HIGHLAND (8-4) VS. SPRINGVILLE (10-1)
Friday, 11 a.m. — Rice-Eccles Stadium (field turf)
Ticket Information: Fans can purchase tickets at www.uhsaa.org
TV: None — Parry's Power Guide — Springville by 2
SALT LAKE CITY — Sure there was some celebration as the Springville Red Devils walked off the field. After all, they had just beaten Timpview, but they aren't finished.
"When you beat a team that has won it four years in a row, and they are the quality of team that Timpview was, it is an upset, and sure, you are excited about it," said Springville coach Scott Mitchell. "But we didn't set our goal at the beginning of the season to beat Timpview in the quarterfinals. We set the goal to get back to the title game and win it."
If Springville is going to reach that goal, first, it has to get past Highland at Rice-Eccles Stadium Friday at 11 a.m., and it senses that is no easy task.
"We know that Highland isn't going to just lay down for us," added Mitchell.. "They aren't going to say, 'Oh, those guys beat Timpview. We might as well not even show up.' We know they are going to come out and give it their best game. We've seen enough to know they are a very good football team."
Highland overcame its own obstacles in reaching "the turf." The Rams trailed Pine View 37-22 on the road entering the fourth quarter of their quarterfinal game. They answered by scoring 26 points in the final 12 minutes.
"I think it showed a lot about this team," said Highland coach Brody Benson.. "They very easily could have gotten down, given up. Instead, they never stopped believing and just got to work. It showed the type of character these guys have. It showed just how far they have come as a group that they simply didn't want their season to end, they wanted one more week."
Something to keep an eye on with these two teams is the quarterback position. Springville's Steven Bate and Highland's Anthony Smithson are both playmakers that lead their teams.
"Their QB is spot on," said Highland's Benson of Bate. "He is very good at putting the ball exactly where it needs to be, and he makes good decisions."
"They are an option team, but their quarterback gives them the ability to throw the ball as well," said Springville's Mitchell of Smithson. "He is a very dynamic player that does a good job of running their offense."
Another similarity between the schools is both have a playmaking wide receiver. The Red Devils' Jaylon Miyasaki has 38 catches for 891 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year, while the Rams' Nate Fakahafua has 46 catches for 1,082 yards and 14 scores, including five in the two playoff games.
"He is a good looking athlete," said Mitchell of his opponent. "We will have to pay attention to where he is, along with stopping the run."
With two evenly matched teams — Parry's Power Guide has Springville a 2-point favorite — which will make the plays and advance, and what does that play need to be?
"Our secondary needs to play with confidence," said Benson. "They need to believe they can make plays and then go make them. They need to not play scared."
"We need to continue playing good defense and then keep up our balance on offense," said Mitchell. "I think it all comes down to playing our game."
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Highland leads the all-time series with Springville, 3-0 ... The most recent meeting was in the 2001 in the first round of the 4A state tournament, with Highland prevailing in a shootout 44-34 ... This is the first meeting between Highland coach Brody Benson and Springville coach Scott Mitchell ... Highland has won four state championships, but none since 1985. The Rams' all-time playoff record is 46-32 ... Springville's only state title came back in 1985, when Mitchell led Red Devills past Bear River for the 3A title. Springville's all-time playoff record is 22-39.
Highland coach Brody Benson: He's been the head coach at Highland for five years, and he's compiled a 43-18 record. This is his second semifinal appearance.
Springville coach Scott Mitchell: A graduate of Springville, this is Mitchell's third year as head coach. He's 27-8 in those three years, and this is his second straight semifinal appearance.
HIGHLAND RAMS DEPTH CHART
QB ANTHONY SMITHSON 6
WB JUSTIN WEAVER 20
Po Lauti 42
WB THOMAS BARLOW 5
FB SIONE HOUMA 35
WR NATE FAKAHAFUA 7
WR HAYES HICKEN 49
Alvin Garcia 10
RT DESMOND COLLINS 72
RG ONO TAFISI 53
C HEA TUIFUA 58
Quincy Clark 50
LG REAGAN HACKETT 51
Ben Johnson 45
LG FIHI KAUFUSI 57
Popoto Moala 62
PK HAYES HICKEN 49
KR NATE FAKAHAFUA 7
KR TOI TAFUA 3
DE DESMOND COLLINS 72
Hea Tuifua 58
DT FIHI KAUFUSI 57
Ono Tafisi 53
DT QUINCY CLARK 50
DE NATE FAKAHAFUA 7
Steven Nonu 40
OLB CHRISTIAN SCHULTE 37
Sione Houma 35
MLB BEN JOHNSON 45
Po Lauti 42
OLB ADAM WEBBER 30
Po Lauti 42
CB HAYES HICKEN 49
CB JUSTIN WEAVER 20
FS COLBY EARL 8
Jackson Beck 28
SS WIL NEILSON 2
P HAYES HICKEN 49
PR COLBY EARL 8
SPRINGVILLE RED DEVILS DEPTH CHART
QB STEVEN BATE 2
RB MARCUS CASE 34
RB MITCH PAYSTRUP 44
WR JAYLON MIYASAKI 18
WR DALIN OLLERTON 28
TE MATT SUMSION 35
RT CARVER DAVIS 51
RG TAVIVI CROMAR 56
C SETH CRANFORD 58
Tyler Barton 63
LG KALEB COOK 54
Jerrell Nicholes 59
LT CONRAD BEACH 67
Andrew Clyde 68
PK JARED CHI CHIA 4
Jake Bills 32
KR JAYLON MIYASAKI 18
KR ZACH GARDANIER 22
DE BRODY SWANSON 15
Jordan Davis 82
DT JOHN TOPOU 75
Jerrell Nicholes 59
DT LANDON MCKELL 79
DE MATT SUMSION 35
OLB ZACH PUCKETT 30
Steven Nelson 85
MLB CALEB MCCRAY 55
Steven Gueck 27
OLB BRAD MORSE 33
Jake Bills 32
CB ZACH GARDANIER 22
CB JOSH BUHLER 21
FS MITCH PAYSTRUP 44
SS HUNTER NELSON 11
P JAKE BILLS 32
Jared Chi Chia 4
PR DALIN OLLERTON 28
Marcus Case 34
Scoring offense: 29.6 ppg
Scoring defense: 20.6 ppg
Passing leader: Anthony Smithson (56-93, 60.2%, 1,360, 15 TDs, 4 INTs)
Receiving leader: Nate Fakahafua (46 rec., 1,082 yards 14 TDs)
Tackles leader: Desmond Collins (71 total tackles)
Sacks leader: Nate Fakahafua (14.5 sacks)
Int. leader: Colby Smithson, Colby Earl (4 INTs)
Scoring offense: 38.8 ppg
Scoring defense: 14.3 ppg
Passing leader: Steve Bate (127-120, 60.5%, 2,054 yards, 31 TDs, 6 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Marcus Case (150 carries, 1,309 yards, 19 TDs)
Receiving leader: Jaylon Miyasaki (38 rec., 891 yards, 14 TDs), Matt Sumsion (22, 368, 7)
Tackles leader: Caleb McCray (107 total tackles)
Sacks leader: Brody Swanson (14 sacks)
Int. leader: McKay Murphy, Zack Puckett (2 INTs)
Aug. 20 … Mountain Crest 28, Highland 14
Aug. 27 … Hunter 25, Highland 7
Sept. 3 … Highland 14, Lone Peak 12
Sept. 10 … Highland 34, Bear River 13
Sept. 17 … Highland 48, Tooele 7
Sept. 24 … Highland 42, Stansbury 14
Oct. 1 … Olympus 21, Highland 17
Oct. 8 … Highland 31, Bountiful 17
Oct. 13 … Woods Cross 31, Highland 23
Oct. 21 … Highland 42, East 14
Oct. 29 … Highland 35, Box Elder 21
Nov. 6 … Highland 48, Pine View 44
Aug. 20 … Springville 55, Dixie 48
Aug. 27 … Springville 40, Wooster, Nev. 0
Sept. 3 … Springville 42, Mountain View 0
Sept. 10 … Juan Diego 21, Springville 14
Sept. 17 … Springville 50, Payson 0
Sept. 24 … Springville 48, Uintah 7
Oct. 1 … Springville 35, Maple Mountain 0
Oct. 8 … Springville 35, Spanish Fork 34
Oct. 21 … Springville 35, Salem Hills 6
Oct. 29 … Springville 35, Olympus 14
Nov. 5 … Springville 38, Timpview 27