American Fork and Pleasant Grove met on the gridiron Friday night in a hard-fought battle featuring the two neighboring foes. The Vikings visited the 4-3 Cavemen, boasting a near perfect 6-1 record. In the end, the Cavemen got the better of the Vikings, defeating them 38-26.
Both teams struggled to put points on the board for most of the first half.
Near the end of the first quarter, the Cavemen struck first for the only score of the quarter. The touchdown came on a 42-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Taylor Crump, putting American Fork on top, 7-0.
The visiting Vikings responded at the start of the second quarter forcing Cavemen sophomore quarterback Maddux Madsen to fumble inside the American Fork 10-yard line. Pleasant Grove capitalized on the turnover when Caleb Campbell scrambled toward the sideline before finding Kael Mikkelsen in the back of the endzone for the score.
Pleasant Grove followed up Mikkelsen’s touchdown with an impressive 50-yard drive. The Viking’s junior, Rex Connors, put his powerful running abilities on display dragging defenders to the American Fork 4-yard line. He eventually would push his way into the endzone on third-and-goal to put Pleasant Grove up by seven.
Not to be outdone, American Fork put together their own touchdown drive before the half. The score came on a Madsen 54-yard pass that dropped perfectly in the waiting arms of sophomore Fisher Ingersoll who sprinted down the sideline and into the endzone. The two teams were deadlocked at 14 going into halftime.
Coming out of the half, the Cavemen drove 80 yards to take a 21-14 lead. On a fourth down in Viking territory, Madsen showcased his impressive accuracy again, throwing another deep ball that found Tanner Holden in stride for a 36-yard touchdown.
Before the third quarter came to a close, both teams would score again. American Fork added three points on a Spencer Nielson field goal while Pleasant Grove drove 55 yards, scoring on a Campbell 22-yard quarterback keeper. After a failed Viking PAT the score going into the fourth quarter favored the Cavemen 24-20.
Madsen threw his fourth touchdown pass of the night to his tight end Noah Moeaki. Moeaki barreled his way into the endzone for nine yards, extending the American Fork lead to 31-20. Madsen put the Vikings away for good on a quarterback sneak at the goal line to give the Cavemen a 38-20 advantage.
Pleasant Grove would score on a pitch-and-catch from Campbell to Mikkelsen with under a minute to play. The Vikings could not convert the two-point conversion making Mikkelsen’s touchdown the last score of the game.
American Fork will face another tough test next week when they play Lone Peak on the road. Pleasant Grove will head back home where they will face Westlake on Thursday night.