Prep football: Week 7 game previews and predictions for Northern Utah
There seems to be an abundance of close high school football games this year in Northern Utah. The data supports that notion.
According to a cursory data search of past results, this year’s Region 1 season has been way more competitive through the first three weeks of play than the previous two seasons.
The nine Region 1 games that have been played in 2021 have been decided by an average of 12.44 points with six of the nine decided by single digits.
Last year through the first three weeks, 12 Region 1 games played were decided by an average of 27.3 points (one single-digit game) and in 2019, it was an average of 16.2 points with six single-digit games.
What that means is fans should fasten their seatbelts because the region doesn’t show any signs of producing tons of blowouts.
Players, coaches and fans of Region 5 are used to the close-game nature, however. Last year’s 13 total Region 5 games were decided by an average of 12.3 points and the year before, that number was 10.2 over 15 games.
Through the first two weeks in Region 5 this year, the average margin of victory is 13.5 points through six total games.
Below are previews and predictions for each game this week.
Last week’s prediction record: 5-8. Season prediction record: 63-23.
LAYTON at WEBER
Game of the Week
Like every Weber game so far, expect a lot of points — maybe in the range of 80-90 combined points this week.
The Warriors (4-2, 3-0 Region 1) score an average of 40.8 points per game, allow 37 per game and both of those are showing signs of trending better.
Or, will this matchup turn out like every Layton (4-2, 2-1) game in Region 1 so far? The Lancers’ three region games have all been in the 20s (24-21, 24-21 and 27-20).
Both teams have good quarterbacks and receivers. The Jake Lindsay-to-Cannon DeVries duo probably needs no introduction, but Weber’s leading receiver is actually Stockton Short (21 catches, 379 yards, 4 TD).
Layton receiver Nic Sanders has 20 catches for 571 yards, six touchdowns and will undoubtedly be the Weber secondary’s focus. The other defensive focus for the Warriors will be trying to get LHS quarterback Garrett Gifford (1,547 pass yards, 16 TD, 4 INT) out of rhythm.
Either way, this comes down to whether or not Layton can stop Weber’s offense.
DAVIS at FREMONT
Backup quarterback Jackson Stevens has come in the last two-plus games and played well enough to help the Darts (3-3, 1-1 Region 1) get a little momentum coming into what’s suddenly a pretty big game in Region 1.
Fremont (3-3, 1-1) has lost two games in a row, the offense is struggling with turnovers and the defense lost linebacker Christian Blanch, the team’s leading tackler, to a season-ending injury.
This game is the “swapped coaches” bowl, as Davis head coach Scott Peery was Fremont’s offensive coordinator last year, while Fremont offensive line coach Mitch Arquette was Davis’ head coach last year, where Fremont offensive coordinator Clay Bayard was the OC as well.
GRANTSVILLE at OGDEN
Yardage-wise, Grantsville’s offense isn’t explosive, but the Cowboys get a lot of short fields and they convert often.
Ogden’s offense will give the Tigers (2-4, 0-1 3A North) a chance, like every week, but this is a tougher matchup than last week’s 37-20 loss at Union.
WOODS CROSS at BONNEVILLE
Expect another really close, low-scoring game. Woods Cross (0-6, 0-2 Region 5) has trouble scoring, but has no trouble keeping opponents below their scoring average.
For Bonneville (2-4, 1-1 Region 5), the stakes couldn’t be higher. The Lakers need a win to avoid a sub-.500 regular season and to give themselves a chance at improving their playoff position, which currently is No. 23.
FARMINGTON at ROY
There’s some lineup uncertainty for Roy (4-2), which had a lot of players out last week due to injury and suspension.
Lest anyone think this non-region game doesn’t matter, a win for Farmington (3-3) vastly helps out its chances at a home playoff game — the Phoenix is currently No. 15 in RPI — and vice-versa for No. 13 Roy.
BEN LOMOND at MORGAN
Morgan (4-2, 1-0 3A North) showed incredible resolve last week after going down 28-9 at home to Juan Diego, then scoring 32 unanswered points to win 41-28.
If last week’s game against Grantsville was tough for Ben Lomond (1-5, 0-1 3A North), this week’s is tougher.
CLEARFIELD at SYRACUSE
Syracuse leads the all-time series 7-1, but two of the last three games have been decided by single digits.
After some key injuries last week, it’s going to be hard for Clearfield (1-5, 0-2 Region 1) to keep up with the Titans (4-2, 0-2), who are bent on getting a region win after two buzzer-beater losses.
VIEWMONT at NORTHRIDGE
Northridge (5-1, 2-0 Region 5) is carrying the Region 5 torch in the RPI rankings at No. 14 and is also a serious contender for the region crown. Friday’s game pits two good quarterbacks against each other: Northridge’s Maximus Fonoti-Maikui and Luke Jacobs of Viewmont (2-4, 0-2).
On paper, Northridge’s defense looks a shade better and the Knights should win a shootout.
BOUNTIFUL at BOX ELDER
The computers like Bountiful (3-2, 2-0 Region 5) by anywhere from three to four touchdowns. There’s no way this ends up as a double-digit margin, but the Redhawks’ defense should be able to keep Box Elder (2-4, 1-1) in check.
BEAR RIVER at GREEN CANYON
Bear River figured something out last week by rushing for 345 yards on 32 carries with five touchdowns in a 46-42 loss to Logan.
The Bears will need to do something similar on offense to hang with Green Canyon and they have to be better on special teams (Logan returned two kicks for TDs last week).
Prediction: Green Canyon
NORTH SUMMIT at LAYTON CHRISTIAN
LCA running back Jessaia Giatras-Moala is the first tailback in Utah to cross the 1,000-yard mark this season with 1,025 yards to his name. He’s averaging 11.4 yards per carry and has 12 touchdowns. Does LCA (4-2, 1-0 1A North) beat North Summit this week?
Between Giatras-Moala and fellow running back Manu Vaitaki (59 carries, 523 yards, 5 TD), the Eagles’ ground game is pretty good.