2A high school football preview: Richfield at Millard

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 25 2011 7:21 p.m. MDT

Richfield (5-4) at Millard (7-2)

2A state tournament quarterfinal

Friday, 5 p.m.

Parry's Power Guide: Millard by 22

All-time series: Millard leads 42-12-1

Coach vs. coach: Millard's Marshall Sheriff leads Richfield's Corey Morrison, 1-0

Last meeting: Oct. 10, 2008, Millard 27, Richfield 0 (At Millard)

By the time Millard takes the field Friday against Richfield in the 2A quarterfinals, two weeks will have passed since its 20-14 loss to Manti in a game that decided the region championship.

The Eagles were one of four teams with a bye during the first round of the 2A playoffs last week, and even though his team didn't need the break from an injury standpoint, the weekend off was a good thing.

"It's a tough week to get kids to work hard without a game to look forward to, but we really tried to specialize in things we felt we needed to get better at," said Millard coach Marshall Sheriff. "Even though it stung a little bit, we learned a great deal from it. We need to tackle, we flat didn't tackle good when we played Manti."

For a defense that only allowed more than 14 points in two games all year, Millard's recommitment defensively is bad news for Richfield.

After starting the year 1-4 Richfield is thrilled to be in the quarterfinals, but it's not content. Richfield has won five straight heading into the quarterfinals, including a thrilling 38-32 overtime victory over American Leadership in the first round.

"We were quite young this year. We only had three or four or five kids that had much experience, the rest hadn't seen a varsity field. It took us a while to get things figured out," said Richfield coach Corey Morrison.

In the second half of the season, Richfield's rushing attack has been very good and Morrison is optimistic Brody Ellis, Braden Hampton and Josh Henry can keep up the trend against Millard.

Defensively, Richfield knows it must find a way to slow the one-two punch of Jesse Rhodes and Pancho Alcala, who've combined for nearly 2,200 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns this year.

Stopping the run has actually been Richfield's strength this year.

"We're definitely built better for run stopping. We're pretty big and physical on our line," said Morrison.

American Leadership burned Richfield with more than 300 yards passing in the previous round, but that's not a concern facing Millard.

The winner advances to face the San Juan/North Summit winner on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. at Pleasant Grove High.

Millard and San Juan are favored to advance to the semifinals, but Sheriff isn't taking anything for granted this weekend.

"We're not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We're going to try and worry about Richfield first and then go from there," he said.

Richfield statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 21.1 ppg

Scoring defense: 21.9 ppg

Passing leader: Josh Henry (38-105, 36.25, 410 yards, 4 TDs, 9 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Josh Henry (152 carries, 719 yards, 9 TDs), braden Hampton (123 carries, 631 yards, 8 TDs), Brody Ellis (142 yards, 562 yards, 2 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Braden Hampton (6 receptions, 176 yards, 2 TDs), Kyler Torgerson (8 receptions, 131 yards, 1 TD)

Tackles leaders: Kyler Torgerson (53 total tackles), Justus Clark (43 total tackles)

Sacks leaders: Treg Shumway (2 sacks)

Interceptions leader: Braden Hampton (6 interceptions)

Millard statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 34.7 ppg

Scoring defense: 14.2 ppg

Passing leader: Tanner Slavens (28-55, 50.9%, 425 yards, 7 TDs)

Rushing leaders: Jesse Rhodes (140 carries, 1,342 yards, 13 TDs), Pancho Alcala (89 carries, 826 yards, 11 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Pancho Alcala (13 receptions, 177 yards, 4 TDs), Taylor Komarek (9 receptions, 114 yards, 3 TDs)

Tackles leaders: Trey Ashton (100 total tackles), Jeremy Aleman (88 total tackles)

Sacks leaders: DonE Fullmer, Keith Kesler (3 sacks)

Interceptions leader: Pancho Alcala (4 interceptions)

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