The Bowmen open up a 55-6 lead midway through the second half

For a solid week, the Sandy Pioneers heard about how dominant Sherwood was and how nobody had a chance against the Bowmen. On Friday, they learned that all the talk was more than just hype. The Bowmen imposed their will, put Sandy away early and skated to a 55-20 win.

“Hats off to Sherwood, I’m impressed,” Sandy coach Joe Polamalu said. “They run an efficient program. It is good for us to see a program like that to test our will and find out what we need to work on.”

Sherwood’s highly-touted, prolific offense was on full display against the Pioneers. On Sherwood’s first offensive play, halfback Tanner Shadbolt put the Bowmen in the driver’s seat as he broke through the line and sprinted 52 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.

The Sherwood defense followed by holding Sandy to a three-and-out for the second time and the Bowmen took over at their own 13-yard line. They only need five plays to complete an 87-yard scoring drive, capped with a touchdown run by Keegan Lawrence from the 9-yard line.

The Pioneers then slowed down Sherwood’s scoring attack, but only briefly. After the touchdown by Lawrence, Sherwood attempted an onside kick for the second time, and recovered. On the next play, quarterback Kevin Larkin was intercepted by Sandy defensive back Carson Dwyre. Sandy then got its first two first downs, but the drive stalled at the Sherwood 30-yard line on an interception.

The Bowmen capitalized on the turnover and scored again on a 43-yard touchdown run by Jake Reimer. Less than 11 minutes in, it was already a 21-point game.

Sandy broke up the shutout mid-way through the second quarter when running back Andrew Funk ran in from seven yards out after the Pioneers recovered a fumble. The Bowmen were visibly irked by the fact that Sandy scored, and they proceeded to score 34 unanswered points to take a 55-6 lead late in the third quarter.

The game was clearly decided at that point, but Sandy continued to fight and came up with a pair of highlight-reel plays of its own. On the final play of the third quarter, backup quarterback Dakota Dixon took the snap and turned to his right to hand the ball off, but the running back had gone the opposite way to the left. With no one to give the ball to, Dixon tucked it in and took off down the right sideline. He outran everyone and galloped in for a 72-yard touchdown.

With about five minutes left in the game, Dixon tested his arm. From the 44-yard line, Dixon threw up a deep ball to Dwyre who was running a streak down along the left sideline. The Sherwood cornerback tipped the ball, then Dwyre tipped it and gathered it in just as he reached the goal line, giving the Pioneers their third touchdown of the game.

“We competed all the way, and I’m proud of our guys for that,” Polamalu said. “They never stopped, and that is just who they are.”

Sandy was the first team this season to score 20 points on Sherwood, and the first to lose by less than 40 points. The Pioneers managed to eclipse 200 yards of total offense, more than half of which came from Dixon’s touchdown run and his toss to Dwyre.

On the other side, Sherwood had four plays of more than 40 yards in the first two-and-a-half quarters, and seven different players scored touchdowns in the game. The Bowmen have now won 21 straight games and are 47-1 (.979), dating back to 2010.

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