Prep Football

Easton Valley tops Springville in battle of 8-Player unbeatens, 65-48

Kolton Murphy rushes for 5 TDs for the No. 6 River Hawks

SPRINGVILLE — Easton Valley lost quite a bit from a nine-win team in 2019.

Turns out, the River Hawks returned plenty, too.

Kolton Murphy rushed for five touchdowns Friday night, and sixth-ranked Easton Valley erupted for 36 second-quarter points in a 65-48 8-Player District 3 football victory over Springville at Allison Field.

“They’re aggressive,” Springville Coach Joe Martin said. “You can see it on film, but you can’t simulate it.”

Easton Valley (4-0, 3-0) racked up 491 yards — 272 on the ground, 219 in the air.

Murphy carried it 34 times for 171 yards, and quarterback Conor Gruver completed 12 of 27 passes for 211 yards and a pair of scores.

That was enough to neutralize the big-play capabilities of the Orioles (3-1, 2-1), who scored five times on plays of 48 yards or more.

Spencer DeMean returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and added a 65-yard TD run. But he battled leg cramps from the second quarter on, and “we became a lot more one-dimensional after that,” Martin said.

The game started tamely enough, with the defenses rising up through most of the first quarter. Murphy’s 10-yard touchdown run broke the ice with 43 seconds left in the quarter to put the River Hawks in front, 6-0.

Springville matched the River Hawks touchdown for touchdown through most of the second quarter, getting a pair of big plays from DeMean, the latter of which gave the Orioles their final lead, 22-20.

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But Gruver connected with Parker Olson on a 25-yard TD pass, then added another scoring strike, a 28-yarder to Carson Fuegen.

Murphy’s third touchdown of the half — a 2-yarder with 18 seconds left — put Easton Valley in front, 42-22, at intermission.

The River Hawks accumulated 287 yards of total offense (137 rushing, 150 passing) in the opening half, and Andin Farrell added a 10-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Springville closed a 27-point deficit to 55-40 on Bryce Wilson’s 69-pard TD pass to Luke Menster with 9:21 left, and got a couple of stops to give itself a chance to get closer.

But an intentional-grounding penalty in the end zone accounted for a safety to make it a three-possession game again, then Murphy’s final touchdown with 2:01 left wrapped it up.

It gets even tougher for Springville next week; the Orioles face No. 1 Don Bosco on the road. Easton Valley hosts Midland.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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