Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Wasatch quarterback Taylor Woodruff leads the Wasps into battle against Logan.

HEBER CITY — Throughout the fall, opposing coaches have designed defenses to slow down Wasatch running back Jake Salazar.

Stuffing eight guys into the box has been a popular move to keep the star back quiet, but it hasn't exactly left Wasatch trembling.

Instead, the Wasps have collectively thought something along the lines of "OK, if that's how you want it," as they have watched their quarterback, senior Taylor Woodruff, torch defenses through the air.

"We've had teams key on me, (but) by the second quarter, they've already come off because Taylor's picking them apart," said Salazar, who has 1,728 rushing yards and 22 TDs. "It takes a lot of pressure off me."

Woodruff's emergence from an OK quarterback last fall to an outstanding one this fall has been one of the major reasons why the No. 2 Wasps captured their first region championship in five years and are playing in the Class 3A semifinals Thursday.

People largely knew how good Salazar would be. They knew that Wasatch had a very good offensive line, and that its defense would be solid. But Woodruff's play has been a big surprise, both to fans on the onside, as well as to coach Steve North on the inside.

"Taylor's stepped it up this year," said North. "Last year, he was adequate. But this year, he has blossomed as a quarterback. He's doing a lot of good things."

To this point, many of Woodruff's accomplishments have been overshadowed because he is on the same team as Salazar and in the same region as Union star QB Rhen Richard. However, once you actually see him play — as many will for the first time in the 3A semifinal round — it doesn't take long to see why he's been so successful.

Woodruff, Salazar and Co. will take on top-ranked Logan in the 3A semis Thursday morning at Rice-Eccles Stadium, beginning at 11 a.m.

Through 12 games, Woodruff has completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 2,205 yards and 18 touchdowns. Richard, whose Union team faces Judge in 3A's other semifinal, has throw for more yards (2,997) and touchdowns (31) and is a much greater threat on the ground.

However, Woodruff has a higher completion percentage, and — as he will quickly tell you — Wasatch is 2-0 when Woodruff has gone head-to-head with Richard.

"It doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me at all," Woodruff said of being overlooked. "I know what I'm capable of, and I've yet to lose to Richard in my years of being quarterback.

"I like not being noticed," he added. "It makes life easier. Nobody picks on you."

Asked to confirm that he had played quarterback against Richard as a junior and earlier this fall as a senior, Woodruff said yes and shot back, "Sophomore year I would've if I had been playing quarterback."

Well, if Wasatch and Union win this weekend, Woodruff will have an opportunity to make it 3-0 against his quarterback rival.

Of course, Wasatch would be content to play anyone in the championship game if it can first get past an outstanding Logan squad, which won its first and second round games in miracle fashion.


Logan (10-2) vs. Wasatch (9-3)

Thursday, 11 a.m.

Rice-Eccles Stadium (Field turf - Salt Lake City

Ticket information: Students can purchase tickets from their high schools. Fans can purchase tickets at U. ticket office.

TV: Comcast (On Demand tape-delay)

Radio: AM610 (in Logan)

Parry's Power Guide: Logan by 7


LOGAN GRIZZLIES DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB . . . . JEFF MANNING . . . . 17

Devin Peterson . . . . 10

RB . . . . KC TAYLOR . . . . 32

Jordan Ballam . . . . 47

WR . . . . JASON MAUGHAN . . . . 2

Devin Peterson . . . . 10

WR . . . . LOGAN BROWN . . . . 14

Zach Skabelund . . . . 13

WR . . . . MIKE HLAVATY . . . . 88

Stephen Gwynn . . . . 6

WR . . . . JEFF WATTS . . . . 21

Scott Richins . . . . 11

LT . . . . JARED THUERER . . . . 53

JC Long . . . . 79

LG . . . . GEORGE PAUNI . . . . 72

Dylan Finlayson . . . . 76

C . . . . RYAN MAYES . . . . 70

Ian Haderlie . . . . 75

RG . . . . JUSTIN BIRKY . . . . 77

Jesse Dunn . . . . 50

RT . . . . BRAD YEATES . . . . 66

Jacob Perry . . . . 74

PK . . . . JOSH THOMPSON . . . . 12

KR . . . . DEVIN PETERSON . . . . 10

WILL THORNLEY . . . . 15

JOSH THATCHER . . . . 24

DEFENSE

DL . . . . JON EDWARDS . . . . 9

Ryan Mayes . . . . 70

DT . . . . BLAKE ANDERSON . . . . 92

JC Long . . . . 79

DT . . . . JOE PAUNI . . . . 54

Keith Gwynn . . . . 50

DL . . . . IAN HADERLIE . . . . 75

Miles Hallock . . . .

LB . . . . TAYLOR PEACOCK . . . . 40

Chris Ransom . . . . 35

LB . . . . KODDY THIGPEN . . . . 56

Chris Ransom . . . . 35

SS . . . . JOSH THATCHER . . . . 24

Alex Schultz . . . . 29

SS . . . . JORDAN BALLAM . . . . 47

Eric Nelson . . . . 16

FS . . . . DUNCAN OLSEN . . . . 20

Eric Nelson . . . . 16

CB . . . . DEVIN PETERSON . . . . 10

Chase Ringle . . . . 4

CB . . . . DEREK MILLER . . . . 7

Alex McMullin . . . . 2

P . . . . JOSH THOMPSON . . . . 12

Jared Thuerer . . . . 53

PR . . . . JOSH THATCHER . . . . 24

Devin Peterson . . . . 10

WASATCH WASPS DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB . . . . TAYLOR WOODRUFF . . . . 1

Quinn Clyde . . . . 7

RB . . . . JAKE SALAZAR . . . . 25

Ethan Smith . . . . 18

FB . . . . TJ MCDONALD . . . . 44

Jordan Wright . . . . 23

TE . . . . JEFFREY TUKUAFU . . . . 88

. . . . Matthew Davis . . . . 14

WR . . . . ETHAN SMITH . . . . 18

Steve Bonnett . . . . 13

WR . . . . BEN GARDNER . . . . 80

Quinn Clyde . . . . 7

LT . . . . JORDAN FULLER . . . . . . . . 89

Micah Gogan . . . . 63

LG . . . . SEAN CARTWRIGHT . . . . 75

Levi Arnold . . . . 62

C . . . . JACOB HARDCASTLE . . . . 68

Jake Olsen . . . . 76

RG . . . . JORDAN GOMEZ . . . . 59

Sean Sullivan . . . . 66

RT . . . . WESTON BABBITT . . . . 61

Colton Robinson 65

PK . . . . MATHEW WHEATLEY . . . . 38

Cameron Lowry . . . . 17

KR . . . . JAKE SALAZAR . . . . 25

ETHAN SMITH . . . . 18

DEFENSE

DE . . . . JEFFREY TUKUAFU . . . . 88

Kaleb Moritz . . . . 33

DT . . . . JORDAN GOMEZ . . . . 59

Sean Cartwright . . . . 75

DT . . . . SEAN SULLIVAN . . . . 66

Jacob Hardcastle . . . . 68

DE . . . . COLE SHAFER . . . . 45

Matthew Davis . . . . 14

MLB . . . . TJ MCDONALD . . . . 44

Dalon Horner . . . . 55

MLB . . . . JORDAN WRIGHT . . . . 23

Dalon Horner . . . . 55

OLB . . . . ETHAN SMITH . . . . 18

Quinn Clyde . . . . 7

SS . . . . JAKE SALAZAR . . . . 25

Cory Nielson . . . . 81

FS . . . . STEVE BONNETT . . . . 13

Ben Gardner . . . . 80

CB . . . . TAYLOR WOODRUFF . . . . 1

Ben Gardner . . . . 80

CB . . . . CAMERON LOWRY . . . . 17

Cory Bohne . . . . 3

P . . . . CAMERON LOWRY . . . . 17

Mathew Wheatley . . . . 38

PR . . . . JAKE SALAZAR . . . . 25

Quinn Clyde . . . . 7

LOGAN GAME-BY-GAME

08/17/07 ... Logan 43, Grand 14

08/25/07 ... Logan 36, Campbell Co., Wyo., 6

08/31/07 ... Logan 17, Sky View 14

09/07/07 ... Judge 35, Logan 7

09/14/07 ... Highland, Idaho, 43, Logan 28

09/21/07 ... Logan 35, Grantsville 0

09/28/07 ... Logan 42, Ogden 0

10/05/07 ... Logan 17, Morgan 3

10/12/07 ... Logan 49, Ben Lomond 14

10/19/07 ... Logan 43, Bear River 0

10/26/07 ... Logan 24, Park City 23

11/2/07 ... Logan 21, Delta 20

WASATCH GAME-BY-GAME

08/17/07 ... Wasatch 37, Grantsville 8

08/24/07 ... Wasatch 21, Morgan 6

08/31/07 ... Wasatch 35, Springville 0

09/07/07 ... Juan Diego 21, Wasatch 13

09/14/07 ... Wasatch 45, Ben Lomond 7

09/21/07 ... Wasatch 35, Uintah 7

09/28/07 ... North Sanpete 25, Wasatch 24

10/05/07 ... Wasatch 27, Judge 14

10/12/07 ... Park City 37, Wasatch 25

10/18/07 ... Wasatch 24, Union 21

10/26/07 ... Wasatch 27, Grantsville 0

11/2/07 ... Wasatch 38, Emery 14

LOGAN STATS

Scoring offense: 30.2 ppg

Scoring defense: 14.3 ppg

Passing leader: Jeff Manning (152-297, 51.0%, 1,895 yards, 23 TDs)

Rushing leader: KC Taylor (94 rushes, 547 yards, 7 TDs)

Receiving leader: Mike Hlavaty (33 catches, 453 yards, 7 TDs)

Tackles leader: Jordan Ballam (96)

Sacks leader: Jon Edwards (4)

Interceptions leader: Duncan Olsen (3)

WASATCH STATS

Scoring offense: 29.3 ppg

Scoring defense: 13.3 ppg

Passing leader: Taylor Woodruff (140-248, 56.5%, 2,205 yards, 18 TDs)

Rushing leader: Jake Salazar (292 rushes, 1,728 yards, 22 TDs)

Receiving leader: Ethan Smith (33 receptions, 542 yards, 4 TDs)

Tackles leader: Ethan Smith (133 tackles)

Sacks leaders: Jake Salazar (5 sacks)

Int. leader: Cory Bohne, Clyde Quinn (4 ints)

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

This the first meeting between Logan and Wasatch, an oddity considering that Logan has been playing football since 1919 and Wasatch since 1924 ... Logan is making its fifth semifinal appearance in eight years, and is trying to advance to the finals for the fourth time in those eight seasons ... Logan's most recent state titles came in 2000 and 2005, with record-breaking quarterback Riley Nelson leading the team in 2005 ... Wasatch is making its first semifinal appearance since 2002, the last time Wasatch advanced to the championship ... The Wasps lost that game 28-24 to Tooele.

COACHING REPORT

Logan coach Mike Favero — Owns a career 76-37 record in nine season with Logan, including state titles in 2000 and 2005.

Wasatch coach Steve North — In his third season with Wasatch, he's amassed a 24-11 record, including 3-2 playoff record.


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