5A playoffs

West Jordan at Olympus

The No. 12 West Jordan Jaguars will face the No. 5 Olympus Titans in the first meeting between the two teams since 2020. Both teams are coming into the playoffs on winning streaks, with the Jaguars winning their last two games and the Titans winning their last four.

West Jordan has had a relatively even season with a 6-5 overall record. The Jaguars have been averaging 24.1 points per game on offense. Running back Falanisi Talanoa has been the team’s leading rusher with 217 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Chase Moseley has thrown for 2,324 yards and 20 touchdowns. On defense, linebacker Gavin Houston has made a significant impact with 41 tackles and two interceptions.

Olympus, with a solid 6-3 overall record, has been dominant on both sides of the ball. The Titans have averaged 26.9 points per game on offense and have only allowed an average of 14.6 points per game on defense. Quarterback Tommy Hoggan has thrown for 1,666 yards and 19 touchdowns. Wide receiver Caden Lloyd leads the team in receiving with 567 yards and six touchdowns. Defensive back Tate Ames has been a standout player with 48 tackles and one interception.

These two teams met previously on Oct. 9, 2020, with Olympus coming out on top with a 30-7 victory. In 2022, the Titans were the surprise team of the playoffs, making it to the quarterfinals as a No. 21 seed in the tournament. West Jordan, as a 6A squad, bowed out of the second round in a 45-0 loss to West. West Jordan has not beaten the Titans since 2007.

Bountiful at Granger

In a pivotal Class 5A second-round playoff game, the No. 10 Bountiful Redhawks will travel to face the No. 7 Granger Lancers. Bountiful moved to 7-4 with a first-round thrashing of Cedar Valley, 51-7, while Granger earned a first-round bye.

Bountiful has been on a winning streak in its last three games, while Granger has sustained its winning momentum over their last five. Bountiful’s offense this season has averaged 30.9 points per game, whereas their defense has conceded an average of 20.7 points per game to opponents. Offensive stalwarts for Bountiful include quarterback Emerson Geilman, who has 2,258 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. Siaki Fekitoa leads on the ground with 660 yards and seven TDs on 90 carries. Britton Tidwell and Faletau Satuala have combined for 105 tackles, nine interceptions and three defensive TDs.

Granger’s offense boasts an average of 39.0 points per game this season, led by Carson Su’esu’e, a BYU signee, with his impressive tally of 3,022 passing yards and 34 touchdowns, and Luke Figueroa, a wide receiver with an impressive 1,205 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. On the defensive front, linebacker Vaka Patefafa leads with seven sacks.

The last time these two clashed was on Aug. 31, 2018, when Granger emerged victorious, 28-21. Neither team had a winning record that year. Given their robust offensive lines and competent defenses, this year’s game is expected to be a nail-biter.

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Maple Mountain at Box Elder

The No. 13 Maple Mountain Golden Eagles will face off against the No. 4 Box Elder Bees in the second round of the 5A state tournament. The two teams have not faced each other since 2016.

Maple Mountain has had a solid season, boasting a 6-5 overall record in the first season under BYU alum Kalin Hall. The Golden Eagles have been productive on offense, averaging 29.2 points scored per game. Quarterback Banks Jackson has been leading the way, throwing for 2,001 yards and 16 touchdowns. On the ground, running back Nic Hofheins has accumulated 690 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, linebacker Matteus Adams has been a standout player with 41 tackles.

Box Elder, with an impressive 8-2 overall record, has been dominant on both offense and defense. The Bees have averaged 36.9 points per game while only allowing 22.2 points per game. Running back Dax Sumko has been one of the most productive overall players in the state with 1,559 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on 196 carries. Quarterback Ryan Griffin has thrown for 1,059 yards and 13 touchdowns. Linebacker Caden Buchanan and defensive end Brock Bissegger have been key contributors on defense.

Last year, Maple Mountain didn’t make the playoffs after a 1-9 season, so it hopes to reverse its fortune with a run in 2023. Box Elder advanced to the quarterfinals and nearly defeated eventual champion Lehi in a 28-21 loss. Expect a competitive matchup as the Golden Eagles and the Bees look to make noise in the playoffs.

East at Springville

In a Class 5A second-round matchup, the No. 18 East Leopards will take on the No. 2 Springville Red Devils. East enters the playoffs with a 5-5 overall record, while Springville boasts an impressive 8-2 record.

The Leopards came away with an upset in the first round of the playoffs, where they defeated No. 15 Kearns, 33-21. Led by quarterback Dameon Crosby, who has thrown for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns, and running back Michael Nunu Fonua’s 601 yards and 10 TDS on 119 carries, East has been a strongly balanced offensive force. Defensively, the tandem of Damian Otukolo, Marcus Loertscher and David Bergstedt have combined for 12 interceptions.

Springville, on the other hand, enjoyed a successful regular season and secured a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Quarterback Jantsen Thorpe has been a standout player for the Red Devils, throwing for 434 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Tevita Valeti has been a force on the ground with 1,378 rushing yards and 25 TDs, the latter of which is third in the state. Wide receiver Luke Nadauld has been a reliable target, recording 547 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, linebacker Dallin Johnson has eight sacks.

These two teams last faced each other on Nov. 18, 2016, in the 4A state championship game, which East won, 48-20. This season, East may be one of the most compelling teams to come out of the first round, while Springville is trying once again to break through the championship ceiling above its head since its lone title year in 1985. The Devils have lost in the title game three times since.

Alta at West

The West Panthers (6-3) will face off against the Alta Hawks (8-3) in this Class 5A second-round matchup. In their previous meeting earlier this season, West emerged victorious with a dominant 53-27 win over Alta. Both teams come into the game with solid overall records and possess explosive offensive playmakers in a Region 6 rematch.

Alta’s offense has been led by quarterback Kepa Niumeitolu, who has thrown for 2,096 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, connecting with seven different receivers for TDs in the process. Running back Bryant Weber has been a key contributor on the ground, amassing 538 rushing yards and four TDs.

On the other hand, West’s offense has been led by quarterback Isaiah SueSue, who has thrown for 2,384 yards and 18 touchdowns. Receiver Chachi Pan has been a standout performer, leading the team with 47 receptions for 1,070 yards and nine TDs. Running back Kelvin Malepeai has been a force in the ground game, accumulating 878 rushing yards and 10 TDs.

Both teams possess formidable offensive weapons, setting the stage for an exciting and high-scoring matchup. Both teams have won four straight games.

Woods Cross at Brighton

In a highly anticipated Class 5A second-round matchup, the No. 9 Woods Cross Wildcats will face off against the No. 8 Brighton Bengals. Both teams are entering the playoffs on winning streaks, with the Wildcats winning their last four games, and the Bengals winning their last three.

Woods Cross improved greatly this season, boasting a 7-4 overall record. The Wildcats have been consistently productive on offense, averaging 34.5 points scored per game. Cash Henderson has been a standout player, leading the team in rushing with 715 yards and 14 touchdowns on 100 carries. Quarterback Lock Smoot has thrown for 676 yards and six touchdowns.

Brighton, with a 7-3 overall record, has been impressive on defense and solid on offense. The Bengals’ offense has averaged 29.5 points per game, led by quarterback Jack Johnson, who has thrown for 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns. Running back Beau La Fleur accumulated 332 yards and one touchdown on 72 carries. Josh Larsen and Clarence Pututau are defensive standouts, with Larsen recording 22 tackles and five interceptions, and Pututau adding 34 tackles and two sacks.

These two teams last met each other early last season, and Brighton emerged victorious with a 28-21 win. Woods Cross last beat Brighton in 2019, but the Bengals have won the last three nonregion matchups since then.

Roy’s Rhett Slater and teammate Robert Young celebrate after a touchdown as Woods Cross and Roy play at Woods Cross High School on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Bonneville at Roy

In a rematch of a Region 5 rivalry, the No. 14 Bonneville Lakers will take on the No. 3 Roy Royals. Both teams come into the game with solid overall records, as the Lakers boast a 6-5 record, while the Royals have an impressive 8-2 record and claimed the highly-contested Region 5 title.

Bonneville defeated Hunter 24-21 in the first round of the playoffs and has thrived in close games, averaging nearly equal points and points allowed per game (22.6) The Lakers have shown a balanced offensive attack throughout the season, led by their top rusher Tifaga Havili, who has amassed 365 yards and five touchdowns on 73 carries. Quarterback Jaxon Johnson has been instrumental in the passing game, completing 58.9% of his passes for 1,041 yards and eight TDs. Defensively, Bonneville is anchored by linebacker Tavita Afuvai, who has recorded 61 tackles and one interception.

On the other side, Roy carries a four-game winning streak into the matchup. The Royals have been dominant on both offense and defense, especially in the latter part of the season, averaging 37.2 points scored per game while allowing only 18.5 points per game on defense. Daeqwan Snider leads Roy’s rushing attack with an impressive 850 yards and 12 touchdowns on 44 carries. Quarterback Dru Gardner has been effective through the air, completing 70% of his passes for 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, linebacker Mitchell Throngren and defensive back Jay Poulsen have been key contributors, racking up 40 tackles and 41 tackles, respectively.

These two teams faced each other earlier in the season, with Roy coming out on top with a 27-12 victory. The Royals will aim to replicate that success and advance further in the playoffs, while the Lakers look to avenge their earlier loss.

Orem at Timpview

In a highly anticipated 5A second-round matchup, the No. 17 Orem Tigers will travel to face the No. 1 Timpview Thunderbirds at 6 p.m. on Friday. The Tigers are coming off a dominant first-round road victory over No. 16 Wasatch, winning 48-24, while the top-seeded Thunderbirds had a bye in the first round.

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Orem enters the game with a 5-6 overall record, averaging 35.2 points scored and 28.6 points allowed per game this season. The Tigers’ rushing attack is led by Mack Hixson, who has 1,450 yards and 12 touchdowns on 197 carries. Quarterback Cole Engemann has thrown for 1,372 yards and 13 touchdowns, completing 60.3% of his passes.

Timpview, on the other hand, boasts a 7-2 overall record and has been dominant on both offense and defense. With an average of 29.3 points scored and just 18.2 points allowed per game, the Thunderbirds have been significantly a cut above the rest of the classification. Quarterback Helaman Casuga has thrown for 2,801 yards and 22 touchdowns, completing 65.1% of his passes. Their rushing game is led by Tru To’a, who has accumulated 333 yards and one touchdown on 50 carries. Defensively, Taani Makasini leads the team with 97 tackles and two interceptions.

These two teams met earlier in the season, with Timpview emerging victorious with a 41-21 win. Last year, Timpview made it to the 5A championship by beating Orem in the semifinals.

This report was compiled with the assistance of ChatGPT.

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