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High school football: Highland Rams 2012 preview

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2 2012 11:14 p.m. MDT

“Webber is an explosive athlete,” Benson said. “The biggest thing you’ll notice about him is his overall speed and how he looks at the game. He’s a smart football player and an intense football player.”

Senior Austin Peterson will replace Anthony Smithson behind center. Peterson began earning trust within the locker-room, especially with the offensive line, when he switched lifting groups to form a tighter bond.

“He’s been in the program four years and he’s worked his guts out,” Benson said. “Basically, January hit and he decided this is what he wanted to do — he wanted to be the guy — and it was evident when he came to me and said he wanted to lift with the offensive line."

Defense

(5 returning staters; Base 4-3 defense)

Highland has a little bit of the Temptations in them. Not by their vocalization skills, but by their mentality of “Fee-fi-fo-fum look out, baby — ‘cause here I come. So, get ready.”

The Rams aren’t afraid to storm the gates. The front seven on defense is as talented as it's been in years. Those guys have the ability to frustrate and confuse opposing offense with blitz-happy schemes.

“We’re coming after you. That’s something that we’ve established here — we love to get after people,” Benson said. “Right now with our front seven we’re going to have the ability to put some pressure on some people. We’re definitely going to pin our ears back.”

Coaches’ Region 6 straw poll: Third

Deseret News Region 6 prediction: Second

Bottom line: Pencil the date into your planner — Oct. 12. That's when East heads into Highland, and it should determine the Region 6 championship. It’s a matchup of two enormously physical option teams and should be a treat to watch. The Rams will win games with their defense while the offense adjusts to new personnel. This team has the potential to make a deep postseason run. It’s just a matter of putting the right pieces in place.

2012 Schedule

Aug. 17 — WEST, 7 p.m.

Aug. 24 — CEDAR, 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 — at Herriman, 7 p.m.

Sept. 7 — at Lone Peak, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 — at Clearfield, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 — BOUNTIFUL, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 — at Woods Cross, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 — at Cyprus, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 — EAST, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17 — BOX ELDER, 7 p.m.

.....

Felts Facts for Highland High School

All-time record: 371-211-3 (55 years)

Region championships: 15 (1958, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1986, 1987, 1988 co, 1996, 1997, 2003 co, 2004 co, 2005 co, 2006 co, 2007 co, 2009)

Playoff appearances: 38

All-time playoff record: 49-33

State championships: 5 (1959, 1961, 1963, 1989, 2010)

State championship record: 5-4

Most played rivalry: 54 meetings with East dating back to 1957. Highland leads 32-22. Meet on Oct. 12.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Highland holds the record for biggest comeback in state history. Down 28-0 to Bonneville in second quarter of a 1995 playoff game, Highland scored 31 straight points to win 31-28.

Highland coaching history

2006-current — Brody Benson (52-22)

2001-2005 — Ray Groth (40-21)

1996-2000 — Larry Wilson (43-14)

1986-1995 — Tom Kingsford (76-36)

1977-1985 — Roger DuPaix (55-38)

1974-1976 — Dennis McLaughlin (7-20)

1971-1973 — Tony Polychronis (10-17)

1966-1970 — Jerry Simons (24-24)

1961-1965 — Bill Fickinger (40-10)

1957-1960 — Larry Palmer (24-9)

.....

Deseret News Mr. Football recipients

1997 — Morgan Scalley, QB

Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years

2010 — Nata Fakahafua, WR/DL

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

2011 — Quincy Clark, DL

2010 — Sione Houma, RB

2010 — Ono Tafisi, OL

2010 — Desmond Collins, DL

2010— Hayes Hicken, K

2009 — Toi Tafua

2009 — Ono Tafisi, OL

2008 — Latu Heimuli, DL

2007 — Latu Heimuli, DL

2006 — Sean Swenson, QB

2006 — Liam McNally, RB

2006 — Braden Brown, TE

2006 — Tim Bickmore, OL

2005 — Thomas Bradley, QB

2005 — Jake Orchard, WR

2005 — David Nafe, DL

2005 — Brett Smith, DB

2004 — Bo McNally, QB

2004 — Marcus Mailei, RB

2004 — David Fainu, OL

2003 — Chris Sullivan, TE

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.

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