OGDEN — Beaver High School defeated Delta 35-16 in the Class 2A semifinal Saturday at Weber State.
With the win, the defending state champion Beavers advanced to the Class 2A state title game for its third consecutive rematch against South Summit, who defeated Grand 47-9 earlier Saturday.
“South Summit is a tough team, we’ve got to stay close as a team, give it all we’ve got, and we’ll find ourselves on top if we do that,” said Beaver halfback Tyce Raddon, who ran for 134 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
The first 24 minutes saw five turnovers between the two teams. In what could have been a dominant first quarter for Beaver was instead mitigated by a pair of fumbles, beginning with Raddon coughing it up on the Beavers’ first possession.
After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing Delta possession, Raddon redeemed himself by scoring his 11th touchdown of the season from 20 yards out on an option pitch from quarterback Porter Hollingshead, completing a 6-play, 54-yard drive to go ahead 7-0.
Hollingshead would go on to fumble on the third play of the Beavers’ next possession, giving the Rabbits favorable field position at the Beaver 38-yard line. The possession proved to be tough sledding for Delta, however, as they gained no yardage on three plays before throwing an interception (that effectively served as a punt) on fourth down to give Beaver the ball back at their own 12-yard line.
The Beavers would score on the ensuing possession, wherein they completed consecutive passes for a cumulative total of 31 yards, before Raddon scored his second touchdown of the day from 16 yards out to complete the impressive 8-play drive.
Delta showed signs of life late in the second quarter. Down 14-0, the Rabbits drove 71 yards on 9 plays—a drive that ended with Jake Day hitting Trevor Burton on a play-action pass for a 37-yard touchdown to cut the score to 14-7, a score that would carry into halftime.
Then, after being held to just 63 rushing yards in the first half, Delta’s running game came alive on its first possession of the second half. Beginning at their own 49 yard line, Delta called 9 straight running plays to move it to the Beaver 5-yard line before Day was sacked by Beaver’s Rhett Jordan on 3rd and Goal. The Rabbits would convert a field goal on the ensuing play to cut the score to 14-10.
“If they go down and score and tie the game at 14-14, they’ve got all the momentum,” Beaver head coach Jon Marshall said of his team’s defensive stand on the drive. “We felt great about holding them to that field goal.”
Despite the momentum swinging in Delta’s favor after scoring ten straight points, Beaver would answer with a scoring drive of its own. Beginning at their own 36-yard line, Hollingshead hit Rhett Jordan on a pass that went for 49 yards on the drive’s first play. After four straight runs moved the ball to the Delta one-yard line, Raddon punctuated the drive with his third touchdown to put his team ahead 28-10.
From there, dual daggers for Delta began with Hollingshead, both quarterback and cornerback for the Beavers, intercepting Day on the first play of the next drive and set up the Beavers at the Delta 10-yard line. Two plays later, Hollingshead found senior Rhett Jordan on a six-yard pass to extend the Beavers' lead to 18.
The final dagger came late in the fourth quarter as Hollingshead intercepted Day on for his fourth and final interception of the game, and returned it 63 yards for a Beaver touchdown.
“In practice, our coaches told us that they were going to run that little out route, so right when I saw it, I knew I could jump it and try and get it, and I did,” Hollingshead said. “That was like a nail in the coffin kind of thing when we got the pick-six.”
Late in the fourth quarter, Dallin Draper caught a pass along the left sideline for a 31-yard touchdown, which trimmed the final margin to just 19 following a failed two-point conversion attempt from the Rabbits.
“If we keep executing, we can win the championship,” Hollingshead said.