Eventually though, Brighton’s run-first mentality will need balance from the passing game. For starters, it might be the only way it can keep up with the juggernaut offenses in Region 3. But secondly, Masina isn’t going to have much success running with nine guys in the box either.
“At some point we’re going to have to throw the ball a little bit,” said Bullett.
With a new quarterback and new receivers, that won’t be an easy task.
Brighton Bengals at a glance
Coach: Ryan Bullett is entering his seven year as head coach at Brighton. He’s amassed a 25-36 record during that stretch. He’s a graduate of Hillcrest High School.
(3 returning starters; I-backs offense)
Brighton doesn’t return many players who started early last season, but all five offensive linemen who started in the playoffs are back. That’s a great foundation to build on. The experience will help immensely with inexperience at just about every other position but running back. Isaiah Kaufusi will start at receiver, a player the coaching staff is hoping has a solid season in his first year at receiver. At the end of the day, the questions with this team are all about how the offense will do.
(2 returning starters)
Brighton was a pretty good defensive team last year, but 2012 will definitely be a transition year with an entirely new collection of linebackers. The secondary will be very good with Uaea Masina and Kaufusi back starting in the secondary, as well the emergence of Alec McArdle at corner. Just a junior, he was outstanding at the Ute Shoot even though teams continued to throw his way. Coach Bullett really likes his hip turn and foot work. JayJay Mahe will help anchor down the defensive line.
Coaches preseason Region 3 straw poll: Fourth
Deseret News Region 3 prediction: Fourth
Bottom line: Brighton was right in the thick of the Region 3 race last year finishing in a three-way tie for second. In the playoffs though, the offense wasn’t nearly good enough to keep up with Fremont, and question marks at quarterback make that a concern again this year. Realistically though, the offensive line is one of the most experienced groups in 5A and that should help Brighton be a factor in a very tough region.
Aug. 17 — at Davis, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — FREMONT, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — at Sky View, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — at American Fork, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — PLEASANT GROVE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — at Alta, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — COTTONWOOD, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — WEST JORDAN, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 — at Jordan, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — at Copper Hills, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Brighton High School
All-time record: 295-164-2 (43 years)
Region championships: 16 (1977 co, 1978, 1979, 1981 co, 1982, 1986, 1988 co, 1992, 1995 co, 1996 co, 1997, 2000 co, 2001, 2002 co, 2004, 2005 co)
Playoff appearances: 32
All-time playoff record: 35-31
State championships: 1 (1982)
State championship record: 1-3
Most played rivalry: 42 meetings with Bingham dating back to 1969. Brighton leads 28-12-1. Last met in 2004.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Brighton didn’t have a losing season for 29 straight years — from 1977-2005 — the second longest such streak in state history and longest since 1970. The Bengals enjoyed five undefeated regular seasons during the streak.
Brighton coaching history
2006-Current — Ryan Bullett (25-36)
1999-2005 — Tom Cushing (69-17)
1988-1998 — Lynn Freestone (90-33)
1978-1987 — Steve Dangerfield (70-32)
1974-1977 — Unknown (21-19)
1970-1973 — Rex Wright (19-19)
1969 — Dean Stringham (1-8)
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
2005 — Mike Hague, RB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2009 — Ricky Heimuli, OL
2005 — Visesio Salt, OL
2005 — Jesse Taylor, LB
2005 — Coleman Petersen, K
2004 — Randon Carter, RB
2004 — Blake Taylor, OL
2003 — Blake Taylor, DL
2003 — Zac Marold, DB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
Contributing: Jessica Wilde, Conner Johnson, Steve Mundee and prep football historian George Felt.