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Herriman • A moment three years in the making helped motivate Herriman High's football team in its region finale Friday.
After honoring its first-ever senior class in a special pregame ceremony, Herriman took care of visiting Westlake early by jumping out to a 38-point halftime lead en route to a 55-7 victory.
The playoff-bound Mustangs reeled off 41 unanswered points and scored on their final six possessions of the game.
"We all like where we're at, but we can get so much better," Herriman running back Francis Bernard said. "That's the great thing about it. Toward the end of the season, we've been clicking and coming together. We hope to be a 1 or 2 (playoff seed), but we'll play anybody, anywhere, anytime."
Herriman finished in a three-way tie with Skyline and Olympus atop the Region 7 standings at 4-1. A coin flip between the principals of the three schools could happen by Monday to determine playoff seeding.
Bernard, one of the 33 seniors honored before the game, and the Mustangs didn't waste time leaving their mark. Bernard rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. Herriman led 14-0 before Westlake's first play from scrimmage with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Thunder (2-3, 3-6), who also earned a playoff berth, cut the lead to 14-7 on the first play of the second quarter but were shut out from there. The entire second half was played with a running clock.
"I was impressed with our consistency in all three phases of the game," Herriman coach Larry Wilson said. "I thought we did a really good job of complementing each other. Westlake hasn't had a lot of points scored on them, so we were a little surprised we were able to jump out on them."
Though unsure of their playoff seeding or opponent, the Mustangs (7-2 overall) had the look of a team primed for a long postseason run. Herriman rushed for 309 yards and outgained Westlake 426 to 149 overall.
"We did everything we could, and it's out of our control," Wilson said about his team's playoff destiny. "Good things happen when you give yourselves a chance."
Brandon Farmer rushed for 116 yards on just seven carries with a touchdown, and Jordan Drage had a solid game with four catches for 68 yards. Tueni Lupeamanu threw for two touchdowns, and Devin Rasmussen returned a muffed punt 15 yards for another score.
Wilson reflected on how far the program has come in short time.
"It's been a real special week," he said. "Heck, it's been a real special three years. We've stood shoulder to shoulder with this [senior] group before there was even a school built. It's been one of the greatest experiences of my life."
The Mustangs conclude the regular season Wednesday at Clearfield.