With just two weeks left in the Region 11 season, there’s a lot on the line Friday night.
Nowhere else is that more true than in Washington Terrace, where Tooele visits Bonneville with second place in the standings — and a home game in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs — up for grabs.
“The region’s starting to show its colors,” Tooele coach Jeff Lewis said. “(This week’s) going to be a pivotal week, there’s no doubt about it.”
Tooele (4-3, 2-1 Region 11) has been on a roll since a heartbreaking loss to Stansbury in the Region 11 opener, outscoring Ben Lomond and Ogden by a combined tally of 86-13. The Buffaloes’ punishing running attack has been in top form, gaining 849 yards over the past two games.
But it hasn’t just been the offense that has been firing on all cylinders for Tooele. The defense has six interceptions over the past two games, including four by senior Dallen Kimball, and the Buffs have allowed just seven first-half points in three region games.
“Have we turned the corner as far as being a top (Class) 4A team? I think we still have a ways to go,” Lewis said. “I think we’ll get there — we’re getting there, but I don’t think we’ve turned that corner yet. I really think 4A’s going to be tough. We’re not quite there, but we’re getting there.”
Bonneville (3-4, 2-1) lost its region opener 42-35 to Ogden, but the Lakers’ defense has been stout in back-to-back wins over Park City and Ben Lomond. However, Bonneville’s offense managed just 144 yards in last week’s 9-3 win against Ben Lomond, and the Lakers’ rushing attack has struggled to get much going all season, averaging just 2.5 yards per carry in the five games for which stats are available online.
“(The Lakers) do a lot of things like Ogden does,” Lewis said. “It’s going to be a similar game that way.”
Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m. at Bonneville High School in Washington Terrace.