Northridge coach Fred Fernandes knew Clearfield would have a good football team this year, but after seeing the Falcons beat Springville and West Jordan, he said they're a lot better than he'd thought.
He and his No. 1 Knights will get a look at the Falcons firsthand Friday night at Clearfield in the Region 1 opener for both teams.
"We need to slow down their running game," Fernandes said of the Falcons. "They've been able to run the ball at will, and that will be the key to beating them — stop the run or at least slow it down."
Clearfield coach Randy Johnson can say the same thing about the Knights, who won the 5A state championship, and return several weapons from that team.
"They have a lot of kids that have won a lot of games. At Bingham, when it got right down to it they did what they had to do to win," Johnson said. "They had kids that put the game on their shoulders."
In their two victories, the Falcons lead Class 5A with an average of 53 points a game
while surrendering 13.5. Northridge has scored 35 points a game in its two wins over Bingham and Copper Hills and is second in fewest points allowed at 6.5 points a game.
Something has to give.
"I don't thing they've played anyone as good as us and we haven't played anyone as good as them," Fernandes said. "Both defenses are too good to have a lopsided scoring game."
Clearfield running back Carter Vaughn has five touchdowns and is tied with three others for third in the classification, and Kenny Milne has two touchdowns.
"We've got kids coming back that have played together," Johnson said. "I know that we've caused some problems in certain areas. We're pretty efficient right now."
Northridge's Spencer Bailey has three rushing touchdowns and Jase McCormick has four touchdown passes.
The game kicks off at 7 p.m.
DAVID VS. GOLIATH: Goliath Hunter High (enrollment 2,100) will have its hands full Friday with Century High of Pocatello, Idaho (enrollment 832). The third-year Diamondbacks have won 14 straight games and captured the Idaho State Class 4A state championship last year. Century has three-year starters in quarterback Jordan Coffin and linebacker Matt Stucki. Blake Sampson is a two-year starter at offensive guard.
"We hear they're a small school and this and that, but what I'm seeing on film is they are as good a team we've played this year except for Brighton," Hunter coach Wes Wilcken said.
The game kicks at 8:45 p.m. at Holt Arena on the campus of Idaho State University.
A NEW TRADITION: Hunter and Granger will begin a new tradition on the "Battle of the Valley" Sept. 21 at Granger High. West Valley Mayor Gerald Wright will be on hand to present the inaugural "Battle of the Valley" trophy to the winning team. The winner will keep the trophy until the two teams meet the next year.
RIVALRY WEEK: North Summit battles South Summit for the 68th time since 1942 with North Summit leading 37-27-3 . . . Lehi and American Fork meet for the 59th time with A.F. leading the series 37-17-4 . . . Tooele and Judge Memorial meet for the 44th time since 1930 with Judge leading 22-20-1
TD CORRECTION: Skyline's Tom Jensen scored the first Eagle touchdown in their 49-14 win over Highland. It was incorrectly reported in the game story in last Saturday morning's paper.
GUARANTEED A WIN: Sky View travels to Kearns and Provo visits Pleasant Grove in meetings of winless teams.
COACHING MILESTONE: Cyprus' Sonny Sudbury can pick up his 100th career victory, but it will take a win over Olympus that beat Logan, 33-0, last week.
PREPS ON THE WEB: Can't wait for the nightly scores? Log on to www.deseretnews.com/preps and see the scores as soon as the Deseret News receives the information from the coaches. While there, check out the your favorite high school's own Web page complete with comprehensive standings, schedules, results and leaders. Also, Deseret News photographers take more pictures at games that could ever be in the paper. Check out the photo galleries where additional photos can be viewed and purchased.