"We got behind the sticks a couple of times, so I just felt like Nephi in that fourth quarter in the wildcat, spread the field out and have those guys running around is an advantage to us," Franke said. "It was a big momentum-changer, I thought."
Sewell was hobbled in the second half with a leg injury, but continued to produce, both alongside Kiser and when directing the offense himself.
"Throughout this whole year, our run game was dominant and we knew that if we changed it up a bit and go to that wildcat, we had a great chance of getting more yards," an emotional Sewell said. "… Even though I was hurt, I didn't want to stay out, so I kept coming back in right after."
Utilizing the wildcat, the Thunder turned a Pine View punt with 11:48 remaining in the game into a four-play, 70-yard drive for a touchdown. After Desert Hills wide receiver Gavin Young fumbled a punt and the Thunder defense forced another Pine View punt with 7:48 remaining, the game-winning drive ate the rest of the clock with 82 yards in 16 plays.
After a first half in which Desert Hills racked up 152 yards, mixing in direct snaps to Sewell brought the final total on the ground to 320 yards and 6.8 yards per rushing attempt. Sewell bumped his first-half total of 93 yards on the ground to 243, an average of 10.1 yards per carry.
"Even though I was hurting, I knew the pain would be worth it toward the end," Sewell said.
R Desert Hills implements the wildcat formation in the second half of the game, rushing for 168 yards after halftime.
• Desert Hills gains 6.8 yards per rush while holding Pine View to 4.6.
• After gaining 93 yards in the first half, Nephi Sewell has 151 yards in the second.