2013 high school football preview: Young Tooele Buffaloes looking to build off learning experiences

Published: Sunday, Aug. 4 2013 8:45 p.m. MDT

Tooele Buffaloes high school football 2013 preview

Jake Brady made the occasional appearance at QB last season, experience that could pay off this year.

“He’s a little more athletic than the QB we had last year, so I think that he can create some different problems for teams with running the ball and getting out on the waggle stuff and having the threat to run,” said coach Brady.

Brady had wrist surgery on his throwing hand in early May, which might hinder his throwing a bit early on. He’s a powerful runner, though, which is an upgrade this season.

Tooele Buffaloes at a glance

Coach: Kyle Brady is entering his third year as head coach at Tooele with a 1-19 record thus far. He’s a graduate of Tooele High School and was the 2002 Deseret News Mr. Football recipient.

Offense

(7 returning starters; Wing-T offense)

Tooele was the third lowest scoring team in 3A last year at 11 ppg, but expect much more efficiency this season in the Buffaloes' second year running the Wing-T offense. It starts up front with returning starters Tony Leakahe and Ethan Reynolds, who have a better understanding of the offense. J.D. Furuta, Ryan Brady and Adam Pace will be the primary ball carriers. Pace led the team with 466 yards last year, but Furuta is X-factor. Ankle problems have plagued the senior the last two seasons, but if he can stay healthy he’ll be a great asset to the running game. Andrew Spendlove is moving from tight end to wing back, a move that’s primarily being made for his blocking ability.

Defense

(7 returning starters)

With just about every major contributor from last year’s defense returning, coach Brady actually believes the Buffaloes could be pretty good defensively. It starts on the defensive line where Leakahe, Reynolds, Lawson Ross, Daniel Aragon, Maka Kioa, Zach Langi and Nathan Johnson will be counted on to clog up the middle. Spendove is the heart of the team at linebacker, whereas Pace, Furuta and Ryan Brady will shore things up in the secondary.

Coaches preseason 3AA North straw poll: Sixth

Deseret News 3AA North prediction: Sixth

Bottom line: In the new 3AA classification, six of the seven teams in the two regions make the playoffs, which means one region victory might be good enough for Tooele to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Realistically though, if Tooele makes the strides both offensively and defensively that coach Brady is expecting, it is certainly capable of winning a handful of region games. Beyond that, the Buffaloes will still be a young team with only four or five seniors contributing, which means they’re probably a year away from competing with the upper echelon teams in the region.

Felt’s Facts for Tooele High School

All-time record: 375-444-20 (97 years)

Region championships: 19 (1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1962, 1985, 1988 co, 2001, 2002)

Playoff appearances: 33

All-time playoff record: 31-28

State championships: 5 (1928, 1929, 1933, 1937, 2002)

State championship record: 4-3

Most played rivalry: 67 meetings with Cyprus going back to 1926, with Tooele leading 35-29-3. Meet in 2013 on Aug. 23.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Tooele is tied with two other teams for the most shutouts in one season with 10 (1929). ... Buffaloes Bill Lamb and Doug Wolters each returned two punts for touchdowns — four total TDs — against Jordan in a 1962 game. The following week, Lamb returned two more punts for scores, this time against Bingham.

Tooele coaching history

2011-current — Kyle Brady (1-19)

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