Last year is just that. Last year.
It’s what every football coach and player preaches at the start of a new season, that last year doesn’t matter. It’s true, though this week there might be an exception.
Remember when Ogden and Bonneville met last year at BHS on Sept. 15? The Tigers had only just snapped their historic 36-game losing streak. The Lakers had won 13 straight in the series since 1983.
Ogden won with a 35-point fourth quarter, overcoming a 28-14 deficit and letting it roll in one of the more stunning games the rivalry has ever seen.
One had best believe that “last year” didn’t just magically go away for the Lakers.
“Last year still hurts, but it kind of pushes us more to do better this year and make sure we finish strong,” senior linebacker Ryker Jensen said.
From Ogden’s point of view, head coach Erik Thompson said after that game, “I can’t tell you how big that win just was,” and “…danged if the football gods didn’t smile on us today.”
From the Lakers point of view, the locker room was silent save for the occasional slamming of the locker. This game has been circled on Bonneville’s calendar, not as just a rivalry game but as a burning hope to atone for last year.
“I’ve been waiting a year for this one,” Bonneville head coach Jantz Afuvai said.
“When it’s a rivalry game, it’s just who wants to show up on Friday night? It wouldn’t matter who’s better or who’s worse or who’s got the better stats or whatever, we can throw all of those out the window on a game like this,” Afuvai said.
The win didn’t alter the courses of either teams’ seasons. Ogden missed the playoffs, though it did go on to beat Ben Lomond in another dramatic finish. Bonneville finished second in the region and had a home playoff game.
This is a whole new Tigers team. They’re 3-1, averaging 39 points per game and the offense is led by a four-headed monster of running backs Chase Butler and Rhyle Hanson, receiver Irving Gastelum and quarterback Bo DeVries.
“The offensive line’s been much improved and are doing a much better job. Our ability to run the football is definitely been key having two really good running backs,” Ogden head coach Erik Thompson said.
When Ogden and Bonneville met in 2009 after a 22-year gridiron hiatus, it was a close game preceded by an emotional moment of silence and followed by controversy.
Two days before the game, legendary former, longtime Bonneville head coach Thom Budge died from a heart attack. The Lakers won 7-6 on a late fourth-quarter touchdown run by Austin Land.
The following Monday, both Ogden and Bonneville launched investigations into alleged racist remarks made by a Tigers assistant coach aimed at a black Bonneville player.
Bonneville and Ogden played each other annually from 1960-73 and 1977-87 before putting the kibosh on the rivalry. It came at a time when the Lakers were routinely making deep playoff runs amid double-digit win seasons and the Tigers were going through a 4-23 spell from 1985-87.
So what will we see Friday, a shootout or a one-sided game? It's hard to tell, but the one sure thing is there will be no lack of motivation for either side.
“We kind of rained on their parade last year, Homecoming game, big rivalry game and we went in there and shocked the world, so yeah they’re going to be hungry for sure. They’re going to want to do the exact same thing to us that we did to them last year," Ogden running back Rhyle Hanson said.
Week 5 Matchups
Fremont at Davis
The last time Fremont (3-1, 1-0 Region 1) played at Davis (4-0, 2-0) was in the first round of the 2015 playoffs when Fremont pulled off a 21-20 first-round upset against the unbeaten Darts. Fremont's Hunter Burton and Chaedon Dayton have five interceptions between them and three of them have been returned for touchdowns (two by Burton). Davis has scored more points in its first four games (92) than it did all of last year (82). Trey Baggett (4) and Jack Rigby (3) account for seven of Garrett Larson’s eight passing touchdowns and 606 of Larson’s 763 passing yards.
Roy at Woods Cross
Roy (3-1) and Woods Cross (2-2) feature two of the best quarterbacks in the area and face off as Region 5 play begins. Roy quarterback Jaxson Dart is coming off career highs in completions (15) and yards (318) in a win against Bonneville. Wildcats quarterback Carston Naegle checks in with a 61.9 percent completion rate, 1,080 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Weber at Alta
Weber (2-2, 2-0 Region 1) has to find a way to contain an efficient Alta (3-1) passing attack that has 10 touchdowns against two interceptions. At the same time, quarterback Kohl Hogan is the Warriors’ leading rusher with 219 yards, so keeping Alta out of the backfield is even more important. Weber and Alta have only met twice: a 36-7 Alta win in the first round of the 2001 state playoffs and a 23-6 Weber win in the 1985 state semifinals.
Ben Lomond at Park City
Among the more painful of Ben Lomond’s (0-4) region losses last year was a 16-15 home loss to Park City (2-2). The two teams have a common opponent this year in Payson. The Scots fell 21-0 in the opener to the Lions while the Miners beat Payson 44-8 last week. Park City’s defense has been stout the past two weeks, but after putting up 35 points last week, the Scots have to be feeling good about their chances to score.
Syracuse at Layton
Not many expected Syracuse (0-4, 0-1 Region 1) and Layton (1-3, 0-2) to still be in this spot. Syracuse linebacker Spencer Manning leads his defense with 38 total tackles, three tackles-for-loss, one sack and one interception. For Layton, starting 0-3 in region play would spell bad things. The last time a Region 1 team started 0-3 and made the playoffs was Viewmont in 1998.
Clearfield at Northridge
The key for Northridge (2-2, 1-1 Region 1) is giving quarterback Colby Browning time in the pocket to throw, but the junior has shown ability to run for 100-plus yards so maybe it’s not all bad for the Knights if he starts running around. But the emphasis will be high since Clearfield (1-3, 0-2) comes in with a very good pass rush and a solid run defense.
Farmington at Viewmont
Most of Farmington’s (0-4) players went to Viewmont (2-2) last year, so this is sure to be an emotionally raw game in Region 5. After missing the previous two games, Vikings receiver Britton Anderson caught six passes for 112 yards against Skyridge.
Box Elder at Bountiful
Box Elder (3-1) quarterback Parker Buchanan threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns last week, nearly matching his season total of 216 in the previous three games. Bountiful (2-2) through four games appears to be a second-half team. The Braves have been outscored 52-42 in the first half, but have outscored their foes 28-25 in the second half.
Sky View at Bear River
Bear River (2-2) gets defending Region 12 champion Sky View right out of the gate. Sky View averages 30.5 points per game on offense and Bear River allows an average of 15.5 on defense. Where it hasn’t worked out yet is offense, which has scored just 35 points this year for the Bears. Quarterback Bradey Brown threw for 192 yards and a score last week, his best game of the season.
Grantsville at Morgan
Morgan (2-2) leads the all-time series 51-28-2 since 1945, according to prep football historian George Felt. This year, more than others though, one can throw the records out the window. Grantsville is 4-0 with a win over 4A Tooele last week, a strong running game and a strong pass rush.
Parowan at Layton Christian
Layton Christian (1-2) comes off its bye week to face a Parowan team that scored 83 points last week against Monument Valley. Eagles running back Dustin Moffo has 426 rushing yards and five touchdowns so far.