Ogden football preview: Tigers hope to beat opponents and injury woes in 2022
Ogden High's Makei Hill (15) runs the football as Canyon View's Gavin Barlow (11) pursues during a high school football game Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, at Ogden High School.
Ogden High head football coach Erik Thompson looks on during a high school football game against Canyon View on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, at Ogden High School.
OGDEN — Injuries take their toll on Ogden High’s football team every year, just like every other high school football team in the country.
But injuries hurt the Tigers more than most because of their lower participation numbers. And every other year, the injuries are really bad.
“We get kind of unlucky,” senior lineman Braxten Shobe said.
The injury formula tends to go like this: one year, the starting quarterback gets hurt, misses a bunch of games and overall, the team eventually gets down about 10-12 starters and has a losing record.
The next year, the starting quarterback plays every game, the Tigers stay away from injuries a little more and the Tigers play well. Last season was the “quarterback is injured and so is everyone else” year.
“So we’re hoping this is the year where we’re not supposed to get hurt — but start of the year, we have three or four of our better players already out, unfortunately one of them will be out for the year,” head coach Erik Thompson said. “The rest of the dudes will be back by Week 3 and we’ll kind of keep our head above water.”
In some ways, the injuries are a self-fulfilling prophecy and a product of Ogden’s circumstances. The team has fewer players than everyone except maybe Ben Lomond and less depth means more kids play more plays and thus have more chances to be hurt.
“That’s something that stresses me out because you want so badly for kids to get the reward that they’re due for their hard work and when things out of your control happen here, it does affect us a lot more than say somewhere else,” said Thompson, a longtime coach who was previously head coach at Northridge for more than a decade.
“You can’t focus on the things you can’t control. We’re going to coach whoever’s here, we’re gonna believe in whoever’s here and the guys in front are really good about — if someone’s out, they come to practice, they coach the dude up and we’re all a part of a family.”
How injuries go this year, who knows. At the moment, Ogden stands a decent chance of competing well in the 3A North region.
The Tigers have several key returners, though they also graduated several key players. Chief among the returners is senior running back/defensive back Chet Colvin, who rushed for 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.
Colvin picked up steam the final three games, combining for 550 yards and seven scores as Ogden beat Ben Lomond to end the regular season, Manti to open the playoffs and nearly knocked off No. 1 Juab in the quarterfinals.
“Everything clicked right there. Throughout the season I wasn’t really in the mindset of knowing everything that I was supposed to do, I was just kind of lost out there, but then I started getting the ball and it clicked,” Colvin said.
His late-season push happened after a mid-season offensive change. Injuries meant Ogden couldn’t run exclusively in a spread, so the Tigers went under center more and ran the ball out of some power formations.
Thompson feels Ogden can do a little bit of everything on offense this year (spread and power), which could help.
Another possible helping hand is the way Ogden finished the season. The Tigers went 2-1 in those final three games, they beat Manti on the road and only lost 31-24 at No. 1 Juab.
Before then, it had been since 1997 that Ogden had been as far as the quarterfinals (which is also the school’s last semifinal appearance).
The Tigers will have the most work to do on defense. Shobe returns at defensive end after totaling 11 sacks last season and the defensive line appears early on like it will be the best position group.
An injury and a move-out reduced the number of returning starting linebackers from two to zero (until Week 3, that is), prompting some secondary players to move to linebacker temporarily.
Just like normal, Ogden’s had to patch things up already, move players around, and zig and zag its way through the hot summer months.
Injuries can be frustrating and hard for the team to deal with, Shobe said, but the silver lining is it breeds competition.
“90% of the team likes to try hard, come out and they want to try and start, so they fight for other people’s positions,” he said.
Longtime Fremont coach Ross Arnold is now the athletic director at Ogden and coaching linebackers on the football team.
Chet Colvin rushed for 1,169 yards last year. Was it expected?
“I wasn’t really expecting it, but I owe that all to our line, that’s the biggest part,” Colvin said.
Thompson, who calls the plays on offense, interjected.
“His coach finally wised up and started giving him the ball 20 times a game.”
FACTS and FIGURES
2021 season: 4-8, 1-4 3A North. Ogden made a late-season charge last year, beating Ben Lomond, then beating Manti on the road in the playoffs before a close 31-24 loss at No. 1 Juab in the quarterfinals.
2022 strength of schedule: 55-49 (.529). Starting in Week 5, the Tigers have it tough with South Summit on the road and then their region schedule.
Players to watch: Chet Colvin (RB/DB), Braxten Shobe (OL/DE), Kire Thompson (WR/DB), Chino Furniss (QB), Adam Wilson (WR/DB), Lucas Heiner (LB/FB), Joe Garcia (OL)
Returning starters: 6 offense, 5 defense
Strength/Weakness: Skill players on offense/Depth and size
Ogden won first-round playoff games in consecutive years (2020, 2021) for the first time ever, according to prep football historian George Felt.
The Tigers did play in the 1953 and 1954 state championship games, but lost both times and those years, the title game was the only postseason game, according to Felt. The Tigers have had multiple stretches where they’ve qualified for the playoffs multiple years in a row, but had never won playoff games in consecutive years.
Ogden owns a six-game winning streak against Ben Lomond (five Iron Horse games and one playoff game).
Chet Colvin’s 1,169-yard rushing season in 2021 was the fourth year in a row that an Ogden running back rushed for 1,000 or more yards (Rhyle Hanson in 2018, Logan Shobe in 2019 and 2020).
Ogden is leaving Week 2 open on the schedule after Providence Hall backed out of a game.
All games 7 p.m. unless noted
Aug. 12: at Canyon View
Aug. 19: BYE
Aug. 26: Carbon
Sept. 2: Richfield
Sept. 9: at South Summit
Sept. 16: Union*
Sept. 23: at Grantsville*
Sept. 30: Juan Diego*
Thur., Oct. 6: at Morgan*
Wed., Oct. 12: Ben Lomond*, 5 p.m., Iron Horse Game
* — Denotes 3A North region game
Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.