The Tooele football team is in desperate need of a victory, and homecoming adds a little extra motivation this week.
The Buffaloes are playing host to winless Uintah this week, and are hoping to get back on the winning track to snap a frustrating three-game losing streak that included a heartbreaking two-point loss to Cedar Valley on the road last week.
Grantsville is another team looking to end a losing streak, having lost two straight heading into Friday night’s game against top-ranked Summit Academy. It will be the Cowboys’ last home game of the regular season, and they’d like to go out with a bang.
Stansbury hits the road this week to face Mountain View in a battle for second place in Region 10, with both teams having lost to Park City over the past two weeks. The winner could see a nice boost in the Ratings Percentage Index rankings, as well.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s games, with each team’s RPI ranking.
No. 22 Uintah Utes (0-7, 0-4 Region 10) at No. 20 Tooele Buffaloes (1-6, 1-3)
Where: Buffalo Stadium, Tooele High School; 301 W. Vine Street, Tooele
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Uintah lost to Ogden, 28-21; Tooele lost to Cedar Valley, 23-21
Since 1970: Tooele leads 6-2
Last Meeting: Tooele 21, at Uintah 14; Oct. 4, 2019
The Scoop: Since breaking through for their first victory of the season against Ben Lomond, the Buffs have lost three straight games. Their most recent two losses against Ogden and Cedar Valley have been marked by missed opportunities — something Tooele would like to correct before a couple tough games against Mountain View and Park City to close out the regular season.
Running backs Mateaki Helu (48 carries, 376 yards) and Anthony Cole (94 carries, 473 yards) figure to carry much of the load against the Utes, while quarterback Justic Tadifa (657 yards, seven TDs) and receiver Dylan Makoni (16 catches, 325 yards, four TDs) provide a big-play threat.
It has been another trying season for the Utes, who have won just twice in their past 37 games dating back to the end of the 2017 season. They’ve lost their past 15 games, going winless since Aug. 30, 2019, and 10 of those 15 losses have been by 20 points or more. One of the exceptions came last year against Tooele, when Uintah came within a score of the Buffs, so THS can’t take anything for granted.
No. 6 Stansbury Stallions (5-2, 3-1 Region 10) at No. 7 Mountain View Bruins (5-2, 3-1)
Where: Bruin Bowl, Mountain View High School; 665 W. Center Street, Orem
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Stansbury beat Ben Lomond, 70-7; Mountain View lost to Park City, 60-30
All-Time Series: Stansbury leads 4-0
Last Meeting: at Stansbury 31, Mountain View 28; Oct. 4, 2019
The Scoop: These two teams are likely out of the Region 10 championship race, as the toughest part of Park City’s schedule is behind it. However, there is still a lot on the line Friday night in Orem, where COVID-19 restrictions mean there won’t be fans in attendance.
Stansbury wasn’t challenged in its blowout win over Ben Lomond, as the Stallions took out their frustrations from the previous week’s heartbreaking loss on the overmatched Scots. They erupted for 656 yards of total offense in a game that was essentially decided before the first quarter ended.
Mountain View figures to put up more of a fight than Ben Lomond did, but the Bruins’ defense will have to be much tighter than it was a week ago against Park City. The Miners shredded the Bruins for 319 passing yards and 248 more on the ground, which could be a good sign for a Stansbury team with a high-powered, balanced offense. The Stallions will have to contain Bruins quarterback Jackson McCarty, who threw for 341 yards and three scores last week, as well as receiver David Hair, who caught eight passes for 152 yards and a TD.
No. 1 Summit Academy Bears (6-1, 1-1 Region 13) at No. 6 Grantsville Cowboys (4-3, 0-1)
Where: Cowboy Stadium, Grantsville High School; 155 E. Cherry Street, Grantsville
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Summit Academy beat Juan Diego, 31-28; Grantsville lost to South Summit, 22-16
All-Time Series: Grantsville leads 2-0
Last Meeting: Grantsville 27, at Summit Academy 17; Oct. 4, 2019
The Scoop: Last week’s loss could loom large for the Cowboys, as their schedule gets considerably tougher from here on out. The first test of their season-ending gauntlet comes Friday as Summit Academy, and former Cowboys coach Les Hamilton, pay a visit to Grantsville.
While the rankings have the Bears in the top spot, they were blown out by Morgan in their Region 13 opener, and they barely squeaked past a Juan Diego squad that blew out South Summit a week earlier. Still, Summit Academy belongs in the conversation as one of Class 3A’s top teams, led by quarterback Joe Garlick (1,932 passing yards, 17 TDs, six interceptions). Garlick’s top targets include Titan Kilgore (42 receptions, 904 yards, nine TDs), Kota Sylvester (29-389-2), Russell Oliver (29-244-3) and Jaxon Case (24-204-1). Case also averages 96.4 rushing yards per game.
Meanwhile, Grantsville is looking to bounce back from its worst offensive performance of the season, in which it committed five turnovers that led to 16 South Summit points. Coming into last week, the Cowboys had just six turnovers in their first six games. They will need to get their running game going after gaining just 182 yards on the ground in the past two games combined — they were averaging 189.8 rushing yards per game before that.