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High school football: Mountain Crest Mustangs 2012 preview

Published: Monday, Aug. 13 2012 6:25 a.m. MDT

Scroll to bottom of story to see Mountain Crest Felt's Facts

Note: Mountain Crest finished with a 6-5 overall record and tied for second in Region 5 with a 3-2 record in 2011. It lost to Westlake in the first round of the 4A playoffs.

HYRUM — Take a couple of bona-fide Division I prospects, throw in a great group of other hard-working young men who are determined to continue the program's strong winning tradition, and what have you got?

Another rousing edition of Mountain Crest High School football.

The Mustangs will certainly make their presence known in what promises to be a rugged Region 5 race this season.

Under Mark Wootton, who begins his ninth season of riding herd as the Mustangs' head coach, Mountain Crest has won no less than six games over each of the last seven seasons.

And from 2005-10, the Mustangs got at least as far as the state semifinals five times during a mighty impressive six-year span. They reached the state finals twice during that time, winning the 4A championship in 2005. Along the way, they had three straight 10-win seasons from 2008-10, when they were a combined 30-7.

Now, with seven-straight state playoff appearances, Mountain Crest is champing at the bit to earn more of the same.

"That's one thing Mountain Crest has had for years," Wootton said. "The tradition's pretty good and that plays such a huge a part in it. Most of these kids think we should win.

"Hopefully, they'll come out and play hard and we can get rolling. They have great potential, but we're a ways away from reaching it. I think we have real good potential."

Indeed, with go-to guys like running back Eddy Hall and wide receiver Faimafili Laulu-Pututai, the Mustangs could certainly reach it and cause people some sleepless nights this season.

Laulu-Pututai — they call him "Moroni," or "Mo" for short — is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound senior who received first team all-state honors last year and has verbally committed to play at BYU next year. He had 46 receptions for 737 yards and nine touchdowns last season, and he likes his team's chances this season.

"We're a different team from last year," said Laulu-Pututau, whose team finished second to Logan in last year's region race. "We're a lot faster and I think we have better work ethic, too."

So how good could the Mustangs be this year?

"Region champs and potentially state champs, too," he said. "We're going for it."

Hall played quarterback last season, and he was a great one who threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for over 500 yards and eight more scores.

This year, though, he's been switched to a running back and slotback position, where's he's expected to flourish while senior Jamison Webb, who missed part of last season after suffering a broken leg, takes over the starting quarterback chores.

"Webb has taken a majority of the reps this summer," Wootton said. "He had a good summer and we won two of the passing league tournaments we were in (BYU and Weber State).

"And we know what Eddy could do there if we needed him."

Hall will be joined by juniors Gaje Ferguson, Nick Watterson and Nick Taylor at running back. And when he's not running the football, Hall will play slotback.

The Mustangs' other top players at slotback/wide receiver include senior Josh Blad and juniors Luke Smith and Ben Weese.

At tight end, senior Alex Huerta is a returning starter and is joined by senior Chad Larson.

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