Sandy • The Allentown Redbirds brought some New Jersey toughness and elusiveness for their cross-country football battle against Alta on Saturday.
That sometimes translated into a few extra yards after contact at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The trouble for the visitors was that Alta used its superior size and speed to blow past the Redbirds 44-7.
"We've kind of had a rough preseason and we really needed to get things going," Alta receiver Nate Teahan said.
Teahan got it rolling for Alta (2-2) when he grabbed a pass from Chipper Lucero and almost went down at the Allentown 45. But instead of hitting the ground, Teahan bounced up and raced to the end zone to complete the 66-yard scoring play.
"I just stuck my hand down," Teahan said. "I guess I got lucky and kept running."
Alta took a two-touchdown lead in the second quarter when Tanner Sansom, who piled up 181 yards rushing, exploited a large hole in the left side of the line and ran 46 yards to the end zone.
Allentown (1-1) had its most successful surge into Alta's territory on the heels of Sansom's score. The Redbirds drove from their own 32 into the Hawks' red zone before settling for a 28-yard field-goal attempt.
That try ended up well short, and Sansom accelerated past the Allentown defense for an 80-yard rushing touchdown and a 22-0 lead on the next play from scrimmage.
"I thought they were a pretty good team, but we focused this week on just getting better ourselves," Alta coach Bob Stephens said. "We wanted to fix execution issues and get into a rhythm. We've had three very tough weeks, and that was by design because we've got to get ready to play in, I think, a very tough region."
The Hawks extended the advantage to 28-0 before halftime when Teahan received an Allentown punt at the 29 and flipped the ball to Mack Richards, who went down the left sideline 71 yards.
Allentown, which had a 43-year streak of losing seasons end just four years ago, made the New Jersey state semifinals in 2012 under coach Jay Graber.
"It was an amazing experience for our team and our program," said Graber, whose team was scheduled to take a red-eye flight to New York late Saturday night. "Everything except the game itself was a fantastic experience."
Storylines Alta 44, Allentown, N.J. 7
R The Alta offense outgains Allentown, N.J., 426 yards to 230.
• Alta quarterback Chipper Lucero throws for 192 yards and two scores.