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“Go make a play”: Springville scores on last play of game to earn trip to 5A finals

By Darnell Dickson - | Nov 11, 2021
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The Springville football team celebrates scoring a touchdown on the final play of the game against Orem in the 5A state semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Darnell Dickson/Daily Herald)
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The Springville football team mauls tight end Walker Deede after the game-winning catch against Orem in the 5A state semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Darnell Dickson/Daily Herald)
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Springville running back Will Penrod runs the ball during the 5A semifinal game against Orem at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Springville running back Seth Rigtrup runs the ball upfield during the 5A semifinal game against Orem at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Orem wide receiver Kolton Brown runs the ball up field during the 5A semifinal game against Springville at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Orem quarterback Chase Tuatagaloa runs the ball upfield during the 5A semifinal game against Springville at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Orem running back Kolton Brown gets tackled during the 5A semifinal game against Springville at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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A Springville running back runs the ball upfield during the 5A semifinal game against Orem at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Orem running back Kolton Brown gets tackled during the 5A semifinal game against Springville at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Springville running back Will Penrod runs the ball upfield during the 5A semifinal game against Orem at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Springville wide receiver Austin Mortensen runs the ball upfield during the 5A semifinal game against Orem at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Orem running back Mack Hixson gets tackled during the 5A semifinal game against Springville at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Orem running back Mack Hixson gets tackled during the 5A semifinal game against Springville at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Orem running back Mack Hixson runs the ball upfield during the 5A semifinal game against Springville at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Springville quarterback Ryder Burton throws a pass during the 5A semifinal game against Orem at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Harold Mitchell, Special to the Herald)
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Springville's Cole Clement (11) reaches a fumble just before an Orem player during the 5A state semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. (Darnell Dickson/Daily Herald)

SALT LAKE CITY – With two seconds left and trailing Orem 26-21 in the Class 5A semifinals, Springville quarterback Ryder Burton told junior tight end Walker Deede to “go make a play.”

Hey, when your quarterback gives you an order …

Burton scrambled and threw back across his body to Deede, who went up high to snag the ball for a 9-yard touchdown play with no time on the clock. Deede was mobbed by his teammates on the field to put an exclamation mark on a heart-stopping 27-26 victory on Thursday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

“I just had a nine (pattern) in the end zone and then Ryder started rolling out,” Deede said. “So I started to go that way and I saw everyone got that way. So I just went back the other way. I was just thinking ‘Go up and get it.’ Not be denied, just do my thing. This is just a fantasy, almost. You dream about doing that stuff as a little kid.”

Clutch must run in the Deede genes. His sister, Lauryn, hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in last year’s 5A girls basketball state championship game.

“They (Orem) were double covering (Cole) Clement and (Bradey) Mortensen and for good reason because they make big plays,” Springville coach Willy Child said. “We knew he (Deede) was probably going to be open. The receivers joke with him because we have great ones but they all know he has the best hands.”

Burton finished with 208 passing yards and three touchdown passes.

“I said, ‘Deede, go make a play,” Burton admitted. “He said, ‘I got you.’ He made a heck of snag. My initial read wasn’t there because the linebacker got underneath the seam route and then their defensive tackle came rushing in. I just took off. I was just flowing backside and hucked it.”

Springville – the No. 1 seed – looked cooked with 8:11 to play when Orem took a 26-14 lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Chase Tautagaloa to Roger Saleapaga. Instead, the Red Devils staged a comeback for the ages.

Seth Rigtrup capped an 8-play, 65-yard drive with a 1-yard run to get Springville to within 26-21 with 5:08 to play. On Orem’s next possession, Porter Small caused a fumble and Clement fell on the ball at the Tigers 43 with 2:59 remaining. Three plays later, Eniasi Matina picked off a Burton pass and Orem took over with 2:15 to go. The Red Devils got a stop and used all three time outs to force a punt, getting the ball back at their own 27 with just under two minutes left.

Deede figured prominently in the 13-play drive, converting a third-and-1 and a fourth-and-2 with tough catches. On the second catch he was popped a good one by the Orem defense and came off the field but returned to grab a 19-yard reception that set up Springville on the Tigers 9-yard line with 14 seconds to play.

Two incomplete passes set the clock at two seconds, time for just one more play.

THE play, if you’re from Springville.

“You can thank them,” Burton said, pointing at the still celebrating Springville fans. “The crowd is what kept us in this game. The energy was unreal and resulted in them making some miscues. I can’t thank everyone enough. We’ve got some fight. To come back like that takes guts and I’m so proud of everyone.”

Small was terrific anchoring both lines for Springville, finishing with 11 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. Ryder Poulson led the Red Devils with 12 tackles. Mortensen had five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown and Deede finished with five catches – four on the final drive – for 67 yards.

Orem (7-6), the No. 21 seed coming into the playoffs, saw its state championship streak end at four after winning in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Tigers controlled the clock and ran for 217 yards, including 75 from Mack Hixson, 70 from Kolton Brown-Dye and 68 from Tautagaloa. Matina had 16 tackles for Orem, a forced fumble and an interception.

The last time the Tigers lost in the playoffs was in 2016 to Springville.

The Red Devils (11-1) advance to next Friday’s championship game and will play the Lehi-Stansbury winner.

Springville last appeared in the state title game in 2016 but hasn’t won a state championship since 1985. Red Devils coach Willy Child pointed to the spot in the Rice-Eccles Stadium bleacher where he watched that game.

“We just need to focus at practice and get to work,” Child said. “We’ve gotten this far because of the way they’ve been focused in practice. You know, the last time we won a state championship I was a freshman sitting in the stands right there. So it’s well overdue, but we know we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Orem 0 7 12 7 — 26

Springville 7 7 0 13 — 27

S-Clement 31 pass from Burton (Dodd kick)

O-Johnson 1 run (Buss kick)

S-Mortensen 12 pass from Burton (Dodd kick)

O-Hixson 3 pass from Tautagaloa (kick failed)

O–Brown 14 run (pass failed)

O-Saleapaga 9 pass from Tautagaloa (Buss kick)

S-Rigtrup 1 run (Dodd kick)

S-Deede 9 pass from Burton

 

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