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.
Logan has the third-highest scoring offense in the state's 4A ranks, averaging 42.3 points per game this season, and despite all those offensive fireworks, the Grizzlies' defense isn't too shabby, either, allowing 17.9 ppg, which ranks seventh-best in 4A.
What's more, since that low-scoring win over Bountiful in week three, Logan's high-powered, quick-strike offense has averaged nearly 50 points per game (49.7).
Nelson is the man who makes the Grizzlies go, as the senior southpaw has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards and a whopping 41 touchdowns while rushing for more than 1,100 yards and seven more scores.
"Probably the most impressive thing about Chase is this is his first year playing quarterback on the varsity level," Favero said. "He was our freshman QB, but he hadn't played any quarterback for us since his freshman year.
"So to be a one-year guy and do what he has done is really a credit and a testament to his toughness, his talent and his intelligence."
Nelson's top two aerial targets are Taylor Compton, who has 76 catches good for more than 1,000 yards and 14 TDs, and Hartman Rector, a sophomore who has 37 receptions for 476 yards and nine touchdowns.
As Logan embarks on another postseason run, the Grizzlies have some very interesting state playoff history on their side, too.
In 2005, left-handed quarterback Riley Nelson led them to the state championship and, in 2011, his younger brother D.J. Nelson, also a southpaw-slinging QB, did the same thing.
Now it's another odd-numbered year with another left-handed QB, little bro Chase Nelson, at the controls of the Grizzlies' potent big-play offense.
Could he make it a unique Nelson family three-peat?
It'll be a difficult challenge, what with unbeaten Region 6 champion East High (10-0) and defending 4A champion Timpview (9-1), the Region 8 champ, lurking down the road.
Well, the championship "Chase" starts Friday, and only time will tell where it might lead.
Bountiful statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 25.2 ppg (14th in 4A)
Scoring defense: 17.5 ppg (6th in 4A)
Passing leader: Trevor Lloyd (95-169, 56.3%, 1,116 yards, 11 TDs), Jordan Hayes (46-90, 51.1%, 727 yards, 6 TDs)
Rushing leaders: Houston Heimuli (168 carries, 781 yards, 12 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Tanner Redding (34 catches, 509 yards, 8 TDs), Sam Merrill (43 catches, 572 yards, 3 TDs)
Sack leaders: Taylor Gulbransen (3.5 sacks)
Interception leaders: Tanner Redding, Jordan Hayes (3 INTs)
Logan statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 42.3 ppg (3rd in 4A)
Scoring defense: 17.9 ppg (7th in 4A)
Passing leader: Chase Nelson (213-318, 67.0%, 2,966 yards, 41 TDs)
Rushing leaders: Chase Nelson (168 carries, 1,102 yards, 7 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Taylor Compton (76 catches, 1,053 yards, 14 TDs), Hartman Rector (37 catches, 476 yards, 9 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Bracken Williams (101 tackles), Jaden Connor (71 tackles)
Sack leaders: Bracken Williams (6.5 sacks), Sam Bennion (5 sacks)
Interception leaders: Taylor Compton, Mckay Jones (4 INTs)
Felt’s Facts for Bountiful High School
All-time record: 368-244-8 (58 years)
Region championships: 11 (1959, 1964, 1974 co, 1975 co, 1977 co, 1981 co, 1990, 1999, 2001 co, 2002, 2010, 2012 co)
Playoff appearances: 38
All-time playoff record: 48-32
State championships: 5 (1979, 1990, 1991, 2002, 2003)
State championship record: 5-5
Felt’s Factoid(s): Among active coaches, Larry Wall leads the state in games coached, 313, victories, 214, and seasons, starting his 27th. Bountiful was the last large school to shut out all its opponents in the playoffs. The Braves blanked all three en route to the 1979 Class 3A title.
Felt’s Facts for Logan High School
All-time record: 495-350-24 (95 years)
Region championships: 25 (1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1931, 1932, 1947, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1966 co, 1967 co, 1978, 1979 co, 1985 co, 1986 co, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2000, 2001 co, 2005, 2007, 2010 co, 2011, 2013)
Playoff appearances: 47
All-time playoff record: 49-39
State championships: 7 (1978, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2011)
State championship record: 7-8
Felt’s Factoid(s): Logan holds the season total offense record of 6,587 yards (2005). Brothers Riley and D.J. Nelson rank one and two in season total offense: Riley accumulated 5,815 in 2005 and D.J. totaled 5,096 in 2011. D.J. also set the state record for single-game total offense with 606 yards in the 2011 4A semifinals against Bountiful. Logan is the only school to score more than 600 points in a season two times — 2005 and 2011. Logan is one of five teams in state history to have a 14-0 record (2011).
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