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3A football preview: Ogden at Union

Ogden (3-7, 2-3) at Union (7-3, 3-1)

3A State Tournament first-round game

Friday, 4 p.m.

Parry's Power Guide: Union by 29

All-time series: Ogden leads 1-0.

Last meeting: 1997 first round, Ogden won 28-13

Not that there's ever really a good time to face Union star quarterback Rhen Richard, but it doesn't exactly look like the Ogden Tigers are hitting Richard and his Cougars when you would want to.

Coming off a disappointing 24-21 loss to Wasatch last week, a defeat which cost Union an outright Region 10 title and the league's No. 1 seed, the third-ranked Cougars will look to rebound in the opening round of the 3A playoffs against Ogden Friday afternoon.

Things were going awfully well for Richard and for Union — until last week's Wasatch contest.

Three major factors went against the Cougars' stellar passing game that day: Union struggled against Wasatch's zone defense packages, Wasatch's field was largely covered in snow that had fallen the previous night, and talented receiver David Gilbert, who has 993 receiving yards and 12 TDs on the season, went down early with an injury.

Add it all up, and the Cougars never really managed to get their lethal passing attack on track.

Undoubtedly, Richard will look to quickly prove that the struggles against Wasatch were an aberration by lighting up Ogden's defense, which has given up 28.8 ppg. Richard, a senior, leads Class 3A and is second in the state in passing, as he averages 258 yards-per-game and has thrown 26 touchdowns.

One player he should watch out for is Ogden's Eli Garcia, who has picked off five passes in 2007.

Offensively, running back Lance Bowen (10 touchdowns) leads the way for the Tigers.

Ogden Tigers statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 14.9 ppg

Scoring defense: 28.8 ppg

Passing leader: Justin Crosby (2 TDs)

Rushing leader: Lance Bowen (8 TDs)

Receiving leader: Lance Bowen (2 TDs)

Tackles leader: Jonathan Holley (72 tackles)

Sacks leader: Jonathan Holley (7 sacks)

Interceptions leader: Eli Garcia (5 interceptions)

Union Cougars statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 34.4 ppg

Scoring defense: 23 ppg

Passing leader: Rhen Richard (125-258, 48.4%, 2,589 yards, 26 TDs)

Rushing leader: Kaden Richard (102 rushes, 572 yards, 7 TDs)

Receiving leader: David Gilbert (42 receptions, 993 yards, 12 TDs)

Tackles leader: Britt Stubbs (112 tackles)

Sacks leader: Not provided

Interceptions leaders: Kyle Guinn (1 interception), Zach Truillo (1 interception)

Ogden game-by-game results

08/17/07 ... North Summit 18, Ogden 7

08/24/07 ... Ogden 42, Layton Christian 0

08/31/07 ... Granger 20, Ogden 0

09/07/07 ... Park City 55, Ogden 7

09/14/07 ... Judge 52, Ogden 20

09/21/07 ... Morgan 24, Ogden 7

09/28/07 ... Logan 42, Ogden 0

10/05/07 ... Ogden 20, Bear River 14

10/12/07 ... Ogden 32, Grantsville 28

10/19/07 ... Ben Lomond 35, Ogden 14

Union game-by-game results

08/17/07 ... Union 21, Delta 14

08/24/07 ... Manti 28, Union 19

08/31/07 ... North Sanpete 53, Union 34

09/07/07 ... Union 28, Bear River 6

09/14/07 ... Union 42, Grantsville 8

09/21/07 ... Union 34, Park City 28

09/28/07 ... Union 63, Uintah 34

10/05/07 ... Union 42, Carbon 0

10/12/07 ... Union 40, Judge 35