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5A Football Preview: Kearns at Alta

Kearns (5-5, 2-3) at Alta (9-1, 5-0)

Friday, 7 p.m.

Parry's Power Guide: Alta by 33

All-time series: Alta leads 15-1.

Last meeting: 2003 regular season won by Alta

Is this the year the Hawks get over the hump and claim their first football state championship since 1988? Two years ago turnovers at the quarterback position were too much to overcome whereas last year a missed extra point in the title game was Alta's downfall.

Since losing to Bingham 23-20 in Week 2, coach Les Hamilton's team has been absolutely dominant, outscoring its opponents by an average of 33 points. Not surprisingly then, Alta is a huge favorite against Region 3's No. 4 seed — a Kearns team seeking its first playoff win since 1993.

Kearns will rely heavily on quarterback RJ Tialavea and running back Alamoti Vaenuku to help it sustain drives and keep Alta's potent offense on the bench. That's a tall order, however, against arguably the state's best defense.

As for Alta's offense, it's rounding into form. Last year's Mr. Football recipient, Sausan Shakerin, is as healthy as he's been all year and is coming off a solid 170-yard rushing performance against Jordan in the regular-season finale.

Quarterback Ryan Rosenvall could be the lynch pin to Alta's title hopes. The Hawks lacked a quality throwing QB last year, but Rosenvall gives the Region 2 champs that extra dimension as they try and unseat defending state champion Bingham.

Kearns Cougars statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 23.0 ppg

Scoring defense: 21.8 ppg

Passing leader: RJ Tialavea (63-166, 38%, 1,081 yards, 8 TDs)

Rushing leader: Alamoti Vaenuku (191 rushes, 1,206 yards, 14 TDs)

Receiving leader: Fatu Moala (20 receptions, 398 yards, 4 TDs)

Tackles leader: Tyler Christensen (91 tackles)

Sacks leader: Ului Angilau (4 1/2 sacks)

Interceptions leader: Isaac Vigil (4 interceptions)

Alta Hawks statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 42.4 ppg

Scoring defense: 12.7 ppg

Passing leader: Ryan Rosenvall (93-136, 68.4%, 1,265, 16 TDs)

Rushing leader: Sausan Shakerin (113 rushes, 619 yards, 9 TDs)

Receiving leader: Brady Hunt (20 receptions, 331 yards, 2 TDs)

Tackles leader: not provided

Sacks leader: not provided

Interceptions leader: not provided

Kearns game-by-game results

08/17/07 ... Kearns 28, Olympus 14

08/24/07 ... Cyprus 21, Kearns 20 (OT)

08/31/07 ... Kearns 25, West 3

09/07/07 ... Kearns 23, Brighton 16

09/14/07 ... Skyline 31, Kearns 28

09/21/07 ... Hunter 27, Kearns 19

09/27/07 ... Bingham 40, Kearns 6

10/04/07 ... Kearns 24, Copper Hills 17 (OT)

10/12/07 ... Riverton 20, Kearns 17 (OT)

10/18/07 ... Kearns 40, West Jordan 29

Alta game-by-game results

08/17/07 ... Alta 44, Spanish Fork 7

08/24/07 ... Bingham 23, Alta 20

09/01/07 ... Alta 28, Clovis East, Calif. 12

09/07/07 ... Alta 53, Hunter 12

09/14/07 ... Alta 52, Grant, Calif. 33

09/21/07 ... Alta 49, Skyline 7

09/28/07 ... Alta 24, Brighton 7

10/05/07 ... Alta 64, Hillcrest 7

10/12/07 ... Alta 55, Taylorsville 7

10/19/07 ... Alta 35, Jordan 12