7 at 7: The seven best games in Week 1 of Utah high school football

Published: Friday, Aug. 23 2013 6:56 a.m. MDT

#2 - Stansbury at Desert Hills Next » 6 of 7 « Prev
Parry’s Power Guide Advantage: Desert Hills 13.6 points

Deseret News Prep Editor James Edward’s Selection: Stansbury

ST. GEORGE — The first week is never a season-defining moment. However, it can serve a barometer to measure the progress from the offseason against opponents with similar aspirations. For Stansbury and Desert Hills, it’s an opportunity to display their talent, which generated potentially the greatest preseason hype either school has experienced.

“Both teams are very physical,” Thunder coach Carl Franke said, “so I think the team that comes out and controls the line of scrimmage both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball will have a better chance to dictate the game and have a chance to win. In the trenches is where it’s going to be won.”

The Stallions trekked through a defensive battle in their 12-7 win against Desert Hills at home in 2012. Once again, the five-hour commute will factor in, but this time the scorching climate adds another layer of adjustment.

“Travel with teenagers is always a question mark on what you’re going to get when you get off the bus,” Franke explained. “Last year we were very flat, and offensively we didn’t play well. There’s a lot of factors going into it. It’s a big game; there’s a lot of anticipation; there’s obviously going to be first game jitters — kids’ first time playing varsity.

“It’s going to be 100 degrees at game time and probably 120 on the field, so hydration is going to come into play,” Franke continued. “I’m sure (Stansbury) has been practicing in the middle of the day to get that (similar) heat. It’s one thing — even our kids — you can’t get ready for; sometimes it’s too overwhelming.”

KEY: Both teams primarily focus on the run game. Stansbury relies heavily on quarterback Chase Christiansen, and Desert Hills feeds running back Bridger Cowdin repeatedly. Therefore, with both defenses stacking the box, the outcome likely hangs in the balance with the team that establishes a threat in the passing game.
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Ogden, UT

You mean you will include the seven best games in your OPINION! I'm sure there will be many people who will probably tend to disagree with some of the games that you choose because their opinion is different than yours.

Salt Lake, UT

Somebody watch the grill at East and make sure it doesn't "accidentally" set itself on fire when East is up by a few points haha

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