For one half, No. 36 East (Utah) gave No. 2 IMG Academy (Florida) all it could handle before dropping a 43-19 decision to the Ascenders who won their 34th straight game.
East, the two-time defending 4A champs, fell behind 7-0 on the first play of the night, but then fought back to take leads of 12-7 and 19-15. At halftime, the Leopards only trailed 22-19.
However, the second half was all IMG. Running backs Noah Cain and Trey Sanders both topped the century mark on the ground with 127 and 102 yards respectively.
IMG will be idle next week before playing Alabama top-dawg Hoover on November 3. East, which moves-up to Utah’s new 6A classification this year, opens the postseason next week.