It’s been four long years since South Fremont last handed Sugar-Salem a loss. This year’s victory was extra sweet as the Cougars played spoiler to their No. 1-ranked rival, handing the Diggers their first loss, winning 27-21 in a back-and-forth heavyweight bout.
The Cougars led for nearly the entire game but Sugar-Salem kept it close throughout.
After South Fremont went up 21-7, the Diggers rallied with a touchdown drive of their own, then linebacker Ryan Harris took back an interception 20 yards for the score to tie it up seconds later making the score 21-all at halftime.
As the third quarter came to a close, South Fremont drove into the red zone again but after its first three downs netted negative yards, quarterback Kaimen Peebles hit receiver Dallin Orme in the corner of the end zone for a toe-tapping catch to put the Cougars up 27-21.
The Diggers had a couple of chances to tie or take the lead with drives starting with about 10 minutes and about four minutes on the clock but South Fremont's defensive line enveloped Sugar-Salem quarterback Kyzon Garner.
“They were getting after it,” South Fremont head coach Chad Hill said. “I don’t know how many pass deflections they had but it seems like we had a bunch."
South Fremont’s defense ended Sugar’s night when Cooper Hurt tipped down Garner’s pass on fourth-and-15 with under a minute to play.
South Fremont may not have been as consistent offensively as it's been in many of its games this year, but it made clutch plays on both sides of the ball.
“I thought we had a bunch of different guys step up,” Hill said. “Cooper Hurt had a huge game. We just kept moving the chains when we needed to.”
Peebles played another strong game.
After losing to the Diggers three years in a row and watching the Diggers hold up the state championship trophy, South Fremont will be the rivalry game winner for the next year.
“It was awesome,” Hill said. “It’s a pretty sweet feeling for these boys. They’ve put in a lot of work since last year and it payed off a little bit tonight. I’m excited for them.”
To complete what it started, South Fremont needs to beat Teton next week.
“This is a big win for us,” Hill said. “A big win for our program. There’s one more out there that we have to take care of if we want to be district champs. We have to refocus on Monday and make sure we’re ready for Teton because they’re a great team too.”