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High school football: American Fork Cavemen 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the American Fork Cavemen football team heading into the 2020 season.

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Note: American Fork finished with a 10-5 overall record in 2019 and tied for second in Region 4 with a 3-2 record. It was RPI seed No. 7 in the 6A playoffs, and was eliminated by Corner Canyon 49-14 in 6A championship.

AMERICAN FORK — It’s fair to say American Fork has reached the point where it doesn’t have to rebuild in certain years, but rather reload.


Head coach: Aaron Behm

Entering his 11th season as American Fork’s head coach, compiling a 68-52 record in his first 10 seasons. He guided the Cavemen to runner-up appearances in 2014, 2018 and 2019. He’s a graduate of Grant Community High School and Trinity International University, both in Illinois.

A year after reaching the 6A state championship game, the Cavemen return enough on both sides of the ball to indicate another deep run in the playoffs and a spot at or near the top of an always competitive Region 4.

“We had some growing pains last year, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but I was real happy how we grew and came together throughout the year,” said American Fork coach Aaron Behm. “Now we had an offseason to continue that growth, and I think we could be a good team again this year.”

Chief among the returners is quarterback Maddux Madsen, who threw for 3,679 yards and 42 touchdowns a year ago.

“He’s just become more comfortable and is ready to build off of a very good year he had last season,” Behm said. “He’s a good leader for us and we feel he can (have) another big year for the offense.”

The achilles heel for the Cavemen last season was on defense, due to the group’s overall youth and inexperience, although improvements were made throughout the course of last season. Entering 2020, most of the starters from last year’s defense return, indicating a lot of improvements.

“I’m excited about our defense and the potential there,” Behm said.

Overall, the Cavemen will be expected to compete well against top teams like Lone Peak and defending 6A champion Corner Canyon, which is what you want any year.

“It’s going to be tough in our region — it always is, but we like how things are coming together,” Behm said. “We like the talent we have on the team, but more importantly I think the guys have put in the work to become a good football team.”

American Fork at a glance

Coach Behm’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“They’ve dealt with it the best they could have, and I know a lot of coaches are probably saying the same, but it’s been impressive seeing these kids adapt and make the best of it. We’ve had to find different ways to get better, but I think we’ve done that effectively, for the most part.

“Kids have done well focusing on what they can do, instead of focusing on all the things they usually do, but can’t. They’ve adjusted really well and have been creative and responsible in holding up their end. It’s been impressive to watch.”


2020 Schedule

Aug. 14 — LEHI, 7 p.m.

Aug. 20 — TIMPVIEW, 7 p.m.

Aug. 28 — ARBOR VIEW, NEV., 7 p.m.

Sept. 4 — EAST, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11 — HERRIMAN, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18 — at Skyridge, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25 — WESTLAKE, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2 — at Pleasant Grove, 7 p.m.

Oct. 8 — LONE PEAK, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 — at Corner Canyon, 7 p.m.

American Fork Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Micah Hunsaker

2019 offense: 38.1 ppg (2nd in 6A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 6 returning starters
  • spread offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Maddux Madsen (QB)
  • Garrison Grimes (TE)
  • Noah Moeaki (TE)
  • Joe Togisala (WR)
  • Hunter Deuel (OL)
  • Houston Griffith (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Spike Adams (RB)
  • Watts Lewis (WR)
  • Trey Roberts (WR)
Coach Behm’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“Having Maddux back is huge for us. He was very good for us last year, and he’ll be improved this year. We also love our two tight ends, and think they’ll be very good for us. The big shoes to fill are at receiver. We’ve been blessed with some very good ones in recent years, and have some younger guys who need to step up on the outside and contribute in a big way.”

American Fork Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Nate Cummings

2019 defense: 31.9 ppg (20th in 6A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 7 returning starters
  • 4-3 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • MacKay Owen (DL)
  • Griffin Hadlock (DL)
  • Noah Moeaki (LB)
  • Sam Hafen (DB)
  • Fisher Ingersol (LB)
  • Losi Burningham (LB)
  • Zak Belt (DL)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Spencer Clegg (LB)
  • Gabe Shipley (LB)
Coach Behm’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“We were really young to start last season, but I think by the end of the year you saw those guys really improve. And now we have a lot of those guys back, and they’re now experienced. So we really like the potential of our front seven. The key will be replacing the secondary effectively, but I think you’ll see a lot of improvement from us on the defensive side.”

Coaches preseason Region 4 straw poll
  1. Corner Canyon
  2. Lone Peak
  3. American Fork
  4. Pleasant Grove
  5. Skyridge
  6. Westlake

Deseret News outlook for 2020

There’s every reason to expect American Fork to become one of the top teams in 6A this season and subsequently legitimate contenders to win a state championship. The return of Madsen at quarterback is a big thing, and it should work to lift an otherwise inexperienced wide receiver group. Defense is where the Cavemen are set for the most improvements, indicating a solid team that will be able to compete against just about anyone.

Felt’s Facts for American Fork

  • All-time record: 499-329-21 (94 years)
  • Region championships: 18 (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: 41
  • All-time playoff record: 33-39
  • State championships: 2 (1961, 1962)
  • State championship record: 2-5

  • Most played rivalry: 84 meetings with Pleasant Grove dating back to 1931. American Fork leads 52-31-2.

Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 — 10-5 (3-2 in Region 4 – 6A Runner-up)
  • 2018 — 11-3 (3-1 in Region 4 – 6A Runner-up)
  • 2017 — 6-5 (2-2 in Region 4 – 6A Quarterfinals)
  • 2016 — 8-6 (3-3 in Region 4 – 5A Semifinals)
  • 2015 — 5-6 (3-3 in Region 4 – 5A First round)

American Fork coaching history

  • 2010-current — Aaron Behm (68-52)

  • 1983-2009 — Davis Knight (151-122)

  • 1982 — Unknown (8-4)

  • 1971-1981 — Don Mower (77-33)

  • 1969-1970 — Tom Crittenden (11-7)

  • 1960-1968 — Don Mower (62-22) *2 State Titles
  • 1941-1959 — Leo Nelson (81-56)

  • 1929-1940 — Grant “Rags” Ingersoll (39-25)

  • 1927-1928 — Unknown (0-8)

  • 1908 — Mr. Wade and Mr. Pitt (1-0)


Deseret News All-State Archives


Check out our archives of Deseret News all-state teams from 1929 to 2019 at Deseret.com.

American Fork All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
  • 2019 — Maddux Madsen, QB
  • 2019 — Devin Downing, WR
  • 2019 — Tanner Holden, WR
  • 2019 — Kaleb Ostler, OG
  • 2019 — Bodie Schoonover, OLB
  • 2018 — Kyle Thompson, K
  • 2018 — Bodie Schoonover, OLB
  • 2018 — Dallin Johnson, DE
  • 2018 — Ryan Poulsen, OL
  • 2018 — Devin Downing, WR
  • 2018 — Chase Roberts, WR
  • 2018 — Boone Abbott, QB
  • 2017 — Jeff Harris, CB
  • 2017 — Chase Roberts, WR
  • 2017 — Bronson Barron, QB
  • 2016 — Michael Richardson, OT
  • 2016 — Alex Lindsey, OLB
  • 2014 — Zach Katoa, RB
  • 2014 — James Empey, OL
  • 2014 — Nate Honey, LB
  • 2010 — Ryker Mathews, OL