Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Simply stated, Highland's Sione Houma is blowing up.
The 6-foot, 210-pound fullback is finding a rhythm at just the right time, and opponents are paying the price. The latest victim was Springville. The junior torched them for 217 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 21 carries in the Rams' 46-21 win Friday in the 4A semifinals.
"He had some injuries and some fumble problems at the beginning of the year," said Highland offensive coordinator Brandon Winn. "We weren't going to let him play much until he got those things taken care of, but now that he has, watch out. That kid is a rocket."
Blessed with unnatural speed for a guy his size, Houma broke off a touchdown run of 63 yards in the first quarter and a 62-yarder in the second period. His final TD came on a 1-yard plunge.
"He has some power, but his real strength is his speed," said Wynn. "He can run over guys, but he would rather just blow by them."
In his last four games, Houma has rushed for 113, 99, 288 and 217 yards, respectively. Against Pine View last week, he carried the ball 25 times for 288 yards and a pair of scores.
"I am just going out and trying to run hard," said Houma. "I want to do my part is all. If that means I get the ball, I will run as hard as I can. I think it is all because my line made good blocks."
Being humble about his talent is something Wynn said makes Houma extra special.
"Coming into the year, we had (Tevita) Taufa returning as an all-state fullback," Wynn said. "But he wasn't really healthy, so Sione has just worked and worked to get better and step into the role. He is a great kid that has worked for everything he has."
Highland head coach Brody Benson echoed those sentiments.
"Sione has come on strong right when we needed him," Benson said. "It kind of took a little bit with our style, for him to get going. He struggled a little at the start of the season. We were expecting that out of Sione, but it took him a little longer. We are peaking at the right time, and he has definitely come on at the right time. He is hungry for the football right now, and he is a horse; he goes out and he works."
Houma said it wouldn't have mattered whether his stats took a big jump. He is just happy to be playing.
"I love being around the guys," he said. "These guys are my brothers and I love being here with them. I am happy to get the football, but I would do whatever was asked of me to just be around them."
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