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Prep football predictions: Morgan-Grantsville showdown, Davis Co. rivalries highlight Week 8

By Patrick Carr - Prep Sports Reporter | Sep 28, 2022

BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Morgan High quarterback Nick Despain (4) throws against the pressure of Grantsville's Nolan Bird (56) during the 3A football state championship game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.

Unbeaten 3A teams Morgan and Grantsville clash Friday with likely the 3A North championship and a top-two seed in the playoffs at stake as the eighth week of prep football in Northern Utah approaches.

There are plenty of critical region games around the area, including some spicy rivalries in Davis County. A full rundown of game previews and predictions is below.

Last week’s prediction record: 10-1

Season prediction record: 75-21

GRANTSVILLE at MORGAN, Game of the Week

This is the game Morgan (7-0, 2-0 3A North) had circled on its calendar, whether it publicly says so or not.

Grantsville (7-0, 2-0) won both meetings last year to sweep the region and state championships.

The Cowboys trump the Trojans in a lot of statistical categories; however, Morgan has won via blowout in every game this year and is adamant about pulling its starters when it’s up by 40-plus points.

Both teams have stout run defenses and steady quarterbacks. On a grass field with rain possible, special teams may be magnified further.

Prediction: Morgan

JUAN DIEGO at OGDEN

For whatever reason, whether through youth or not being able to bring in as many out-of-area players as normal, Juan Diego (3-4, 1-1 3A North) is having a down year.

The Soaring Eagle’s defense is leaky, but the veer offense is still exclusively run and may keep the Ogden defense out on the field longer than it can manage.

The Tigers (2-4, 1-1) can score enough points through the air and ground to nullify Juan Diego’s rushing inroads. Expect a close game.

Prediction: Ogden

CYPRUS at ROY

A win for Roy (4-3, 2-1 Region 2) would secure a .500 or better regular season for the 11th straight season.

Considering the Royals have a mostly new coaching staff and a young team that’s looked different personnel-wise each game, the fact Roy is in this spot should be encouraging.

Cyprus (3-4, 1-2) runs the ball nearly 44 times per game and throws it about 8.5 times per game. The Royals’ run defense, which has played well against run-heavy teams, will need another good game and some third-down stops to avoid getting tired too quickly.

Prediction: Roy

BONNEVILLE at NORTHRIDGE

Northridge (2-5, 0-3 Region 5) is getting closer to a region win and improving on offense. Junior quarterback Porter Olsen had 301 yards with four touchdown passes last week in place of usual starter Malikai Williams.

Teams have figured out the secret to slowing down Bonneville’s (5-2, 1-2 Region 5) offense the last two weeks, and the Lakers’ defense gets an interesting test against a fast, athletic Knights offense. Bonneville may have to win this one with the Jaxon Johnson battering-ram offense.

Friday is Northridge’s annual Cancer Awareness game, where the football program pools sponsor donations together to donate to a family or person associated with the school who’s battling cancer.

Prediction: Bonneville

FREMONT at SYRACUSE

Syracuse’s (5-2, 3-0 Region 1) defense has 11 interceptions, five of which belong to Brevin Hamblin. Fremont’s (2-5, 2-1) quarterbacks have thrown a combined 16 picks and the running game is averaging 1.9 yards per rush.

The Silverwolves, though, are the Titans’ kryptonite. Fremont has won the last four meetings, including surprise wins last year and in Syracuse’s region-winning 2019 season.

Prediction: Syracuse

BEN LOMOND at UNION

The computers are projecting a close game either way. After all, Union (2-5, 0-2 3A North) has been vulnerable against teams that pass the ball a lot, which Ben Lomond (3-4, 0-2) does.

Three Scots receivers have 20-plus catches: Davian Muñoz, Hunter Christensen and Jaxon Watson.

Prediction: Union

WEBER at OLYMPUS

Weber’s (1-6) bright spot continues to be freshman wideout Salesi Moa, who’s up to 33 catches for 596 yards and three touchdowns.

As has been the story this year, the young and depleted Warriors are up against a good team at Olympus (3-4).

Prediction: Olympus

FARMINGTON at DAVIS

Farmington (7-0, 3-0 Region 1) has more balance on offense and one of the better defenses in the state, particularly against the pass. Just in the last two games alone, opposing quarterbacks have completed 28 of 57 passes for 411 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions.

Davis (4-3, 2-1) relies on the pass so on paper, this seems like a bad matchup for the Darts. But they’re at home and they’ve won a couple games this year they weren’t supposed to. Don’t count them out.

The still-new rivalry is called the Backyard Battle and the teams play for a gold and teal chain.

Prediction: Farmington

LAYTON at CLEARFIELD

Layton’s (4-3, 1-3 Region 1) Elias Parkinson has six touchdown catches and two interceptions.

The Lancers have played Clearfield (0-7, 0-4) the most out of anyone in school history and lead the series against the Falcons 28-25.

Prediction: Layton

WOODS CROSS at BOX ELDER

Running back Dax Sumko crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the season last week, but Box Elder’s (5-2, 1-2 Region 5) offense missed a lot of chances against Bountiful and will look to have a better night in that department.

The Bees have won three in a row against Woods Cross (4-3, 2-1) and four of the last five.

Prediction: Box Elder

BOUNTIFUL at VIEWMONT

Bountiful (5-2, 3-0 Region 5) has won four straight games all by single digits, including three by one possession, on the back of a defense that’s been more than stellar.

There’s some injury concern after running back Corbin Cottle left Friday’s Box Elder game, a game in which leading receiver Sam Stevenson also missed with an injury.

Big, physical teams with good defenses have caused Viewmont (4-3, 1-2) issues this year. Bountiful’s defense is fast, athletic, big and the best in the region. BHS leads the all-time rivalry series 34-23.

Prediction: Bountiful

RIDGELINE at BEAR RIVER

Bear River (2-5, 1-2 Region 11) gets another tough region game with Ridgeline (4-3, 2-1), a team that’s had the Bears’ number the last two years.

Region 11 has a little more parity than years past and, depending on which results one looks at, this game could either be a close Bear River win or a comfortable Ridgeline win.

Prediction: Ridgeline

LAYTON CHRISTIAN at SUGAR-SALEM

Layton Christian (5-2) is playing well, coming off back-to-back wins against Kanab and Duchesne.

Sugar-Salem (5-0) is an Idaho 3A school that does everything well with an explosive offense and a watertight defense.

Prediction: Sugar-Salem

Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net, Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.

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