Ravell Call, Deseret News
Friday, 11 a.m. — Rice-Eccles Stadium (field turf)
Ticket Information: Avoid lines, purchase tickets at uhsaa.org
TV — KJZZ. Webcast —Live stream at deseretnews.com Parry's Power Guide ?— Fremont by 13
SALT LAKE CITY — Cinderella just wants to keep dancing for another glorious, fun-filled week.
But in this fairy tale, the big bad Wolves are planning to devour Cinderella on her way to the big bash.
Syracuse High, playing the part of Cinderella to perfection in this year's 5A football playoffs, has already notched a pair of impressive postseason wins. Now all the Titans need is one more upset victory to punch their ticket to the last dance — next week's state championship game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
But standing in Syracuse's way is Region 1 champion Fremont, which already knocked off the Titans once this season in their league matchup.
And the Silver Wolves have every intention of pulling the plug on Syracuse's postseason party and sending the Titans home without a chance to try that glass slipper on for size — or, in this case, take their first-ever shot at the 5A title trophy.
Syracuse head coach Russ Jones likes the whole Cinderella nametag for his team and has his sights set on seeing it continue.
"I hope so. It'd be sweet if we could be," he said. "To come into the playoffs ranked No. 4 in the region and wind up in the semis, it is kind of like Cinderella. If we play good, sound, smart, fundamental football, we'll be okay.
"I think our kids are ready to roll. We've had good week of practice. And every time we play these guys, it's close. It's always a pretty good battle when they square off with each other, and both teams seem to get up for each other and have a sense of urgency when they play each other."
Tough defense has been the Titans' calling card, and the Syracuse squad realizes what's at stake here.
"Our kids have turned up the heat like there's no tomorrow," Jones said.
"They have really stepped up and filled their roles. They're a real good group of kids who get along really well and like playing together, and they don't want to quit playing. "They have just stepped it up and realized that, if we lose, this is over with. Our seniors are taking charge and setting the tone, and they're leading by example. And when they talk, the kids listen to them."
In Fremont's 15-3 Region 1 victory over Syracuse back on Oct. 7, Nick Vigil ran for 76 yards and a touchdown, and Jake Gallegos' 23-yard interception return for a TD in the third quarter helped cement the Wolves' win. Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter knows his team will have its hands full in Friday's rematch.
"It'll be a good, hard-fought game just like it is every time we play them," he said. "I'm pleased with how we have prepared this week. Our kids have been focused, and the tempo and speed to the ball has been very good.
"We're pretty similar teams. Our defenses are very basic, we both run a 4-3, and we don't do a lot on defense and they don't do a lot on defense either. We both play fast and get to the ball. The two teams are fairly evenly matched, are very similar in some of the things that we do, and their kids are very well-coached."
Bosgieter isn't surprised by Syracuse's postseason success.