PLEASANT GROVE – After showcasing a high-powered offensive in week one by putting up 52 points in a season opener win against Kearns, the Pleasant Grove Vikings defense had an opportunity to flex its muscles.
Pleasant Grove dominated both sides of the ball throughout the game throttling Provo 41-7, but struggled early on because of self-inflicted mistakes.
“We had too many turnovers in the first half but our defense was solid all night except for a couple of plays,” Viking head coach Les Hamilton said. “Offensively we killed drives by not taking care of the ball well enough, but I’m really proud of our second half effort. We came out and played well.”
Pleasant Grove turned the ball over four times on three fumbles and an interception in the first 24 minutes of the game. However, the home team forced Provo into committing three turnovers itself, including two interceptions from Tyler Chatterton, all before halftime.
“We have to get better in the first half of games,” Hamilton said. “We have a bad habit of coming out, starting slow and making mistakes. We have to play hard early on, minimize turnovers and we’ll be OK.”
The Vikings manhandled the Bulldogs defensively up front halting visitor’s option attack and played the majority of the game on Provo side of the field. Defensive linemen Zac Dawson recovered a Provo fumble in the endzone to start the scoring for the Vikings and give the home team some needed momentum.
“Defensively Daillin Hatch and Caleb Wolthius played well a linebacker,” Hamilton said. “Brandon Dennison had a lot of tackles tonight and Mark Kruger was blowing things up and causing problems.”
While the defense was reeking havoc, the offense was having its own way with the Provo defense.
After an outstanding performance last week, PG wideout Skylar Munson was held in check for most of the night. The Vikings turned to a trio of men in blue, Colton Babb, Dallin Hatch and Spencer Romney, for it’s offensive production.
Babb rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown while also catching five receptions for 51 yards, while Romney and Hatch each had two touchdowns.
“We struggled a bit in the first half with a couple of turnovers but we came out in the second half pushing hard and put them away,” Romney said.
Babb recognized his team’s first half struggles as well, but believes that this win is a step in the right direction.
“We started off rough like last week, but we came out well in the second half and shut them down,” he said. “We want to continue playing well on defense every game, and on offense we need to continue to work on hold onto the ball. If we can do that, no one can stop us.”
Despite the mistakes, Hamilton is encouraged by what he has seen from his team so far.
“I was really pleased with how we played but now we just need to tidy things up but that’s what the preseason is for,” he said. “For now, we need to improve in practice this week and prepare for a tough Timpanogos team next week.”
Provo 0 7 0 0 - 7
Pleasant Grove 6 14 21 0 - 41
PG-Colton Babb 37 run (kick failed)
PG-Spencer Romney 2 run (Trevor Ward kick)
P-Caleb Barton 23 pass from Jeff Van Buren (Christian Cardoso kick)
PG-Dallin Hatch 38 pass from Michael Anderson (Ward kick)
PG-Zac Dawe 0 fumble return (Ward kick)
PG-Hatch 0 fumble recovery (Ward kick)
PG-Romney 13 pass from Anderson (Ward kick)