GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Logan (8-0, 5-0) at Hurricane (1-7, 1-4), 5 p.m. tonight at Tigers Stadium
Previous Meeting: Grizzlies 59, Tigers 29 (Nov. 10, 2005, 3A Semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Classification: 4A, Region 5
Coach: Mike Favero (15th year, 128-53 overall)
Last game: Beat Mountain Crest 49-7
Players to watch: Senior QB Chase Nelson (yep, he’s Riley Nelson’s little brother) has had a phenomenal year, passing for 2,383 yards and 33 TDs and rushing for 903 yards and 5 TDs. Nelson has a TD pass in every game this season and at least 3 TD passes in every game except one. Nelson’s favorite target is Taylor Compton, who has 63 receptions for 908 yards and 13 TDs. But Nelson is not biased. He’ll run and he’ll pass it to whomever’s open, including WRs Chad Artist (30 catches for 563 yards and 7 TDs) and Hartman Rector (20-277-7) and RB Tanner McIntire (26-300-5). Beastly DL Bracken Williams has 77 tackles and 5.5 sacks, leading the team in both categories. Compton has four interceptions.
Trend: Winning. And winning big. Logan had two close games this season and both were in the preseason. Against 5A Northridge, Nelson had 2 INTs, but ran the game-winner in for a 41-38 win. In a weird twist in Week 3, Logan beat Bountiful 10-3. Since then, the Grizz have scored at least 49 points in every game, including 61 vs. Ogden and 49 in the first half last week vs. rival Mt. Crest. Nelson only played two quarters and had 336 yards of offense. In Region 5 play, Logan is averaging 51.4 ppg. The Grizz look as good as the Logan tyeam that won the state title in 2005 … and ’07 and ’11.
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Chris Homer (12th year, 86-51 overall)
Last game: Lost to Pine View 34-31
Players to watch: Finally, Jeremiah Ieremia had that game we’ve all been waiting for with 209 yards and 4 TDs vs. Pine View. He was virtually untackleable against the Panthers and even flashed some speed with an 80-yard scamper. Brothers Adlai (QB) and Noah (WR) Elison hooked for 84 of Adlai’s 132 passing yards. They combined for 14 tackles on defense as well. DB Eddie Hunt, a senior, got his first career interception last week. LB Charlie Sefita leads the team in tackles with 6 per game.
Trend: With the fullback position providing the kind of numbers Ieremia had last week, the Tigers suddenly become a dangerous team, even to the high-flying Grizzlies. Hurricane has lost four straight, but seems to be improving each week. Anyone who knows southern Utah football knew the Tigers would be up for Pine View and that it would be a close game. That said, Hurricane has to find a way to duplicate the emotion and, more importantly, the execution from last week. The Tigers have played three pass-heavy teams — Payson, Dixie and Pine View — and been in each game. But the trio of Easton Smith, Ammon Takau and Kody Wilstead did average 354 passing yards against them.
The old phrase, “Forget stopping him, just try to contain him,” is appropriate here. Nelson will get his yards, passing and rushing. That’s what they do. But keeping him from having a monster night will be the key. It’s an easy bet that the Grizzlies entire defensive focus will be on stopping Ieremia. Logic dictates, then, that someone else will have to step up for the Tigers. Whether that’s the Elison brothers or JD Stanworth or someone else, having a counter to Ieremia will be critical. Of course, the Tigers should still ride the big fullback until he drops. One caviat: This is a non-region game for two teams that will be going to the playoffs in two weeks. Is it possible Nelson and Ieremia see little or no playing time?
STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (33-7) — Logan
Darren Cole (29-11) — Logan
Parry’s spread: Logan by 35
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.