In an attempt to quell the emotion of an overtime semifinal victory, Ray Hosner's voice still cracked. Tears began to form in his eyes, but the Pine View coach successfully put a stop to it when he found the words appropriate to summarize a 48-42 win over Juan Diego, a victory that propelled Pine View into the Class 3AA final next weekend.
"Just proud to be a Panther today," Hosner said.
Minutes removed from Kody Wilstead's seventh touchdown of the day, a 14-yard touchdown pass to a sliding Colton Miller in the corner of the southside end zone at Rice-Eccles Stadium that capped Pine View's phenomenal comeback, the Panthers sang the school's fight song and celebrated the opportunity to play for a state crown.
"We just came out with the win … somehow," said Jack Bangerter, Pine View's wideout who snagged the 2-point conversion with 1 second left in regulation.
Somehow, the Panthers rallied every time they were pushed back.
Trailing 21-7 at halftime and unable to find much footing offensively, Pine View's offense exploded in the second half on the arm of Wilstead, the legs of running back Pano Tiatia and the multitude of Panther weapons.
After trading touchdowns with the Soaring Eagle in the third quarter, Wilstead's 50-yard touchdown pass to Tristan Duran gave the Panthers their first lead of the game with 5:06 left in the fourth.
The next 10 minutes featured four touchdowns by both sides, including a 15-yard touchdown by Jesse Springer with 1:32 remaining, a touchdown that Pine View welcomed. Down to one timeout, the Panthers were happy to let Springer waltz in.
"I told our kids, 'Don't tackle them, let them score,'" Hosner said. "I was like, 'Guys, if they don't take a knee, you've got to carry them into the end zone whatever you've got to do."
That left the 6-foot-6 Wilstead to utilize his cannon right arm on a 92-yard drive. He found Duran on a 51-yard pass with one second left, which was immediately followed by his scrambling on a 2-point conversation attempt before finding Bangerter outstretched in the back of the end zone to knot the score 42-42.
After the Panther defense, which was on its heels early in the semifinal against the Soaring Eagle, kept Juan Diego off the scoreboard on the first possession of overtime, Wilstead went back to work, eventually finding Miller for the final-clinching touchdown.
"[Hosner] just had faith in us the whole game," Wilstead said. "It's all it took."
Storylines Pine View 48, J. Diego 42 (OT)
P Kody Wilstead throws for 402 yards and five TDs to lead Pine View.
• Wilstead completes a 51-yard pass for a TD with 1 second left to force overtime.