The Tooele and Grantsville football teams enter Friday’s county rivalry game at Tooele High School looking to build some momentum with the region season looming one week away.
Both teams come into Friday’s matchup with 1-2 records, and both the Buffaloes and Cowboys are coming off of losses — Tooele fell 69-35 to Dixie and Grantsville lost 28-7 to Stansbury. But neither team is underestimating the other, knowing it will take a strong effort to come away with a much-needed victory.
For Grantsville, which will be playing its first true road game of the season, sophomore running back Parker Thomas has been a force. Thomas has rushed for 361 yards and four touchdowns in the first three games, while senior quarterback Coy Johnson has thrown for 328 yards and three scores for the Cowboys’ balanced attack. Ammon Bartley leads the team with 102 receiving yards, and AJ Rainer has a team-best six receptions.
Defensively, the Cowboys are led by Brady Arbon, who has 15 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. Gage Schmidt leads the team with 18 tackles, Justin Richardson has four sacks and Jackson Sandberg has two interceptions for Grantsville.
Tooele has struggled defensively in the past two games after shutting out North Sanpete in the season opener, allowing 118 points to Sky View and Dixie. Several key injuries will leave the Buffs short-handed on Friday night, but they still have plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Jeno Bins and Seth Whitehouse lead the team with 17 tackles each.
The Buffs will look to their multi-pronged rushing attack, led by Bins (49 carries, 294 yards, four touchdowns) to control the clock and keep the Cowboys off the field.
Ben Wasson (21 carries, 158 yards, two TDs), Luve Helu (11 carries, 144 yards, two TDs) and quarterback Austin Meono (15 carries, 111 yards) are all capable of making big plays with the ball in their hands, while Jordan Leakehe also had a rushing touchdown last week.
The Buffaloes also use the passing game more this season than in years past, with Meono throwing for 126 yards and two touchdowns so far. Dalton Wintle and Conway Hogan are his primary targets through the air.
Friday’s game gets underway at 7 p.m. at Buffalo Stadium on the Tooele High School campus.