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.
"We knew how good they were — heck, they're in our region," he said. "We know they have a good defense. But they've got plenty of weapons on offense, too. They're just a good team. "If you're gonna win football games, you can't turn the ball over," Bosgieter added in summing up the key to Friday's duel. "You've got to play good defense, you've got to tackle well, and we've got to play better on special teams than we did last week." Both teams have already notched huge wins in this year's playoffs. Fremont blasted Brighton in the opening round, then turned back two-time defending 5A champion Bingham 27-20 in a quarterfinal thriller last week. That victory helped the Wolves avenge a 30-7 loss to the Miners in last year's championship game.
Syracuse shocked the world by knocking off a high-scoring, heavily favored Alta team 16-10 in its playoff opener, then blanked West 10-0 last week to set the stage for Friday's rematch between the two Region 1 rivals.
With those two wins, the Titans became the first No. 4 seed to reach the 5A semifinals since 2005, when Skyline did so and went on to win the state championship.
And now, with one more win, Cinderella will still be dancing for another week. That is, if she doesn't get devoured by the Wolves first.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
This is the sixth meeting between these Region 1 foes, and the first in the postseason. Fremont has won 3 of the 5 meetings. ... Back in Week 8 this year, Fremont beat Syracuse 15-3. ... Both teams are seeking the first football state championship in school history. ... This is Syracuse's second semifinal appearance in the five-year history of the school, with its previous appearance coming in 2008, losing to Alta 42-14. ... Syracuse's all-time playoff record is 5-3. ... Fremont is making its sixth semifinal appearance in school history, advancing to the title game in 1995 and 2010. ... Fremont's all-time playoff record in 18 seasons is 19-14.
Syracuse coach Russ Jones: In five years, he's guided the Titans to a 32-23 record and two semifinal appearances. All-time coaching record is 57-50 in 10 seasons.
Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter: Has led Fremont to the semis in back-to-back years. His record in four years at Fremont is 26-18. All-time record is 75-59 in 13 years.
SYRACUSE TITANS DEPTH CHART
QB TREVOR DAVIS 4
TB MASON WOODWARD 2
Austin Bolos 43
FB AUSTIN BOLOS 43
WR DIANTE MITCHELL 17
WR KOA MO'O 13
TE MATT DUNSTON 84
Cardon Malan 43
LT COREY COOK 66
LG CODY CHILD 55
Kaden Craig 63
C STEVEN CARTER 50
Tyler MacKay 57
RG KURTIS SMITH 73
RT HUNTER DIMICK 59
Sean Goff 73
KR ALEX VANDERLOO 23
KR MASON WOODWARD 2
K BROCK ANDERSON 7
Kyle Coffee 37
DE HUNTER DIMICK 59
Landon O'Camb 34
DT KONNER KANE 51
DT COREY CHILD 55
Kaden Craig 63
DE DILLON SANDBERG 54
Cardon Malan 42
SLB DILLON SANDBERG 54
MLB TYSON GREENWOOD 44
WLB WYATT GERMAN 56
CB DIANTE MITCHELL 17
CB ALEX VANDERLOO 23
Kavika Fonua 24
S TAYLOR CARLSON 14
S KOA MO'O 15
PR DIANTE MITCHELL 17
Kavika Fonua 24
P TANNER JOLLIFFE 86
FREMONT SILVERWOLVES DEPTH CHART
QB COOPER KELLEY 18
RB NICK VIGIL 5
WR ROWDY STUCKI 4
WR TRAVIS STRINGHAM 11
Tanner Hull 17
WR BRAYDEN WILLE 3
Seth Jones 25
TE BROCK SMITH 38
LT EVAN ROSS 66
Jason Roe 70
LG TUCKER ZANONE 54
C ZACK GIBSON 78
Josh Canter 63
RG ZACH WADDOUPS 74
Vaughn Toone 77
RT TUCKER HURD 79
KR NICK VIGIL 5
KR JORDAN PREATOR 6
K LOGAN GEORGE 80
DE JOSH TALBOT 59
Zack Talbot 76
DT LUKE HOLLINGSWORTH 31
DT JAKE GALLEGOS 81
Brayden Masters 51
DE LLOYD STEPHENS 90
Taylor Perry 61
SLB JAKE WADSWORTH 32
Jake Hobbs 42
MLB AUSTIN BLACK 44
WLB JUSTIN PINGREE 34
CB SKYLER SIMMONS 7
Jaz Johnstun 22
CB ROWDY STUCKI 4
SS NICK VIGIL 5
FS JORDAN PREATOR 6
Sam Grange 43
PR ROWDY STUCKI 4
PR NICK VIGIL 5
P JORDAN PREATOR 6
Scoring offense: 20.5 ppg
Scoring defense: 12.9 ppg
Passing leader: Trevor Davis (126-209, 60.3%, 1,396 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs)
Tackles leader: Tyson Greenwood (90 tackles)
Sacks leader: Hunter Dimick (13 sacks)
Scoring offense: 28.7 ppg
Scoring defense: 11.1 ppg
Passing leader: Cooper Kelley (107-197, 54.3%, 1,409 yards, 11 TDs, 8 INTs)
Tackles leader: Justin Pingree (87 tackles)
Sacks leader: Josh Talbot (4.5 sacks)
Aug. 19 … Syracuse 14, Desert Hills 12
Aug. 26 … Syrause 13, Skyline 7
Sept. 2 … Syracuse 24, Riverton 14
Sept. 9 … Syracuse 20, Box Elder 14 (OT)
Sept. 16 …Davis 14, Syracuse 10
Sept. 23 … Syracuse 34, Layton 7
Sept. 30 … Northridge 28, Syracuse 25
Oct. 7 … Fremont 15, Syracuse 3
Oct. 14 …Syracuse 56, Weber 21
Oct. 28 …Syracuse 16, Alta 10
Nov. 4 … Syracuse 10, West 0
Aug. 19 … Jordan 19, Fremont 12
Aug. 26 … Fremont 20, Brighton 15
Sept. 2 … Fremont 42, Roy 6
Sept. 9 … East 23, Fremont 20 (OT)
Sept. 16 … Fremont 27, Northridge 14
Sept. 23 … Fremont 20, Davis 7
Sept. 30 … Fremont 50, Weber 0
Oct. 7 … Fremont 15, Syracuse 3
Oct. 14 … Fremont 40, Layton 0
Oct. 28 … Fremont 43, Brighton 15
Nov. 4 … Fremont 27, Bingham 20