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Locals in the NFL: Taysom Hill is going for everyone's job and Fred Warner scores first TD

By Ryan Miller and Sean Walker, KSL.com | Posted - Dec 22nd, 2019 @ 11:21pm



AROUND THE SHIELD — New Orleans kicker Wil Lutz is regarded as one of the best in the NFL. Yet, even he's getting a little concerned seeing what former BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is doing this season. Concerned, that is, that Hill may soon be stealing some kicks away from him.

During the Saints’ 38-28 win over the Titans on Sunday, Hill completed a 20-yard pass, had two carries for 11 yards, had two receptions for 21 yards, and also made two tackles.

So for the record, he was a quarterback, a running back, a receiver and a defender. After such a stat-filling day, Lutz had a request for his teammate.

“Please don’t let the coaches see you kick field goals,” Lutz posted on Twitter in response to Hill’s big day.

Hill’s biggest play was his 23-yard reception late in the third quarter. That catch put the Saints into the red zone on the Titans’ 16-yard line. The Saints scored a touchdown on the next play.

The game was just yet another example of Hill’s great versatility. He has earned somewhat of a cult following this season both in New Orleans and around the league (not to mention Provo) for how he has been able to find success lining up just about everywhere on the field. It’s something that is becoming the norm, but that hasn’t made it any less spectacular.

Utah alum Marcus Willams had two tackles for the Saints in the win,

Former Southern Utah corner LeShaun Sims had six tackles for the Titans.

San Francisco 34, LA Rams 31

San Francisco’s Fred Warner picked quite the time to score his first career touchdown.

The former BYU linebacker returned an interception 46 yards for a score with just over two minutes remaining in the first half to boost the Niners to a 34-31 win Saturday over the Los Angeles Rams.

A leading tackler for the 49ers, Warner showed off his hands by reaching out and grabbing a pass from Jared Goff. Then, after flipping the ball between arms, he rumbled from close to midfield for the score.

“Honestly, I just did my job,” said Warner, who also had 11 tackles and a pass breakup while collecting his first pick six since his senior year against Boise State. “I was probably a little too excited; I almost lost my balance. But luckily I was able to get in.”

The win also eliminated the Rams from playoff contention.

Warner, for his part, is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season in only his second year in the league. While youth may wind up keeping him out of the league’s annual postseason exhibition, it should at least earn him several votes.

He’s earned plenty of votes from his teammates.

“We’ve all got each other’s backs, at the end of the day. This is such a tight-knit group,” Warner said. “I’m proud of the way the offense fought, the defense fought, special teams; I think all three phases did enough to win the game. It could’ve been way cleaner, but it’s all about getting a tick in the win column.”

Former Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky booted the ball five times for 219 yards, dropping the ball inside the 20 on 4 of 5 occasions and averaging 43.8 yards per punt.

Former Utah star Eric Weddle had six tackles for Los Angeles in his 200th NFL game.

New England 24, Buffalo 17

Former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy had four tackles and a tackle for loss to boost the Patriots past the Bills.

Former Weber State defensive back Taron Johnson had six tackles for the Bills, and former Bingham High and Utah standout Star Lotulelei supplied five tackles.

Baltimore 31, Cleveland 15

Former BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki had six tackles and Salem Hills alum Porter Gustin had three stops and recovered a fumble for the Browns in their loss to the Ravens.

Miami 38, Cincinnati 35

Former Utah corner Eric Rowe had four tackles in Miami’s win over the Bengals.

Former Fremont High and Utah State standout Nick Vigil had four tackles for Cincinnati.

New York Giants 41, Washington 35 (OT)

Former Utah defensive end Nate Orchard helped give the Redskins a chance on Sunday. Early in the fourth quarter, Orchard broke through the New York Giants’ line, leaped forward and blocked a punt. It was the first blocked punt of his career.

The blocked punt set up a quick touchdown that pulled the Redskins within one score. Washington would go on to lose the game in overtime.

Denver 27, Detroit 17

Utah alum Tim Patrick made five catches for 48 yards in Denver’s win over Detroit.

Former Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew had a special teams tackle for the Lions in the loss.

Oakland 24, LA Chargers 17

Former Utah State defensive back Nevin Lawson made three tackles and fellow Aggie alum Dallin Leavitt made one in the Raiders’ win.

Former BYU cornerback Michael Davis supplied five tackles in the loss for the Chargers.

Arizona 27, Seattle 13

Utah State alum Bobby Wagner had a team-high 13 tackles, including a sack and two tackles-for-loss, in Seattle’s loss to Arizona.

Utah alum Marquise Blair helped set up a scoring drive for the Seahawks by blocking a field goal attempt and returning it 46 yards to the Arizona 15. He couldn’t quite navigate through traffic and find a free lane to the end zone before getting tripped up.

Utah and Brighton High alum Cody Barton had two tackles and former BYU Cougar Ziggy Ansah had one for the Seahawks.

Kansas City 26, Chicago 3

Former Utah State running back Darwin Thompson ran five times for 14 carries in the Chiefs’ win over the Bears. Former Cougar Daniel Sorensen had five tackles in the win.

Houston 23, Tampa Bay 20

Former Utah kicker Matt Gay hit on 2 of 3 of his field goals, including drilling a 50-yard kick in Tampa Bay’s 23-20 loss to Houston.

Ryan Miller
Sean Walker

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