By Kurt Johnson
Photos by Dave Argyle (DBA Photography) & Kurt Johnson
You never know how the short preparation week is going to impact high school football when fall break comes around. Most of last week’s games were played Wednesday night and that made for some interesting results.
The postseason is here for the small school classifications, and just one week remains in the regular season for the bigger schools and that means the week featured some contests with big time playoff implications, including Davis and Hunter squaring off essentially for the Region 2 title and Bingham and Jordan doing the same in Region 3.
As we look at the players who stepped up on Wednesday night (and a few on Thursday and Friday nights) for Week 9 of the Utah high school football season, here are some of the notable performances we took note of. Let us know about the big plays and players we did not get on our list….
Sky View (5-0 Region 1, 9-0 overall) continues to roll in its first season in Class 5A, with a game for the league championship coming up Friday night against Mountain Crest. The Bobcats took care of Fremont (3-3, 5-4) as their defense sacked the quarterback 12 times, led by Max Christensen (3.5), Jamison Maiden (2.5) and Jake Pitcher (2). Garrison Beach completed 21-of-33 for 372 yards and four scores, while Bryce Mortenson had seven grabs for 109 yards and three touchdowns and Breygan Holbrook caught seven for 103 yards and a TD.
The Bingham (5-0 Region 3, 8-1 overall) running game was in fine form as the Miners took care of business against Jordan (4-1, 7-2) 56-42. Jahvontay Smith (25 carries, 175 yards, two touchdowns) and Brady Atkin (14-173-3) were the leaders as Bingham ran up 486 yards rushing.
The Beetdiggers did much of their damage late, as Drew Lisk ran up huge numbers with 29-of-43 for 454 yards and five scores. Spencer Curtis and Alika Tuia each had 147 yards receiving, while Isaiah Jackson caught passes for 111.
Brighton (4-1 Region 3, 7-2 overall) put up some amazing offensive numbers in very limited playing time as the starters got some time off after the Bengals scored 59 points in the first half on their way to a 59-8 win over Copper Hills. Andrew Covey completed just seven passes, but six of them went for touchdowns, with record-setting receiver Simi Fehoko on the receiving end of six of those passes and five of the TDs.
Fehoko is six yards short of the state record for career receiving yards with 3, 439 and one shy of the career mark for TD catches with 40 as he went for 198 yards and also intercepted a pass. That was one of five picks by five different Bengal defenders. Sione Lund also put up big numbers for Brighton with 133 yards on just five runs and a touchdown each on the ground and through the air. Lund also had six tackles and two sacks.
Another game that saw starters barely play into the second quarter was Alta’s (3-2 Region 7, 6-3 overall) 69-7 victory over Timpanogos. The Timberwolves scored their seven points first, but by the end of the opening stanza, it was 49-7 for the Hawks, who cruised to the win from there. Joshua Davis carried just 11 times for 237 yards and four TDs (all in the first quarter), including scoring runs of 21, 57 and 72 yards.
Provo (4-1 Region 7, 7-2 overall) solidified its hold on second place in Region 7 with a 27-18 win over Corner Canyon (3-2, 3-5). Viliami Iongi completed 18-of-25 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns, while Ty Jones caught six for 178 yards and a score. Paden Jorgensen had 13 tackles and an interception for the Bulldog defense.
One of the week’s most exciting games was a non-league affair as Juab (3-1 3A South, 7-2 overall) beat Union (2-2 3A North, 4-5) 49-48. Ryker Osborne threw five touchdown passes and ran for a sixth for the Wasps, and Payton Bowring caught two TD passes and ran for one as well.
Vil Lutui of the Cougars put up huge numbers on 14-of-21 passing for 283 yards and three scores along with 24 carries for 303 yards and three TDs, for 586 yards of total offense.
Logan (5-0 3AA North, 7-2 overall) sent a message that it will be a player in the 3AA playoffs when it took down Desert Hills (3-1 3AA South, 4-4) 42-12. Troy Murray had nine tackles and a pair of sacks to pace the Grizzly defense, while Hartman Rector (8 receptions, 102 yards, TD) and Hunter Horsley (340 yards passing with two scores and 15 carries for 64 yards) led the offense.
South Summit (5-0 2A North, 9-0 overall) won the rivalry game against North Summit (4-1, 6-3) 17-7 as Porter Fitzgerald had 19 tackles.
Thomas Anderson led Monticello (2-1 1A South, 5-4 overall) to a 27-14 win over Milford (1-2, 5-3) as Thomas Anderson had 29 rushes for 147 yards and a touchdown. Brayson Wilcox had three sacks.
Carter Hardy had a huge statistical night defensively for Milford with 20 tackles.
Finishing off its season due to a Week 10 bye, Timpview (6-0 Region 7, 8-1 overall) locked up the league title with a 28-0 win over Mountain View as Nate Richardson recorded nine tackles as Alex Hale and Kennan Pili each had eight.
Kolby Smith and Jonathan Elmore each scored defensive TDs for Maple Mountain (3-2 Region 8, 7-2 overall) as the Golden Eagles beat Payson 38-7. Dawson Beutler turned just two receptions into 117 yards as he took one 86 yards to the house.
Wasatch (4-1 Region 8, 7-2 overall) defeated Spanish Fork (2-3, 4-5) as Hayden Richards ran it 21 times for 123 yards and a TD and Kade Trowbridge caught eight passes for 98 yards and a score.
Talmage Gunther (16-of-23, 194 yards, three TDs) and Jackson McChesney (5 catches, 97 yards) led the way as Lone Peak (5-0 Region 4, 9-0 overall) remained perfect on the year with a 37-21 win over Woods Cross (1-3 Region 5, 3-6).
Connor Taylor had 15 tackles, while Riley Smith ran 25 times for 121 yards and two TDs as Davis (5-0 Region 2, 8-0 overall) took control of the league with a 28-15 win over Hunter (4-1, 5-4) after the Wolverines led 8-0 at halftime.
Carson Pututau had 12 tackles for Hunter and David Mapa made the most of his two catches, covering 87 yards and scoring on an 80-yard scoring toss.
Layton (2-3 Region 2, 5-3 overall) forced its way into a three-way tie for fourth place with Viewmont (2-3, 4-5) and Granger as Keoni Larsen carried 23 times for 127 yards and two TDs to lead the Lancers over Viewmont 31-30.
Cortland George led the way for the Vikings with four touchdowns.
Taylorsville (2-4 Region 3, 3-6 overall) beat Cottonwood 38-7 as Dane Leituala ran for three touchdowns and passes for two more.
Darrin Gethers put up big numbers once again for Summit Academy as he had seven catches for 207 yards and a touchdown. Justin Miller completed 20-of-36 for the Bears as they knocked off American Leadership Academy 30-8.
Lavani Damuni (13 carries, 50 yards, TD and seven catches for 114 yards) and Tanner Schwab (13-of-21, 223 yards, TD) paced Mountain Crest (5-0 Region 1, 8-0 overall) as the Mustangs positioned themselves for a winner-take all league title battle with Sky View next week with a 35-0 win over Clearfield.
A 6-yard touchdown pass from Coleby Stark to Trace Tupe was the only fourth-quarter score as Roy (3-2 Region 1, 4-3 overall) survived a tough battle with Northridge (1-4, 3-6) 35-31. Hunter Mather scored on runs of 41 and 61 yards for the Royals.
Jrue Perkins (17 carries, 134 yards and 198 yards passing) and Cyrus Daniels (17 carries, 102 yards, two TDs and 5 receptions, 86 yards) turned in strong nights for the Knights.
Juan Diego (4-0 3A North, 8-1 overall) held off Canyon View 39-38 behind 44 and 61-yard scoring runs from Kaden Hayward and a 79-yard TD run by Ryan Baker.
Three Jake Jutkins TD runs were key for Herriman (5-0 Region 4, 7-2 overall) in its 31-7 win over Lehi that sets the stage for the Mustangs to go head-to-head with Lone Peak for the Region 4 title next week.
Pleasant Grove (3-2 Region 4, 5-4 overall) took care of Westlake 34-2 as Isaac Hamilton threw for 258 yards and four TDs and Dane Christiansen turned four catches into 149 yards and two scores.
East (4-0 Region 5, 6-2 overall) ran it for 377 yards, led by Jaylen Warren (17-136-2 TDs), Sione Molisi (9-121-1) and Johnnie Lang (20-118-1) as it beat Highland 31-6.
Bountiful (2-2 Region 5, 5-4 overall) benefited from 17 carries for 133 yards and a 64-yard TD along with 13 tackles by Max Tooley as the Braves beat Olympus (4-0 Region 6, 6-3 overall) 21-17. Connor Lloyd had 18 tackles and an interception for Bountiful.
A Bear River (2-3 3AA North, 3-6 overall) 19-13 win over Judge Memorial (2-3, 3-6) put the two teams into the mix in a four-way tie for third place in 3AA North with just one week to go in the season. Gage Kaneko ran 18 times for 161 yards and three scores and Kelton Williams had four sacks.
Stansbury (2-3 3AA North, 6-3 overall) is part of that same deadlock after its 56-20 victory over Ben Lomond. McCoy Didericksen had 15 carries for 154 yards and two TDs and also came up with six tackles, while Colton Christiansen picked up 123 yards on eight rushes and Brennen Calder had nine tackles, four tackles-for-loss and two sacks.
The fourth team in that four-way race for positioning in 3AA North is Park City (2-3, 5-4) after the Miners lost 35-14 to Tooele (4-1 3AA North, 6-3 overall) behind 27 carries for 130 yards and five scores from Lincoln Powers and 23 runs for 121 by Demetrius Smith.
Duchesne (3-0 1A North, 6-2 overall) shut out Wayne 40-0 as Jaren Mortensen went for 129 yards on just eight carries and the defense stepped up with seven sacks and nine tackles-for-loss.
Dallin Draper had touchdown runs of 67 and 80 yards as Delta (1-3 3A South, 2-7 overall) beat Grantsville (1-3 3A North, 1-8) 41-12.
In another non-region contest, Spencer Larsen ran for 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries as Morgan (3-1 3A North, 7-2 overall) knocked off North Sanpete (3-1 3A South, 5-4).
Three TDs from Brevin Dean and a 95-yard kick-return touchdown by Alijah Olson helped Weber (1-4 Region 1, 3-5 overall) upset Kearns (3-1 Region 6, 7-2) 49-42.
Sione Finau ran it 14 times for 141 yards and a touchdown, Shay Reid caught eight passes for 160 yard and three scores and Bailey Floyd connected on 20-of-35 for 317 yards and four TDs for Kearns.