High school football: Spanish Fork Dons 2014 preview

Published: Monday, Aug. 4 2014 11:10 p.m. MDT

Spanish Fork Dons football 2014 season preview

Note: Spanish Fork finished with a 5-6 overall record in 2013 and was third in Region 8 with a 4-2 record. It lost to Corner Canyon 42-21 in the first round of the 4A playoffs.

SPANISH FORK — It’s almost always a big boost for any football team to return its starting quarterback from a season ago. When that quarterback is Jason Money, however, the boost could prove enormous.

That’s what Spanish Fork coach Kirk Chambers is hoping for with Money under center again this fall. Heading into his senior season, the star has produced 6,250 yards of total offense and 54 touchdowns during his career.

“He’s as good as they come and he‘s just a stud,” Chambers said. “He’s been starting here since he was a sophomore and he’s going to guide us down the field and make some plays. It’s what he’s done every year he’s been here, so you expect it again.”

Money is a true dual-threat quarterback who ran for 1,172 yards last season and threw for 1,619.

“I wouldn’t want to defend him as a coach,” Chambers said. “So that’s a good start — a great start for us on offense having a player that productive entering his third year starting.”

The return of someone with Money’s credentials is a very welcome thing for a relatively small 4A program such as Spanish Fork.

The Dons were bumped up from 3A prior to last season, and despite taking some lumps, managed to qualify for the state playoffs before losing to Corner Canyon 42-21 in the first round.

“We definitely learned a lot last year. First off that depth is a tough thing for us here and we really are a 4A team with 3A numbers, but that’s OK,” Chambers said. “It is what it is and we’re happy for the competition. I think last year we did a lot of good things and that will certainly help us this year.”

A lot of the players that helped do those good things referenced by Chambers return this season, including senior running back Taylor Noles, who rushed for 945 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

“He’s a stud and he’s going to eat up a lot of yards on the ground for us again this year,” Chambers said of Noles.

Other playmakers returning on offense include receivers Joe Anderson and Ryan Golish

Fronting the offense is a line a bit short on depth, but with some good talent and experience led by senior Adrian Rodriguez and junior Tanner Parker.

"Adrian is as good as any lineman in the state from my view," Chambers said. "He's a bit undersized, so he doesn't get the recognition, but he's as strong as any guy out there. And Tanner Parker, he's just a stud. We're piecing some things together on the offensive line, so it's good to have two guys like that you can rely on."

Chambers, who has a wealth of experience playing offensive line at the collegiate and NFL levels, has the full confidence of his offensive linemen to coach them up.

"He definitely knows what he's doing," Rodriguez said of Chambers. "It's great because he's not the type that just yells and yells, but gives you positive feedback. I wouldn't want to play for anyone else."

On defense the team also returns a good share of returning talent starting with defensive end John Leilua, who led the team in sacks last year and made plays all over the field, according to Chambers.

Joining Leilua will be Lofa Funa, who moved to Spanish Fork from Southern California powerhouse Servite.

"We really like our ends and their ability to make plays all over the field," Chambers said.