There has been nothing easy about the first three games of the Stansbury football team’s 2017 season.
The Stallions (1-2) lost their first two games of the season to Sky View and Taylorsville before last week’s 28-7 win over Grantsville — and even that game was less than perfect. As Stansbury wraps up its challenging non-region schedule against Mountain Crest on Friday night in Cache County, Stallions coach Clint Christiansen knows his team has to get its ship righted.
“It’s a big one,” Christiansen said. “They’re good — they’re really good. We’re going to have to see if we can play football, keep it close and hopefully get in a grudge match with them if we can. We’re going to go at them with everything we’ve got. If we come out of it healthy, fine. If we come out and we lose everybody, that’s just the way it goes. We’re going to go play.”
The Stallions continue to shuffle their lineup in an effort to find the right combination that will get their vaunted triple-option attack up to its full potential. This week, those changes include the quarterback position, where senior Mitch Lindsay will step in for junior Jet Richins under center. Richins will shift from quarterback to A-back in the Stansbury offense, maintaining a crucial role as the Stallions look to solidify their blocking on the edges.
“We’ve got to clean up a lot of stuff — we’re not even close to where we need to be to beat Mountain Crest,” Christiansen said. “We’re still trying to find all the pieces. In this offense, our quarterback has got to make tremendous reads and make decisions, and we can’t be 50 percent or 60 percent. Mitch is going to start this week and we’ll go from there.”
Stansbury showed signs of its run-heavy offense coming to life last week against Grantsville. Junior running back Silas Young ran for 174 yards and four touchdowns on just 15 carries after posting 72 yards in the Stallions’ first two games combined.
“We’ve been waiting for him — he’s got tremendous speed,” Christiansen said. “He’s starting to do the little things right. He’s got his pad level down and he’s a 100-meter sprinter, so if we can get him loose, he can do some damage.
“Everything goes through him, but we’ve got to get more productivity out of our A-backs and we’ve got to get better blocking on the edges from our A-backs and our wide receivers. When we start doing that, it’s going to start getting more guys active in this game. We can’t be a one-man show. The object is to have two or three guys close to 100 yards every game.”
The Stansbury defense will have its hands full against the Mustangs on Friday night. Mountain Crest (3-0) has averaged just under 31 points per game against Class 5A foes Highland, Wasatch and Box Elder, while allowing just over 15 points per game.
Mountain Crest quarterback Brady Hall is a dual threat, throwing for 731 yards and eight touchdowns through the first three games while adding 93 yards and five scores on the ground. Nick Nethercott (15 catches, 302 yards, four TDs) and Beau Robinson (nine catches, 251 yards, three TDs) are his primary receivers, while Robinson is also the team’s leading rusher with 171 yards and a TD on 39 carries.
“They’re big and physical,” Christiansen said. “We’re going to have to be just as physical as they are and see if we can’t punch them in the mouth more than they punch us in the mouth, basically. Whether that’s going to happen or not, we’re going to see on Friday night.”
Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m. at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum.