High school football: Vikings off to a fast start
Viking offense on a roll after producing only 95 points all of last season
PLEASANT GROVE — Those weren't typos Pleasant Grove football supporters saw in the newspaper the past two Saturday mornings. The new-look Vikings really did score 52 points against Kearns in Week 1 and then 41 points against Provo in Week 2.
Nobody would've been surprised to see such a high score from Pleasant Grove a few years ago, but following last season's bore-fest in which an anemic offense scored just 95 points in 10 games, the offensive outburst this season is quite shocking. In fact, the 93 combined points scored already this season is two shy of all of last year's total.
It's safe to say that first-year coach Les Hamilton has put his stamp on the program.
Hamilton is quick to deflect praise to his players though, who've been working hard on learning the new spread offense since February, but who are also very talented.
"We've got some really standout players at the skill positions," said Hamilton.
That array of talent is a big reason the Vikings were able to throw for over 350 yards in Week 1 and then rush for over 220 years in Week 2.
Quarterback Michael Anderson is the engine that makes everything click. He's the guy who helped Skyler Munson tie a state record with five TD receptions in Week 1. He's the guy who's such a threat to throw the ball, defenses can't stack the box to slow running back Colton Babb, who's rushed for 195 yards and two TDs this year.
"He started a couple games last year, but he's really improved over the offseason, makes good decisions, doesn't throw bad passes and he's very accurate," said Hamilton.
Despite putting up Madden-type numbers the first two weeks, Hamilton is doing his best to try and keep his players grounded. The quality of competition thus far has been average at best, and will only get tougher with Timpanogos and Brighton on the preseason slate and then Bingham, Lone Peak and Riverton on the region slate.
"We sit down and watch the film and realize, yeah we're scoring 50 points here and 40 points here, but we're really not grading out well. We have a lot of room for improvement," said Hamilton.
So much of that improvement has to do with balance.
Following the breakout performance in the passing game in Week 1, Hamilton feared his players no longer saw the importance of running the ball so he greatly de-emphasized the passing game in Week 2.
In the coming weeks, including this Friday's game against Timpanogos, Hamilton wants to see more balance develop within the offense in the same game.
As the players work toward that balance, they do so with immense confidence. Realistically it hasn't changed Pleasant Grove's goals and expectations anyway.
"Our goals are always to win our (region) and after that everything kind of falls into place. That's always been my team's goals going into the season, and that sets you up to make a run in the playoffs," said Hamilton.
After missing the playoffs last year, it's hard to imagine the Vikings not qualify for the playoffs this season after their scintillating start.
STAY CONNECTED: To keep high school football fans in touch with the action around the state, the Deseret News will post frequent scoring updates at deseretnews.com for virtually every game in the state on Friday nights this season. You can also follow along via twitter @DNewsPreps — so be sure to have your smart phones handy with you in the bleachers so you can scroll through scores from around the state.