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High school football: Silverwolves bounce back in a big way

By Anthony Cusumano

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Oct. 22 2010 12:07 a.m. MDT

HERRIMAN — Perhaps the loss to Bingham High was a good thing.

One week after seeing its undefeated streak snapped at the hands of the top-ranked Miners, Riverton High's football team regained its form just in time for postseason play with a 42-0 rout of Herriman on Thursday in the Region 3 finale for both teams.

Eric Thoreson ran for three touchdowns and passed for another to lead the Silverwolves, who shored up their performance in all facets of the game.

"I think we started getting that undefeated vibe and the Bingham game made us take a good look at ourselves," Riverton coach Mike Miller said. "It was a good wake-up call. I guess if it was to come, it came at a good time. We needed to come out and have a great game, try to correct a few weaknesses, and get back that zing."

With the win, Riverton secured the No. 2 playoff seed in Region 3 and will face the No. 3 seed from Region 2, either Skyline or West, in the first round. Meanwhile, Herriman earned a playoff berth in its inaugural season by virtue of Kearns' victory over West Jordan. The Mustangs will face undefeated Cottonwood in their playoff opener.

Riverton wasted little time stating its case against Herriman. The Silverwolves scored on their third play of the game and led 14-0 by their sixth offensive snap. Tua Laei burst through for touchdown runs of 36 and 45 yards to put Riverton ahead early.

The Silverwolves never stopped having success on the ground, piling up 404 yards rushing — 246 in the first half alone. Laei finished with 143 yards on just 10 carries, while Skyler Fullmer, Tate Linford and Stratton Brown combined for 202 yards on 10 carries.

"It's been a blessing to have that many kids rotate in and accumulate that many yards," Miller said. "But I think, in all honesty, our offensive line deserves a lot of credit. That's the one staple that's been there all year long. All of them as a unit do a great job."

Miller noted the play of center Trey Sandness and tackle McKay Burnett for their performance against the Mustangs.

Thoreson completed only 4-of-9 passes with an interception, but connected with Michael Duckworth on a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and added three scoring runs near the goal line to maintain and build the lead.

Herriman, meanwhile, had just 55 yards of offense through three quarters, and had particular trouble running the ball. The Mustangs rushed for 23 yards as a team, and quarterback Tueni Lupeamanu was harassed nearly every time he dropped back.

Miller was pleased to see his team regain its top performance.

"We've got to play more as a unit," Miller said. "As soon as we try and be that guy, it doesn't work. We got a little away from playing together. Tonight we played pretty good in all aspects of the game. This is exactly what we needed."

Fullmer and Landon Fisher each had sacks for Riverton, while Josh Marshall had an interception and Nakita Lealao a sack for Herriman.

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