Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 16, 2021
Stallions shoot for sixth-straight victory over Buffaloes

Stansbury (3-2) will try to win its sixth consecutive football game against Tooele Friday night when it hosts the Buffaloes. Tooele (5-0) will also try to win their sixth-straight game of the season. The Buffaloes are 3-0 in region action while Stansbury is 2-0. 

“This game will draw a big crowd and we both kind of live for this game. There are nine other games on the schedule, but these crosstown rivalry games are special and fun. You have to embrace it and enjoy it,” said Stansbury coach Eric Alder.

“Stansbury is a good football team. Looking at them we are really spitting images of each other. Our kids are excited; these are the fun ones,” said Tooele coach Andru Jones. “We will need to stop their run game and be able to run the ball for us. We must win the trenches this Friday.”

Alder said Toole is coming into the game with a lot of momentum and confidence.

“It comes down to who executes better, that’s really the key,” he said.

For Tooele, elusive  running back and University of Utah commit Mateaki Helu creates major problems for defenses with his ability to avoid tacklers and/or run over them. He’s rushed for 694 yards through five games and nine touchdowns. 

“He’s a great player on both sides of the ball. We’re going to have to tackle him and minimize his big gains,” Alder said “We’ll need to move the sticks on offense and be sound all-around. It will be a battle. Both teams will play hard and play well. The factor will be who will rise to the occasion; who is going to make the plays at critical times.”

Other offensive skill players who have shined for Tooele are Mapa Vaenuku, Dylan Makoni, Gabe Medina and Tabor Shepard and quarterback Payton Sprouse. Sprouse has connected on 41-of-72 passes for nine touchdowns with only one interception.

Stansbury likes to play up-tempo on offense and features speedy running back Nate Bushnell. Quarterback Ezra Harris and Bridger Thomas also are top rushers. Dreyton Rowley and Dylan Hamilton are prime receiving targets.

The Utah High School Activities Association came out with its first football RPI on Monday and ranked Tooele as the fifth top team in 5A with Stansbury not far behind at 10th.

Tooele benefitted from seven takeaways last Friday and drubbed Cedar Valley 41-14. The Buffaloes’ narrowest margin of victory was 17 in a 34-7 victory over Uintah at home. Stansbury downed Uintah 55-0 the next week at Stansbury

One other common opponent was Hillcrest. Stansbury defeated Hillcrest 61-0 while Tooele defeated the Huskies 60-7.

Stansbury opened the season with a 49-7 victory over Mountain Crest (1-4) and fell 42-14 at Ridgeline which is considered the No. 1 team in 4A. The Stallions played their third game at Maverik Stadium at USU and lost 37-27 to Logan while committing seven turnovers.

The Stallions’ final four region games are at Cedar Valley, at Mountain View, and then home for Payson and Timpanogas.

The Buffaloes will host Mountain View and Payson and then travel to Timpanogos.

The Stallions lead the all-time series between the two schools 12-3. 

Tooele claimed the first two victories against new Stansbury High School in 2009 and 2010.

The Buffaloes won the first game 21-14 and followed up the next year with a 28-7 win over the Stallions.

Stansbury then went on a four-game winning streak from 2011-2014 winning 35-7, 55-0, 21-13 and 42-21.

Tooele hasn’t won a game in the series since a 27-16 victory in 2015 when Lincoln Powers and Ryan Brady combined to rush for 235 yards in the win.

The Stallions have outscored the Buffaloes 159-70 in the last four games. Stansbury won 35-28 in 2017, 42-21 in 2018, and 44-21 last year.

Tickets to Friday’s game can be purchased at tooeleathletics.org/event-tickets.

 

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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