By Kurt Johnson
Photos by Kevin McInnis & Kurt Johnson
Alta picked up a big win over Timpview to open Region 7 play and Jordan and Taylorsville scored and scored and scored and….well you get the picture. In the meantime, East represented the state of Utah with an impressive victory over one of the top teams from the state of Arkansas.
All things considered it was a good weekend at the top in Utah high school football. For the most part, however, blowouts were the order of the day as league play began for about half the teams in the state.
The list of elite performances from all across the state Thursday and Friday night is long, so here is our best effort at a shout-out to the players and the numbers that jump out at us, at least from the stats for which we have access through the multiple sources we check….
Region 7 supremacy was on the line Friday night as Timpview (0-1 Region 7, 3-1 overall) visited Alta (1-0, 4-0) to open league play. The Thunderbirds were up 24-6 at the half, but an outstanding defense led by Mitch Medina, Mata Hola and Zach Alsop held Timpview scoreless after intermission and allowed the Hawks to find their offensive footing in time to earn a 32-24 win. Josh Davis led the way with 33 carries for 248 yards and three scores. Will Dana was 16-of-27 for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the Alta passing game, while Landon Maxfield caught four passes for 83 yards and a TD.
Looking for defense, then this was not your game. Jordan (1-0 Region 3, 3-1 overall) and Taylorsville (0-1, 0-4) set all kinds of offensive records in the Beetdiggers 91-83 (yes, you read that right) win. The Warriors set a state record for most points scored in a regulation loss and the teams combined total offense of 1,734 yards is a new state record as Jordan’s 930 yards were nearly matched by 804 yards from Taylorsville.
Crew Wakley led the way for the Beetdiggers with 491 yards and seven touchdowns passing on 20-of-25 completions. That passing performance included scoring tosses of 69 and 63 yards to Spencer Curtis and 59 and 80 yards to Isaiah Jackson. Wakley also ran for 240 yards and four more scores, including an 82-yard TD run. Jackson caught nine passes for 240 yards and four TDs and Curtis hauled in eight balls for 195 yards and a pair of scores, while Alec Evans ran it 22 times for 188 yards and two TDs.
On the other side, Taylorsville quarterback Dane Leituala also had a huge day with 495 yards on 26-of-46 passing, with eight scoring tosses. Leituala ran it 25 times for 209 yards and three scores. Paster James Lewis ran 11 times for 122 yards and a TD and also caught a 51-yard touchdown pass, while Jace Simons was on the receiving end of 13 passes for 237 yards and four scores. Chase Hess caught six for 103 and Josh Sterzer pulled in five for 96 yards and a touchdown.
The big passing numbers keep on coming for Lehi (1-0 Region 4, 3-1) as Cammon Cooper connected on 23-of-30 for 361 yards and six touchdowns in the Pioneers’ 49-13 win over Riverton (0-1, 0-4). Three of those scoring strikes went to Carson Terrell and in addition to his 28-yard scoring run, running back Grayden Hadfield hauled in a 71-yard TD reception.
East (4-0) represented the state of Utah in impressive fashion with a 37-23 win over Pulaski Academy from Arkansas. Jaylen Warren led the way with 200 yards on 15 carries, with a pair of scores and Charlie Vincent went for 83 yards on just six rushes with a TD. The Leopard defense dominated the high-powered Pulaski offense led by Sati Tu’uhetaufa with 14 tackles, Jordan Lolohea with six of the team’s nine sacks and Tyler Eteuati, who had three of East’s six interceptions.
Sese Felila carried 34 times for 223 yards and pair of scores to lead Kearns (3-1) past Copper Hills (0-4) 43-6.
Undefeated Pine View (4-0) continues to roll as it took down Cyprus (1-3) 49-12 powered by Jacob Mpungi, who rushed 19 times for 193 yards and three scores, and Michael Moten, who caught six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Christian Snowden ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns on 15 rushes and Bronson Barron was 18-of-29 for 177 yards and two scores as American Fork (1-0 Region 4, 3-1) defeated Westlake (0-1, 2-2) 45-13. Ashton Coleman had seven receptions for 89 yards and a TD.
Park City (1-0 3AA North, 3-1) handed Ben Lomond (0-1, 3-1) its first defeat of the season 35-23 after scoring 21 points in the third quarter to create some space on the scoreboard. Spencer Zur completed 20-of-31 for 347 yards and four scores to lead the way for the Miners, with Collin Zur pulling in nine of those passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns and Beau Pederson catching five for 108 and a TD.
Orem (1-0 Region 7, 1-3) came from behind to pick up its first win of the season with a 28-25 victory over Corner Canyon (0-1, 2-2). Puka Nacua caught seven passes for 161 yards and a touchdown and Alex McDougal had four grabs for 108 yards and two scores for the Tigers, as Brooks Ringer passed for 325 yards and four TDs. D’Arman Notoa carried 13 times for 102 yards.
Special teams played a big role as Provo (1-0 Region 7, 3-1) buried Mountain View (0-1, 0-4) 45-3. Tavita Ika returned a pair of punts to the house, covering 52 and 73 yards. Ty Jones had three catches for 100 yards and a score.
Blayden Togiai returned a kick-off 99 yards for a TD and scored a second touchdown on a fumble recovery as Skyridge (1-0 Region 7, 3-1) won its first-ever league game 53-21 over Timpanogos (0-1, 2-2). Brendan Roper carried 11 times for 140 yards and a score and Josh Hadfield picked up 100 yards and a TD on eight carries.
In another 3AA North headliner, Stansbury (1-0, 3-1) held off a late rally by rival Tooele (0-1, 3-1), which endured its first loss of the campaign 27-20. Ryan Moody had 13 tackles to pace the Stallion defense and Stansbury got its signature running game rolling behind 140 yards from Matthew McIntyre and 138 from McCoy Didericksen.
Tooele came up short, but Lincoln Powers had another big day in the ground game with 131 yards on 25 rushes.
Reality hit West Jordan (0-1 Region 3, 3-1) and it was wearing a Bingham (1-0, 4-0) uniform. In a battle of unbeatens to open Region 3 player, the Miners rolled to a 44-0 halftime advantage, holding the Jaguars to -6 yards of offense in the opening quarter, on their way to a 51-21 win. As usual, Bingham was overwhelming on defense until the Miners cleaned the bench, and West Jordan went three-and-out on five of its first six possessions, with the sixth chance ending on a fumble. Jahvontay Smith ran for 111 yards and scored four touchdowns for Bingham.
Brighton (1-0 Region 3, 1-3) also took a 44-0 lead into halftime as it went on to take care of Cottonwood (0-1, 0-4) 44-8. Salua Masina had five sacks to lead a stellar Bengal defensive effort while Alexander Zettler was 7-of-11 for 190 yards and three touchdowns, with two of those completions going to Andrew Covey for 104 yards and a score. Sione Lund ran for 68 yards and a TD and scored a second time as a pass catcher, where he caught two balls for 71 yards.
Lone Peak (1-0 Region 4, 3-1) rolled into Region 4 play with a 41-15 win over Pleasant Grove (0-1, 1-3) as Dakota Hansen completed 14-of-27 for 157 yards and two scores, while running for 55 yards and two more TDs. Tyler MacPherson caught a pair of touchdown passes and the Knights were outstanding on defense against one of the state’s most explosive teams, led by nine tackles from AJ Arrington and three Seth Larsen sacks.
The Morby-Hadley show delivered again for Fremont (1-0 Region 1, 4-0) as the Silver Wolves knocked off Mountain Crest (0-1, 2-2). Saxton Morby connected on 20-of-24 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns, with seven of those completions going to Haze Hadley, who picked up 105 yards and three scores. Both Morby and Hadley also intercepted passes for the Fremont defense and Austin Freeman added 121 yards on nine carries.
In its first-ever region game, Ridgeline (1-0 3AA North, 3-1) beat Bear River (0-1, 2-2) 22-7 behind a stout defense that sacked the quarterback six times, led by Davis Nixon’s 2.5 sacks. Levani Damuni only had six carries, but he made the most of them as an 80-yard TD jaunt helped him garner 106 yards on the ground.
After struggling to an 0-3 mark in non-region play, Logan (1-0 3AA North, 1-3) found the win column with a 29-20 victory over Judge Memorial (0-1, 0-4) as Robbie Ballam ran for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 16 carries.
Roy (1-0 Region 1, 3-1) kept Clearfield (0-1, 0-4) winless with a 31-9 win paced by 14 carries for 95 yards and a TD by Hunter Mather, 6-for-13 for 182 yards and a touchdown from Jaden Sabin, and Angel Arvizo, who caught four passes for 125 yards.
Defense was key as Sky View (1-0 Region 1, 3-1) took care of Weber (0-1, 1-3) 23-7 as Bracken Falslev and Koebe Wilson each delivered two quarterback sacks and Ty Lewis and Caleb Christensen each picked off a pass. Jackson Siddoway connected on 14-of-26 for 201 yards.
The Layton (1-0 Region 2, 4-0) defense was huge as well with three interceptions (Declan Brown had two of them) in its 23-7 victory over Hunter (0-1, 1-3). Tayler Katoa ran for 77 yards, passed for 38 and had a touchdown each way for the Lancers.
Twenty-eight unanswered second-half points were the key as Syracuse (1-0 Region 2, 3-1) bounced West (0-1, 0-4) 42-14. Ty Metcalfe completed 12-of-17 for 231 yards and three scores, and ran for 71 yards on nine carries to lead the way for the Titans. Alex Forbush added 95 yards and a touchdown on 15 runs and Brennon Jones caught three passes for 96 yards and a TD.
It took overtime to make it happen, but Viewmont (1-0 Region 2, 3-1) pulled a mild upset with its 17-14 win over Davis (0-1, 3-1) to open league play. Preston Pitt hit the game-winning 33-yard field goal in overtime to end things, as Cortland George and Jacob Barnum each ran for 88 yards.
Riley Smith had to work hard for his 121 yards and a TD, which came on 37 rushes for the Darts.
A 90-yard TD run was part of a four-carry, 135-yard, two-TD night for Jake Boren as Highland (1-0 Region 5, 3-1) shut down Bountiful (0-1, 1-3) 37-7. The Ram defense had seven sacks, led by two from Tevita Noa.
A late rally allowed Salem Hills (1-0 Region 8, 3-1) to knock off Spanish Fork (0-1, 1-3) 23-19 as James Nelson connected on 21-of-28 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown. Coleman Jacklin caught six passes for 135 yards and a score and Villi Wolfgramm was strong on both sides of the ball, running for 97 yards on 14 carries while recording 11 tackles.
Springville (1-0 Region 8, 4-0) stayed undefeated with a 19-8 win over Maple Mountain (0-1, 0-4) behind 153 yards rushing and a TD from Payton Kelepolo and Brennen Rymer, who had seven receptions for 137 yards and a score.
Mike Jones carried 20 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns to pace Uintah (1-0 Region 8, 3-1) past Payson (0-1, 0-4) 38-19.
The running game came up big for American Leadership Academy (3-1) in a 31-7 non-region win over North Sevier (1-3) as Dallen Short rushed 24 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns, while Owen Huff carried 16 times for 141 yards and three scores. Michael Van Wagoner had two sacks for ALA and Brett Staheli picked off two passes.
Cedar (3-1) took care of business against Juab (1-3) by a 33-6 count as Mason Fakahua led the way for the Redmen with 17 carries for 194 yards and four TDs plus 111 passing yards. Drake Lewis ran it seven times for 88 yards and caught four passes for another 77 and a touchdown.
Led by Quinn Kiser, who passed for 237 yards and three scores and ran for 55 yards and a TD, Desert Hills (3-1) shut out Grantsville (1-3) 50-0. Brock Parry picked up 102 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries, while Logan Hokanson (77 yards and a TD) and Nephi Sewell (68 yards and a TD) made the most of two catches each.
Dixie (1-3) picked up its first victory of the campaign 42-28 over Canyon View (0-4) behind a big night from quarterback Jacob Barben, who connected on 20-of-33 passes for 274 yards and a touchdown to go with an additional 40 yards rushing. Josh Topham pulled in six passes for 85 yards and a score, while Hobbs Nyberg ran it five times for 81 yards, two TDs, caught six passes for 85 yards and a score and threw a 53-yard touchdown pass.
Canyon View saw Isaiah Shearer run it 17 times for 172 yards and a TD.
Herriman (2-1) defeated Box Elder (2-2) 35-22 as Hayden Reynolds was 8-of-10 passing for 196 yards and three touchdowns while rushing six times for 53 yards. Sefanaia Leakehe carried 26 times for 115 yards and two scores.
Fueled by a 38-yard game-winning TD run by Tel Gardner and 23 carries for 100 yards from Logan Cox, Emery (2-2) held off Manti (1-3) 13-9.
Enterprise (4-0) remained perfect on the season with a 40-7 victory over Millard (0-4) as John Oswald picked up 101 yards and a score on 10 runs and Caleb Koopmans ran it 12 times for 76 yards and three TDs.
The Thursday night game featured a strong comeback attempt by Juan Diego (1-2) that fell just short as Murray (2-2) earned the 31-23 win. Hunter Jones ran 18 times for 128 yards and a TD and Noah Shoeman threw two touchdown passes. Gage Cuthbertson had four catches for 78 yards and a score.
Olympus (3-1) used a 21-point fourth quarter to get past Northridge (1-3) 34-17 as Ben Bywater ran it 13 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns and Jerrick Kaye carried 12 times for 76 yards and a score. Nate and Cameron Latu led a Titan defense that recorded five sacks.
Rich (2-1) beat Monticello (1-2) behind the efforts of Riley Ostler, who had 22 carries for 165 yards and Wyatt Downing, with 15 runs for 83 yards and a score.
San Juan (3-1) handed Summit Academy (3-1) its first defeat of the year 44-20 as Kavika Su’eSu’e had 17 carries for 180 yards and two TDs and Jordan Blake ran for 104 yards and two scores while passing 18-of-31 for 291 yards and two touchdowns. Baylr Eldredge caught eight passes for 120 yards and a TD and Jaxon Lee had six catches for 105 and a score.
Four Matt Kitchen touchdown tosses and 12 carries for 120 yards and a score from Chris Poulson led the way for Snow Canyon (2-2) as the Warriors knocked off Ogden (0-4) 48-20.
South Summit (4-0) shut out South Sevier (1-3) 42-0 as Nick Beasley passed for 267 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and also ran for two TDs, with Parker Grajek doing damage on the outside with nine grabs for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Cole Bertoch passed for 157 yards and three TDs and rushed 11 times for 121 yards, while Carson Kelly carried 10 times for 84 yards and a score to pace Union (1-3) to its first win of the year, 37-14 over Richfield (0-4).
Hayden Richards ran for 76 yards on offense and had nine tackles on defense, while Kaden Baxter had 13 tackles as Wasatch (3-1) beat Skyline (2-2) 27-20 in non-region play. Ritchie Heywood picked up 74 yards on 19 carries and score twice for the Wasps.