The second week of the 2018 high school football season features three challenging matchups for Tooele County’s local teams.
Grantsville will play host to Summit Academy for the first time in school history on Friday night, while Stansbury hosts Hurricane, from the vaunted Region 9, in its home opener. Tooele, after playing just over a quarter of its season opener against Uintah last week, will play its first full game of the season on the road against a Sky View squad that already knocked off Stansbury last week.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s matchups:
Summit Academy (1-0)
at Grantsville (1-0)
Where: Cowboys Stadium, Grantsville High School
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Summit Academy defeated Union 43-16; Grantsville defeated North Sanpete 14-0
Details: If Grantsville wants to be considered among the top teams in Class 3A, the Cowboys will need to prove their mettle against one of the top programs in the classification. The Bears, coached by former GHS coach Les Hamilton, were 9-2 last year and shared the Class 3A South title with Juab and Juan Diego before a double-overtime loss to JD in the state semifinals.
The Bears pulled away from Union with 27 second-quarter points last week. Quarterback Kasey Briggs rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and was 13-for-17 for 178 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions through the air. The Cowboys’ secondary will try to slow down deep threats Talmage Brown (two catches, 46 yards, one TD) and Parker Clawson (three catches, 75 yards, one TD).
Summit Academy did allow Union to rack up 327 yards of total offense, including 240 passing yards. Grantsville showed the ability to make big plays in the passing game, with Jackson Sandberg connecting with Taylor Wood for a 21-yard touchdown during last week’s game, but the Cowboys’ bread and butter is their running game, led by Parker Thomas (15 carries, 104 yards, one TD). The defense allowed just 160 yards of total offense to North Sanpete last week.
at Stansbury (0-1)
Where: Stallion Stadium, Stansbury High School
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Hurricane lost 31-6 to Mountain View; Stansbury lost 35-17 to Sky View
Details: In this matchup of two teams seeking their first win of the season, both programs would like to rebound from disappointing efforts in their opener.
Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen was frustrated after the Stallions’ offense struggled in their loss to Sky View, a result he attributed to poor playcalling on his part as well as a general lack of intensity. He and the Stallions are hoping home-field advantage will cure some of those ills that caused them to put up just 168 yards of total offense.
A key to that will be getting running back Silas Young and quarterback Austin Woodhouse going early. Young, one of the top returning runners in the state, was limited to just 33 yards on 13 carries, while Woodhouse was 4-for-11 for 32 yards passing and rushed five times for 8 yards.
Hurricane scored on its first possession last week, but couldn’t get anything going after that. The Tigers have lost eight of their past nine games, dating back to Week 2 of the 2017 season, and would love to spring an upset to get their season jump-started.
at Sky View (1-0)
Where: Sky View High School, Smithfield
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Tooele defeated Uintah 28-0, Sky View defeated Stansbury 35-17
Details: Tooele barely got a chance to get its uniforms dirty before rain and lightning washed away the Buffaloes’ season opener against Uintah just 1:16 into the second quarter. They weren’t able to learn much from a 28-0 blowout that saw them put up 208 yards of total offense on just 15 plays, but they’ll certainly have a better idea of where they stand after facing Sky View.
Tooele looked sharp in limited action, with Austin Meono and Nukuluve Helu showing big-play potential. But that came against a Uintah program that has struggled in recent years, while Sky View is considered among the top teams in all of Class 4A. The Bobcats ran for 300 yards in their win over Stansbury, with Tanner Stokes (24 carries, 170 yards, two TDs) and Josh Aller (19 carries, 118 yards, one TD) leading the way.
If Tooele can’t find a way to stop the Bobcats’ running game and/or the Buffs can’t control the clock with their own running attack, it could be a long night for them.