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Boys: Brighton Defeats Judge to Repeat as State Champs

The Brighton Bengals defeated their conference rival Judge Bulldogs once again this season to defend their title as State Champs.  The Bengals and Bulldogs battled all the way to the end with Brighton coming out on top once more, 9-8.  Brighton got up early on Judge before they came storming back for an exciting finish.
Both teams came out with big game jitters struggling to get decent looks while chasing each other up and down the field.  Brighton got the scoring started on an unassisted goal from midfielder Chase Paulson with only 3:45 seconds left in the first quarter.  The Bengals got another on a sweet dish from midfielder Dillon Tran, finding a slicing attackman Kurt Pascoe for the goal in front of the crease, ending the quarter at 2-0.  Nate Wilkinson kept the mojo going from their last win against Alta, recording 4 huge saves in the first quarter.
The Bengals kept on rolling in the 2nd quarter thanks to the stellar play Tran.  The Senior midfielder had two unassisted goals to start out the quarter for Brighton, putting them up 4-0.  Judge finally got on the board on a goal from Senior Attackman Patrick Griffin to stop the bleeding.  Brighton came right back though, thanks in large part to their face-off specialist Sam Snyder.  Snyder helped control the ball off of the next face-off before moving it to attackman Jayden Haws who found fellow attackman Evan Alger for the 5-1 lead.  Snyder  then won the next face for the Bengals, leading to another unassisted goal by Tran.
Judge made an adjustment at the face-off X, switching in Jack Keller to help control the possession in favor of the bulldogs.  Keller won one for Judge leading to a goal by Dominic Conti that cut the Brighton lead to 6-2.  Jayden Haws got yet another unassisted goal for the Bengals that put the lead back up to 5 goals at 7-2.  The Bulldogs looked to be completely out of the game at this point and needed some momentum heading into halftime.  Judges Senior Attackmen Patrick Griffin answered the call, first finding Toby Allison cutting in front of the cage for the score.  Griffin then got a feed from attackman Ethan Gosselin to score with only 27 seconds remaining in the first half, and claiming a little momentum in their favor.
The Bulldogs played a great 3rd quarter thanks in large part to the change they made earlier in the game at the X.  Keller won all 3 face-offs in the 3rd quarter for Judge, helping the bulldogs climb back in to the game.  Judge got 2 more goals from Griffin, coming from assists by Wilson Lamb and Brian Allen.  Judges defense played an amazing 3rd quarter, shutting out the Bengals for a whole twelve minutes, doing  something not many teams can say they’ve done this year. The Bulldogs seemed to have all the momentum heading in to the final quarter of the year, trailing by only 1 goal at 7-6.

Brighton Goalie Nate Wilkinson
Judge and Brighton battled throughout a tough 4th quarter, turning the ball over 4 times each, and struggling to settle down.  Brighton got the first goal of the quarter from midfielder Elias Fairman to go back up by 2 with about  7 minutes remaining.  Judge could not get much going in the 4th quarter but finally scored with 3 minutes remaining on a man-up goal by midfielder Brian Allen to give the Bulldogs a shot at to take the game to overtime.  Judge couldn’t get another decent chance at a score until the final buzzer but it was saved by Wilkinson, ending the game at 8-7.  The Bengals only scored once in the entire second half but it was all they needed to finish off the season as champs.
Judge played an absolutely intense game but unfortunately fell short in the end of this one, finishing their season with a tough loss.  Judge was led by Patrick Griffin who finished with 4 goals and 1 assists in one of his best efforts of the year.  Brian Allen also finished with 1 goal and 1 assist on the game.  Judge Junior Goalie Matt Crispo had a tough game, finishing with 5 saves. The Bulldogs should still be very proud of an excellent season that ended 1 goal short, you better believe they will be back next year.
Brighton got a great performance from their seniors, who finished their time on the team with 2 State Championships.  Two-Time All-American Attackmen Jayden Haws finished 1 goal and 1 assist for the Bengals.  Dillon Tran was the most impressive player on the field though, finishing with 3 goals and 1 assist in the game.  Tran was a big part of the Bengals playoff success making big plays in both of their last games.  Nate Wilkinson played another solid playoff game for Brighton as well, finishing with 10 saves, including 3 big ones in the 4th quarter.
When asked about the performance of his seniors, Brighton Head Coach Brandon Horoba said, “They’re awesome.  Heart and soul of this team, twenty kids that gave everything, everyday for the last four years.  Back to back state champions, not a lot of people can say that.  They get to take something with them that is very special.”
This was a great weekend of championship lacrosse, and it was an excellent finish to a very special season.
2011 Brighton Bengals - Boys D-I State Champions
 

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7 comments
  1. second year in a row with two teams from the salt lake conference in the state championship they need to realign the conferences. salt lake and south conferences are stacked and the other two are terrible

    1. At least if the best 2 teams are in the same conference they can play each other in the final and all teams from the conference get placed in 4 separate groups in the first round. The biggest downside of weak conferences is when deserving teams don't get into the playoffs while lesser teams are there.

  2. Way to go Bengals! Everyone outside doubted you, but you obviously believed in yourself. An online comment made a few weeks ago said that Alta was the best team the state of Utah has ever seen. What does that make Brighton? Back to back state champs 🙂

    1. Awesome job Bengals!! You played with heart and conviction no matter what the ney sayers said about you! Your back to back champs is well deserved and says it all!

  3. Way to represent the salt lake conference brighton! Park city will be back better than ever next year!! They return all but two starters and will be a team to be reckoned with. PC will be state champs next year!! no doubt

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