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High school football: James Felila powers Kearns past Granger

By Bruce Smith

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17 2012 11:35 p.m. MDT

Granger's Quarterback #1 Alex Tuinei, right, tries to spin out of a tackle by Kearns' Mani Tuaitanu as Kearns and Granger play Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 at Kearns.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

KEARNS — James Felila may not be so well known outside of Region 2, but his senior season has been, well, unforgettable to many others.

Felila put the finishing touches on Kearns' impressive regular season, rushing for 277 yards and five touchdowns as the Cougars beat Granger 49-34 Wednesday to secure the school's first postseason home game in almost 20 years.

"It's what we wanted right from the start of the season," said Kearns coach Bill Cosper, whose team is scheduled to play the winner of next Tuesday's Layton-Davis winner. "We played really well up front. I told the kids the way they were playing, they could be the best line in the state."

The Cougars shook off a 1-4 start to win four of their last five games. A 22-21 loss to Hunter prevented them from the region crown. Helped by Felila, who has six 200-yard games this season, they dominated their other region opponents.

With a lot on the line Wednesday, Felila broke the school record for most touchdowns in a game, and then added the school's single-season and career rushing marks to his resume. Cosper said he's a sure-bet to make the all-region team, and he's more than happy to promote him for all-state.

"I promote my kids for all-state every year," he said. "If he doesn't make it, it's a travesty."

Felila had plenty of help. Kearns' line play on offense and defense dominated the Lancers. The Cougars had 656 yards total offense. Quarterback Jordan Floyd also had a great night, connecting on 15 of 24 passes for 282 yards.

"Bottomline is we didn't get enough stops," said Granger coach Cecil Thomas.

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