Note: Rich finished with a 6-5 overall record in 2016 and second in 1A North with a 3-1 record. It lost to Kanab 21-0 in 1A semifinals.
RANDOLPH — The Rich Rebels are in an interesting spot heading into the 2017 season. After winning the state title in 2014, the Rebels are coming off back-to-back 5-6 seasons and have a bevy of returners from a season ago.
The 2016 campaign was particularly intriguing. In three games decided by 30 or more points, head coach Ashley Brown’s club was a perfect 3-0. It went down from there, however, as Rich was 2-3 in contests decided by exactly 21 points and 2-3 in ones decided by 14 points or less.
Perhaps it makes sense, then, that Brown attributes the so-so 2016 to up-and-down play on the offensive side of the ball.
“Offensively last year we were very inconsistent, and that’s why we lost so many close games. Our defense did a great job keeping us in games, but our offense had a hard time scoring, so that’s something that we’ve definitely got to fix or we’ll be very similar to the way we were last year.”
Whether or not it’s good news remains to be seen, but the fact that Brown has his quarterback, fullback, a couple of wide receivers and two key linemen returning have him confident that things can be better in 2017.
“We’ll work on things that we didn’t do very well last year, and hopefully this year we’re better at it and we’re more consistent on that side of the ball,” Brown said.
Rich Rebels at a glance
Coach: Ashley Brown is entering his 18th year as head coach of the Rebels. He attended Star Valley High School in Idaho and the University of Wyoming. He holds an overall record of 122-71.
Rich offensive snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Ashley Brown
2016 offensive production: 17.9 ppg (6th in 1A)
-- 7 returning starters
-- Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
Porter Weston (OL)
Wyatt Weston (OL)
Nick Jarman (QB)
Kinnen Clark (FB)
Aaron Smith (TE/RB)
Jordan Cook (WR/RB)
Kamren Calder (WR)
Brown’s comments on the offensive line:
“It definitely starts in high school with your offensive line. You’ve got to have a good line or you struggle, so that’ll be an area that we’ve got to make sure we get some good kids up there and add kids to the kids we’ve got. Hopefully we can do that and our line will be good.”
Brown’s comments on the running backs:
“With what we do, if they’re not getting the ball, they’re just as important as a blocker. That’s an area last year I think we didn’t do real well, is our backs blocking, and so that’s something that we’ve definitely got to do better.”
Keys for offensive success in 2017:
How much can the Rebels’ experience help them be more consistent this year than they were last year? If that experience ends up counting for a lot, it stands to reason Rich could be quite good in 2017. If not, it could be another year of relying heavily on the defense to keep the Rebels in games.
Rich defensive snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Glenn Smith
2016 defensive production: 11.8 ppg (3rd in 1A)
-- 7 returning starters
-- 4-3 defense
Returning defensive starters
Nick Jarman (DL)
Wyatt Weston (DL)
Porter Weston (LB)
Kinnen Clark (LB)
Aaron Smith (LB)
Jordan Cook (LB)
Kamren Calder (DB)
Brown’s comments on playing Jarman on defensive line plus quarterback:
“A school our size with the numbers we have, you’ve got to put your best kids on the field wherever that may be, so that’s what we do.”
Keys for defensive success in 2017:
The Rebels are traditionally one of the better defensive teams in 1A, and with a bunch of players returning after a good year in 2016, there’s no reason to think Rich won’t be stout once again. If there is any question mark it’s up front given that Brown has to replace a few graduates, but key cogs Wyatt Weston and Nick Jarman will be back on the line.
Coaches 1A North preseason straw poll: Second
Deseret News 1A North projection: Second
Key region game: at Duchesne, October 6 (Week 8)
Bottom line: Having a bunch of returning players is typically a good thing, although the Rebels bring a bunch back this year that struggled offensively in 2016. It stands to reason things will get better in 2017, but they need to in order for Rich to return to serious state title contention. The defense should once again keep Brown’s team within striking distance most weeks, but can the offense do its part to get wins?
Aug. 18 — BYE
Aug. 25 — at Bear Lake, Idaho, 4 p.m.
Sept. 1 — WEST SIDE, IDAHO, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 — MONTICELLO, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 — at Milford, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 — PAROWAN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 — at Kanab, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 — at Duchesne, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 — LAYTON CHRISTIAN, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 — at Altamont, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Rich High School
All-time record: 210-133 (32 years)
Region championships: 5 (1991 co, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014)
Playoff appearances: 32
Current playoff appearance streak: 32 (1985-2016)
All-time playoff record: 39-26
State championships: 6 (1994, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2009, 2014)
State championship record: 6-7
Most played rivalry: 41 meetings with Duchesne dating back to 1985. Rich leads 22-19.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Rich has competed in the state playoffs every season in its 32 years of existence.
2016 — 6-5 (3-1 in 1A North -- 1A Semifinals)
2015 — 5-6 (3-1 in 1A North -- 1A Semifinals)
2014 — 9-3 (3-0 in 1A North --1A Champions)
2013 — 9-3 (2-1 in 1A North -- 1A Runner-up)
2012 — 8-4 (3-1 in 1A North -- 1A Runner-up)
Rich coaching history
2000-current — Ashley Brown (122-71)
1991-1999 — Jerre Holmes (67-30)
1989-1990 — Dan Haskell (8-12)
1985-1988 — Dean Scott (13-20)
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
2014 — Cache Sabey, RB/LB
2009 — Bradley Holmes, QB/LB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2016 — Riley Ostler, RB/DB
2016 — Nik Wallentine, WR/LB
2016 — Payson Willis, OL/DL
2015 — Koy Brown, QB/DB
2015 — Mitch Jarman, RB/LB
2015 — Kyler Clark, RB/LB
2015 — Ryland Frandsen, OL/LB
2014 — Koy Brown, QB/LB
2014 — Joseph Leifson, RB/DB
2014 — Kyler Clark, RB/LB
2014 — Wyatt Muirbrook, WR/DE
2014 — Jayden Wallentine, WR/DB
2014 — Ryley Smith, OL/DL
2013 — McKay Jarman, QB/DE
2013 — Dakota Clark, RB/DL
2013 — Skyler Argyle, TE?DE
2013 — Hawkan Cornia, OL/DL
2013 — Isaac Hopkin, OL/DL
2012 — Austin Groll, QB/DB
2012 — Kaden Thomson, RB/LB
2012 — McKay Jarman, WR/DL
2012 — Kade Earley, OL/DL
2011 — Austin Groll, QB/LB
2011 — Brady Meek, RB/LB, Rich
2011 — Bracken Pinter, TE/DE
2010 — Kayden Calder, QB/DB
2010 — Kalen Larsen, OL/DL
2010 — Cody Groll, RB/DB
2010 — Phillip Peart, OL/LB
2009 — Caden Andersen, QB/LB
2009 — Hayden McKee, RB/LB
2009 — Clint Cornelison, WR/DB
2009 — Cooper Cornia, LB/RB
2009 — Tyson Larsen, OL/LB
2008 — Caden Andersen, WR/DB
2008 — Bradley Holmes, QB/LB
2007 — Kade Bell, OL/DL
2007 — Bradley Holmes, QB/DB
2007 — Clayson Myers, RB/LB
2007 — Tyler Satterthwaite, RB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.