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Spring Mountain blasts Sandy Valley for first win

Eric Brooks stood comfortably on the home sideline Wednesday afternoon and boogied as a Lil Wayne song blared from the gargantuan speakers at Spring Mountain High School some 8,000 feet above sea level.

His game against Sandy Valley had practically just started. But for the Golden Eagles’ senior quarterback, the party was well underway.

Spring Mountain annihilated the Sidewinders 64-0 on Friday afternoon in front of a modest home crowd to pick up its first win of the season in Class 1A.

Seven players scored touchdowns for the Golden Eagles, who took a 38-0 lead midway through the second quarter to trigger the running clock.

Brooks ceded his quarterbacking duties before halftime and danced with his teammates to other rap songs as Spring Mountain’s second- and third-stringers continued the thrashing.

“Once you get to know everybody, it’s a lot different from the first game,” Brooks said in reference to Spring Mountain’s 22-0 loss to Joshua Springs (Calif.) on Aug. 26. “Once we really kind of focus on the main goal and focus on the win, we do a nice job of working together.”

The Golden Eagles had three weeks to fine-tune their offense — more than enough time to victimize visiting Sandy Valley.

Brooks threw touchdown passes on each of Spring Mountain’s first two drives in the first quarter, and Golden Eagles running back Tyriq McKinney joined the action with two touchdown runs in the first 12 minutes.

Sandy Valley, meanwhile, struggled to gain even 1 yard against Spring Mountain’s active defensive front. Sidewinders quarterback Brandon Eastham was 2-for-18 for 63 yards and an interception and carried 12 times for 20 yards.

“We want to be a defensive team,”Golden Eagles coach Aaron Masden said. “If our defense plays great, we’ll always be in the game no matter what our offense does. I’m pleased with the defense. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made offensively.”

Spring Mountain rushed 15 times for 179 yards and five touchdowns. Brooks threw the two scores and backup quarterback Kody Harlan came off the bench to throw a touchdown. Sandy Valley finished with 84 yards of total offense.

Sidewinders coach Brett Kramer said the Golden Eagles’ speed was a problem and added that future opponents will seem slower than Spring Mountain.

“We’re able to hopefully adjust to it,” Kramer said, “better than we did this week.”

The Golden Eagles now are 1-1 heading into next week’s matchup against Class 1A juggernaut Pahranagat Valley. The Panthers have won eight consecutive small-school state championships and 96 straight games, a national record for eight-man football.

“They’re a great program, and if it wasn’t for them, our program wouldn’t be where it’s at,” Masden said. “You have to have somebody to push you, and they’ve pushed as coaches to develop to be faster to be competitive. We want to beat them. We want to be the one to snap the streak.”

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