SALT LAKE CITY -- Much has been said about East being the state's best team at any classification. All that needs to be said is one play into the game, East already had the lead.
That's right- fifty seconds into the first quarter, the Leopards were already in control of their opening Region 6 contest against Woods Cross and leading 7-0. The opening drive score would prove to be a foreboding sign for the Wildcats, as East crawled all over Woods Cross, winning 42-6 in Salt Lake City.
"To start off with a win in region against Woods Cross, biggest thing tonight is we got a win," East coach Brandon Matich said. "We knew that we could run triple on them, we opened up on the first play and ran triple and we blocked the perimeter very well. That's a credit to my kids and the way that they blocked the play, and we got off running."
East scored on the opening play of the game, as quarterback Isaac Vales scurried 80 yards into the end zone on a sweep to give the Leopards a 7-0 lead with 11:10 left in the first quarter.
Things didn't get much better for Woods Cross once they had the ball, as on third down, quarterback Luke Jowers threw a pass which was picked by East's Malaki Solovi to get the Leopards up with excellent field position once again.
East turned the turnover into a score, with Preston Curtis showcasing his incredible speed as he ran 60 yards for the score. The Leopards led 14-0 three minutes into the game.
"We knew they were going to come out because we can't simulate the speed at which they're going to play," Woods Cross coach Justin Spencer said. "We talked about staying in our jobs, and they busted off two long ones. That's why they're really, really good."
Woods Cross was able to get some momentum, defensively, on the next East drive as the Wildcats drove the Leopards back from a first-and-goal to situation to a 44-yard field goal, which kicker Isaac Anthony missed short.
However, Curtis had another highlight play as he went 82 yards for a back-breaking touchdown that gave East a 21-0 lead.
The Leopards kicked off the second half, and Anthony went with an onside kick, which East recovered.
"We were only up by three scores, and we kept talking about it because we saw we could expose it," Matich said. "I gave Coach Eldracher the thumbs up at half, and it worked to our advantage."
Just as East scored early in the first half, they scored early in the second half as Curtis went 60 yards to open the third quarter with a 28-0 East lead.The Wildcats would respond though in the third, as Jowers connected on a 25-yard pass to Sean Gallagher for a touchdown, to cut the deficit to 35-6.
The Leopards responded immediately though, with Curtis scoring yet again -- this time on a five-yard pitch right to increase the East lead.
East would score once more, as the Leopards scored on a fumble recovery by Sione Baby to initiate the running mercy clock.
Preston Curtis was easily the player of the game, as he had three scores on break away plays.
"I think Preston Curtis is the best athlete I've ever coached, and he may be the best player in the state of Utah athletically," Matich said.