LAYTON — Last October, a Layton Christian fan stood up in the stands and started waving.
He was waving goodbye to Eagles running back Dustin Moffo, who was halfway to the end zone on a 58-yard touchdown run against Altamont.
Moffo made a habit of pulling off long, slaloming runs sprinkled with broken tackles last year as LCA finished in second place in the 1A North region and hosted a home playoff game.
“He might rush for 2,000 (yards) this year to be honest,” sophomore quarterback Jaice Holt said. “I think he’s twice the better player than he was last year, his head’s in the right spot, he works harder than anybody on the team.”
The Eagles are going to rely on Moffo a lot again this year after he rushed for 1,180 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 reported games last year.
But you won’t hear Moffo tooting his own horn. Head coach Dru Jones recently moved and said Moffo was upset that Jones didn’t ask him to help.
“Really it’s just (the offensive line) because it’s the work that they put in that gets me all the yards, and I’ve just got to break first tackle and make the first man miss,” Moffo said.
Either way, Moffo played a big role in LCA securing a No. 2 seed in the 1A state playoffs and hosting a home playoff game, which the Eagles lost against Kanab after beating the Cowboys earlier in the regular season.
They want to be right there again this season as they hope for back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in the team’s history.
“We’d love to host another home playoff game and then we’ve got to get over the hump of winning the playoff game. We haven’t done that since we went to the state title (game in 2011),” head coach Dru Jones said.
As ever, LCA’s roster is represented by several countries: Germany, Tonga, Australia, Turkey and Rwanda. The Eagles are a bit short on depth and seniors, but Moffo says it’s not a problem at all.
“I think we make up for it with our hard work and the atmosphere of this team is just so different. It’s more of a family and we focus more on the goals of the team than one individual,” he said.
Jones said there are a lot of juniors in the fold this year, but they’re experienced juniors who — some of them, anyway — have started since their freshman year.
There are also plenty who haven’t started and who will have to quickly adjust to varsity football. The inexperience is particularly felt within the receivers group, but Jones likes the progress Holt has made at QB and thinks there shouldn’t be too much of an issue there.
Half the opposing defense is going to watching Moffo, after all.
LCA has a new strength and conditioning coach named Charles Cook, a longtime Air Force special operations veteran. Here’s what Jones said about Cook’s effect on the team so far:
“This is probably the toughest team I’ve coached in (my) two years, going into my third year. Mentally, physically, they are tougher.”
Key stretch: The Eagles’ last two games are at home against Rich and Duchesne. Win one or both of those, and the playoff prospects improve if LCA is still in the mix at season’s end.
Round robin: The 1A classification is so small that the regular season acts as a glorified round robin before the playoffs. The benefit is that if Layton Christian goes to the playoffs, it will have likely already faced its playoff foe in the regular season.