4A high school football preview: Bountiful at Logan

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30 2013 3:05 p.m. MDT

Logan's Jaden Connor comes up with a fumble against Roy in prep football in Logan Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

LOGAN — By any measure, the Logan High football team has had a spectacular season in 2013.

After all, the Grizzlies are undefeated (10-0), swept the Region 5 championship with a spotless 6-0 record and mauled league opponents by scores like 61-13, 56-23, 52-21 and 49-7.

What's more, they saw their senior quarterback, Chase Nelson, break the state's all-time record for single-game total offense with an eye-popping 691-yard performance against Roy.

But now, as the Grizzlies prepare to make what they hope is a deep run in the 4A state playoffs, that's all behind them.

"Everyone is zero-zero now," Logan High head coach Mike Favero said, emphasizing that his team's stellar accomplishments from this season, while mighty nice to think about, are all in the rear-view mirror. "That's past history, man.

"Sure, we had a great regular season and we're proud to be in the state playoffs, but we know it won't be easy from here on out. We just want to play well and hope to peak in the playoffs. Everybody wants to be in there, every team is glad they're there, and I expect us to be fired up and give our best effort."

Instead of dwelling on what they've done so far, Favero and the Grizzlies must turn their attention to the present, and what lies ahead is a first-round playoff matchup against Bountiful — a team Logan barely beat 10-3 back in the third week of the season — on Friday afternoon in Cache Valley.

"They're good," Favero said of the Braves. "In preseason they were one of the better teams in the state, but they lost some games to good opponents this year. But they're a solid team and a good program.

"In my opinion, our region and their region are the best in the state, top to bottom. Both regions are battle-tested, and all of the teams that are going to the playoffs are outstanding teams. The teams from their region — East, Woods Cross, Highland and Bountiful — are all very good teams. The teams from our region -- Sky View, Box Elder, Roy and us -- are all very good teams, too. So we've got two very strong regions playing each other in the first round."

Favero is wary of the Braves' two towering wide receivers, 6-foot-4 Sam Merrill and 6-foot-3 Tanner Redding, who present problems for smaller defensive backs trying to cover them on deep routes. Those two combined for 77 catches for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Throw in running back Houston Heimuli (781 yards, 12 touchdowns) and an always-stout defense, and Bountiful has the type of team that can give anybody fits.

"Between Redding and Merrill, those guys have caught a lot of jump balls and verticals this year," Favero said. "They're very tall and athletic receivers, and they have a good, tough running back (Heimuli) and an experienced quarterback (Trevor Lloyd), so that's a concern of ours. They have a good balance between running and throwing the football. We have to try and minimize what those guys do and contain them.

"Bountiful has been great on defense for many, many years, and we've played them many times over the years, so we know they're a great program. They've got solid defensive schemes, they're disciplined and they play hard, and that's been a successful recipe for (longtime Bountiful coach) Larry Wall for many, many years."

Indeed, Wall is the state's active leader in games coached and won, and his Bountiful teams have won four state championships in his 27 years at the helm.

But Favero and the Grizzlies have their own proud championship pedigree as well. He has guided the Grizzlies to four state titles since 2000, and this year's team certainly has the makings of another potential title team.

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