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OREM KNOWS TITLE TRAIL GOES THROUGH SKYLINE

SHARE OREM KNOWS TITLE TRAIL GOES THROUGH SKYLINE

Orem coach Paul Clark doesn't need a map or a compass to find the promised land of 5A football.

"Everybody knows if you want to win the state championship you've got to go through Skyline," he said. "That's the fun in playing them."For the second time in four years, the Tigers and Eagles will meet for the 5A championship. Friday's kickoff is set for noon at Wildcat Stadium in Ogden.

"Orem and Skyline have had some classic battles in the past," said Skyline coach Roger DuPaix, whose Eagles have won two of the last three championships including the 1995 title. "Both teams have a lot of tradition."

Each is making its third finals appearance since the 5A classification was created in 1993.

"That's always our goal," said Clark. "To be in the state championship and to win the state championship."

The Tigers defeated Davis for the 1994 crown but were eliminated from postseason play early last year by Hunter.

That, however, was then.

"We are playing a team that over the past several weeks has dominated," DuPaix said of the Tigers. "They can beat you several ways. They've got weapons."

Running back Jared "Moose" Harper leads the offense, while Region 4 MVP Mike Tanner headlines the defense. Harper has rushed for 1,205 yards this season with an average gain of 9.4 yards per carry. Tanner, meanwhile, has shattered Orem's defensive point records and has racked up nearly 100 tackles.

"That's pretty scary isn't it?" said DuPaix. "We just need to do the best we can do and hope for the best."

Armed with versatile quarterback Jason Anderson and defensive standout Spencer Sigoda, the Eagles are "tough" according to Clark.

"I think we have to make them have a less than average offensive day," he added. "Defense will be the key. Whoever's defense plays the best will probably win."

Turnovers are also on the minds of both coaches.

"You can't make mistakes and win championship games," said DuPaix.

Skyline won the last championship meeting between the schools, 7-3, in 1993.