekend and the work showed. We played great tonight.”
The defense also helped, holding Herriman (1-3) to just 164 yards on the ground — most of it in the second half — and led by Bodie Schoonover’s two sacks in building up a 24-0 lead through three quarters.
“We challenged them all week that these guys wanted to out-physical us and move them down the field,” American Fork coach Aaron Behm said. “They took the challenge, they were in the right place, and they played with 100 percent effort to shut that down.”
American Fork (3-1) chewed up the clock on its first drive of the game, taking a 7-0 lead on Abbott’s 1-yard TD toss to Roberts with 5:53 left in the first quarter. Kyle Thompson added a 41-yard field goal on the Cavemen's next possession.
The Cavemen took a 17-0 halftime advantage on Abbott’s 10-yard strike to Downing, who doubled his scoring tally with 7:45 left in the third quarter to take a 24-0 lead.
“We ask a lot of our quarterback,” Behm said. “We want to make things easy, but the defense wants to make things hard. Boone is prepared, he’s gotten better every week, and you could see tonight that he was reading the defenses.
“I know Boone made his reads very quickly, and guys made plays when they got the ball. It seemed very clean.”
Herriman pulled a pair of scores back in the fourth quarter, first on Ngana Leakehe’s 2-yard TD plunge and then on Alec Perschon’s 32-yard scamper in the final moments of the game.
But even when the defense gave up a touchdown, American Fork responded.
Roberts hauled in a 69-yard touchdown on his first catch of the second half, leisurely sprinting into the end zone with 10:09 remaining. Then, backup quarterback McKay Smith completed his only pass for a 14-yard TD to Tanner Holden to cap the Cavemen’s scoring with 7:18 remaining.
American Fork also took advantage of a 69-yard punt inside the Herriman 1-yard line to salt away a win that sets them up for Region 4 play, which begins next week at Westlake.
“This was a big win, especially giving us momentum going into region play,” Abbott said.”This was a really big win for us, and it’s a win that will be good for us going into this week.”
Herriman opens Region 3 play next week at Copper Hills.