With about two minutes left in Friday's grind-it-out, drizzly, and very spirited Civil War rivalry game against Hillcrest, Bonneville coach Kevin Kempf was already thinking about his postgame speech.
He wasn't quite sure how it would end, but the theme was obvious.
"I was going to tell these kids that that was a great freakin' high school football game," Kempf said. "We battled back and forth, we made great plays, they made great plays. We made mistakes, they made mistakes. But we just came out on top."
That's right. The streak is over. Bonneville rallied to score on its final possession to defeat the Knights 14-11, setting off a much anticipated celebration that's been seven years in the making.
For two teams that have struggled so far this season, Friday's matchup had all the intensity and atmosphere of a playoff game.
"We just needed a win for this program and we went out and got it done," Bonneville's Anthem Dahlke said. "It was awesome."
It was Dahlke with the game-winning catch, hauling in a perfectly lobbed pass by Jacob Perez to the left side of the end zone with 1:04 left. Dahlke was able to outjump the defender and landed near the front pylon.
In a game highlighted by defense, that was the offensive showstopper. But the game didn't start out that way.
Hillcrest took the opening possession and drove 80 yards and capped the drive with a six-yard scoring pass from Peyton King to Jaxon Holden, who bulled into the end zone. A two-point conversion put Hillcrest up 8-0.
Bonneville answered right back at the end of the quarter when Perez scored on a one-yard run. The Bees kicked the PAT to cut the lead to 8-7 entering the second quarter.
And that's when the defenses took over. With the rain coming down, it looked like the perfect setting for whichever team could get a turnover or maybe eat up the clock with a running attack.
The Knights and Bees entered as the two lowest scoring teams in 4A District 6, so it seemed likely the game might turn on a big play.
Hillcrest added a field goal with 4:26 left in the first half, but the second half turned into what many had expected.
"We talked about it all week long, this was going to be a bar room brawl," Kempf said. "Hillcrest is way better than what their win-loss record shows and we knew that going in."
Both teams tried to run, but with little or limited success. Hillcrest did find success through the air at times with King completing short passes to move the ball.
The Bees blocked a punt in Hillcrest territory but couldn't capitalize. Hillcrest blocked a 29-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter to maintain its 11-7 lead.
Did someone mention playoff atmosphere and intensity?
"It's a fun rivalry," first-year Hillcrest head coach Brennon Mossholder said. "This is something you only see in high school football."
With the clock ticking down on another fierce rivalry game and potentially another Bees loss, Bonneville took over at midfield. They pounded the ball with Ty Martinson and marched down to the 23-yard line.
"We felt like that last drive we were a little bigger than them and we'd try to overpower them and run the ball," Kempf said. "Try to get close enough to take a shot at the end zone."
The rest is Civil War history. Perez found Dahlke and the Bonneville defense held off a final charge by the Knights over the final 64 seconds.
"We had a game plan and we just stuck to it," Dahlke said. "Our defense came out and played a great game and our offense got it done when we needed to."
Hillcrest (0-7, 0-3) is still looking for its first win. Mossholder said he liked what he saw from his team on Friday. Two of the conference losses have been by two and three points.
"There's no question we'll be back and ready by Monday," he said.
"This game means everything to us," Kempf said, noting he felt there might be some momentum coming off last week's win over Shelley that snapped a 16-game losing streak.
Now the Bees (2-5, 2-1) have two conference wins and are squarely in the playoff picture.
BONNEVILLE 14, HILLCREST 11
Bonneville 7 0 0 7 — 14
Hillcrest 8 3 0 0 — 11
H — Jaxon Holden 6 pass from Peyton King (Drew Caldwell pass from King), 7:00
B — Jacob Perez 1 run (Briggs Hansen kick), 0:01
FG Aiden Zundel 28, 4:26
H — Anthem Dahlke 23 pass from Perez (Hansen kick), 1:04
RUSHING — Bonneville: Koah Harrigfeld 2-6, Ty Martinson 14-77, Xander Wolf 5-(minus-13), Jacob Perez 12-33, Jordan Robinson 6-23, Justin Jeppsen 1-4, Briggs Hansen 2-3, Jake Scoresby 1-4, Bryce Reeser 1-2. Hillcrest: Zach Greenig 11-12, Peyton King 6-2, Jaxon Holden 6-23, Braxton Battleson 1-1.
PASSING — Bonneville: Xander Wolf 1-4-0-22, Jacob Perez 3-4-0-58. Hillcrest: Peyton King 18-30-0-153.
RECEIVING — Bonneville: Briggs Hansen 1-22, Jake Scoresby 1-25, Anthem Dahlke 2-33. Hillcrest: Bridger Prince 3-29, Zach Greenig 2-18, Jaxon Holden 3-24, Cole Peninger 5-42, Tayson Pinegar 2-18, Drew Caldwell 2-6, Garrett Phippen 3-19.