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High school football: 6A quarterfinal preview, Weber vs. American Fork

American Fork (9-2) at Weber (7-3)

6A state tournament quarterfinal

Friday, 4 p.m.

Parry’s Power Guide: American Fork by 22

All-time series: Series tied 2-2

Coach vs. coach: American Fork’s Aaron Behm leads Weber’s Matt Hammer 2-0

Last meeting: Aug. 17, 2018 – American Fork 38, Weber 15

Weber's first go-around with American Fork didn't go so well, although Warriors' coach Dave Hammer is hopeful for a different outcome when the two teams square off in the 6A quarterfinal round this Friday.

The Cavemen came away with a 38-15 win over Weber in week one of the season, using their explosive offense to hand out all sorts of headaches, much like they have to most opponents since.

"Usually when you scout a team you identify one area you can shut down or one player you can pick on. But with American Fork, there's really no one thing. They're so balanced," Hammer said. "It's a very talented team top to bottom that is well-coached with players all over the field that can give you all sorts of problems."

Of course Weber has seen a lot of success since and have built upon what was dealt during the first Friday of the season. The Warriors marched through Region 1 play undefeated relying upon solid defensive play that limited region opponents to just 6.8 points per game.

"We're not the same team that played that first week of the year, and I don't think anyone is, pretty much," Hammer said. "That's why I'm excited to see how we've improved, although I'm certain American Fork has only gotten better since that game as well."

As for the Cavemen, they were just seconds away from beating defending 6A champion Bingham to run through Region 4 undefeated, which is a tough task for anyone. As fate would have it, they ended up in a three-way tie with the heartbreaking loss to the Miners and drew the No. 3 seed on the coin flip.

"It's disappointing, obviously, but we're past that. We were able to play well last week in the first round and hopefully we can continue that play against a very tough Weber team," said American Fork coach Aaron Behm. "But we're confident. We had just two losses on the year and we feel we could have won both of those had just a few things went differently."

Behm believes his players have learned from both losses and are ready to put it in action heading into the quarterfinal round as one of the favorites to win the 6A state championship.

As for Hammer, he's focused on the number six, a number he believes will help flip the outcome in the Warriors' direction come Friday.

"The magic number for us is six. We need six plays to change the outcome, whether it be turnovers, sacks or whatever," Hammer said. "You need that against most opponents and you certainly need it against American Fork. If we can get that number then I think we'll have a good chance."

For American Fork, it hopes to continue putting up big numbers against one of the better defenses in the state on paper.

"We've had some guys step up and play really well for us," Behm said. "I like how this team has come together and feel we're playing well, but Weber is playing well, too. It's going to be a challenge, just like every game is a challenge at this time of the year. We have our hands full."

……

American Fork statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 39.9 ppg (1st in 6A)

Scoring defense: 17.7 ppg (3rd in 6A)

Passing leader: Boone Abbott (221-359, 61.6%, 3,235 yards, 39 TDs, 7 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Jaxon Gregory (69 carries, 520 yards, 5 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Chase Roberts (65 rec., 1,336 yards, 19 TDs), Devin Downing (51 rec., 885 yards, 11 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Tanner Vickers (61 tackles), Brock Hughes (55 tackles)

Sack leaders: Sean Hardman (5 sacks)

Interception leaders: Stockton Bramwell (5 INTs)

…….

Weber statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 26.5 ppg (11th in 6A)

Scoring defense: 14.6 ppg (2nd in 6A)

Passing leader: Kohl Hogan (107-203, 52.7%, 1,718 yards, 13 TDs, 3 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Kohl Hogan (124 carries, 564 yards, 6 TDs), Hunter Neilson (79 carries, 516 yards, 6 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Hudson Schenck (37 rec., 812 yards, 8 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Brandt Opheikens (104 tackles), Tyler Short (82 tackles)

Sack leaders: Brandt Opheikens (7 sacks), Sione Moa (6 sacks)

Interception leaders: Hudson Schenck (2 INTs), Braedon Iverson (2 INTs)

…….

Felt’s Facts for American Fork High School

Head coach: 2010-current — Aaron Behm (56-46)

All-time record: 487-323-21 (93 years)

Region championships: 19 (1937, 1938, 1939, 1942, 1953, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977 co, 1980, 1984, 1995 co, 2007 co, 2014, 2018 co)

Playoff appearances: 40

Current playoff appearance streak: 5 (2014-2018)

All-time playoff record: 27-37

State championships: 2 (1961, 1962)

State championship record: 2-3

…….

Felt’s Facts for Weber High School

Head Coach: 2013-current — Matt Hammer (31-30)

All-time record: 311-490-22 (92 years)

Region championships: 7 (1948, 1952, 1964, 1985 co, 1996 co, 2017, 2018)

Playoff appearances: 19

Current playoff appearance streak: 2 (2017-2018)

All-time playoff record: 10-16

State championships: 2 (1985, 1999)

State championship record: 2-1