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Hurricane will try to stop Logan

Hurricane coach Chris Homer spent much of this past Sunday watching some high-quality football, but it wasn't what you'd expect. Instead of Peyton Manning or Michael Vick, Homer was watching another stud quarterback — Logan's Riley Nelson.

Homer hit the rewind and pause button all day Sunday, somewhat mesmerized by how Nelson was making a good Skyline defense look helpless.

"The fact he runs as well as he does, it's pretty impressive," said Homer. "He seems as fast as any running back we've seen all year, and he lowers head. He takes it to people."

Now it's Hurricane's turn to try and stop the unstoppable.

This Thursday at 10 a.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Hurricane (12-0) and Logan (11-1) square off in the high-anticipated 3A semifinal.

Statistically speaking, it's a match-up of completely contrasting styles. Hurricane's defense is the state's stingiest with 9.9 ppg. Logan, meanwhile, is scoring at a clip of 45.9 ppg, tops in the state.

"We're praying for sleet, snow and hail, and whatever else we can get there," joked Homer about his game plan.

Hurricane won't be getting any help from Mother Nature. Thursday's forecast calls for 60 degrees and sunny. The Tigers, therefore, will just have to rely on the Xs and Os that generated the perfect season thus far.

That game plan calls for a low-scoring affair. If Hurricane racks up around 20 first downs, that will keep Logan's offense on the bench, and Homer believes that creates an advantageous situation for his team.

If Logan's spread offense gets hot early — and Nelson piles even more scores on the 69 total TDs he already has this year — Hurricane's Wing-T offense will have a hard time playing catch-up.

"I think beating Pine View earlier this year definitely gave us confidence we can play with anybody," said Homer.

Back in Week 7, everyone figured Hurricane's perfect season would come crashing down when they hosted Region 9 favorite Pine View. Instead, Hurricane's defense played a flawless game, forcing Pine View into several key turnovers and prevailing 16-7.

While Hurricane's defense has been well-documented this year, Logan's defensive prowess has obviously been overshadowed by Nelson's success, but the Grizzlies are a great defensive team as well. Logan's defense is second in 3A with just 11.9 ppg.

"It takes a great defense to win a championship, and it's not overlooked by me," said Logan coach Mike Favero.

Class 3A's other semifinal game is also a match-up of contrasting styles.

When Pine View (11-1) battles Grantsville (6-6) at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday at 10 a.m., it will be a rematch of a nonregion game back in September won by Pine View 42-6.

That loss dropped Grantsville to 0-5 under first-year coach Tony Cloward, but the Cowboys have been fantastic ever since with a 6-1 record.

The surprise team of the 3A semis will need to play a nearly flawless game to slow down Pine View's high-scoring offense led by BYU-bound quarterback James Lark.

When Pine View beat Grantsville earlier this year, Lark finished with four touchdown passes. For the year, he has 33 touchdown passes.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com