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Ravell Call, Deseret Morning News
Layton High football players swarmed a Skyline defender last week and hope to do the same this Friday against American Fork.

Given its recent history on the football field, Layton had little reason to believe it would be among the four teams left standing when the 5A playoffs came to Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The Lancers last won a playoff game in 1994 and had not advanced to a state title game in three decades.

A lack of recent success didn't stop the Lancers from dreaming big. Those dreams have been realized after Layton routed Skyline 49-0 to stop the Eagles 262-game streak without being shut out in advancing to the semifinals for the first time in 28 years.

If anything stands out about the program's dramatic rise this season, it is the defense. The Lancers have allowed a mere 9.17 points per outing in 11 games so far.

Senior linebacker Chad Willson said intense preparation has gone into propelling the team past foes like Spanish Fork and Skyline.

"We played assignment ball and we stayed disciplined throughout the game," Willson said of Layton's win over the Eagles. "That was the key to shutting down their option."

Certainly, those sort of results are enough to create a multitude of sleepless nights for American Fork. The Cavemen are aware they might have to fight tooth and nail just to get positive yardage against the Lancers.

"We're working on getting a couple of first downs," American Fork coach Davis Knight said. "Layton is a very good defensive team. Very disciplined. They're good athletes, so we'll have our work cut out for us to get first downs."

It doesn't help matters that the Cavemen will be missing some top players in Friday's semifinal game. Justin Jensen, a two-way starter on the offensive and defensive line, suffered a season ending knee injury against Hunter.

Three other starters will also sit out as they serve suspensions for their role in the brawl that cut short American Fork's 41-19 victory over the Wolverines last Friday.

Still, Knight doesn't expect his team to go away quietly. He thinks their previous playoff experience will be a positive factor going in against Layton.

"It's not like we're going some place kids have never been," Knight said. "They expect to be there. It was a goal they had early in the year and they're acting like they expect to be on the carpet."

Like American Fork, Layton has realized many goals this season. The Lancers claimed their first Region 1 title in ages. They finished with their first winning season since 1994.

But the team is far from satisfied.

Layton coach Jim Batchelor wants to see his team elevate its game even more — with quicker reads and harder tackles. He has confidence the Lancers can meet those expectations because they have shown they trust the defense to lead them to success.

"We got a group of kids that are willing to do their job," Batchelor said. "It doesn't matter if they're getting the tackle. If they're supposed to take care of a guy — whether he's got (the ball) or not — they're taking care of the guy."


AMERICAN FORK (9-3) vs. LAYTON (11-1)

Friday, 6 p.m. — Rice-Eccles Stadium (Field Turf) — Salt Lake City

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

TV: Comcast (On Demand tape-delay)

Radio: None — Parry's Power Guide: Layton by 8

AMERICAN FORK CAVEMEN DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

ZB . . . . . CHAD KNIGHT . . . . . 27

Jesse Roberts . . . . . 31

WR . . . . . JAKE MURPHY . . . . . 1

Mike Fogt . . . . . 21

TE . . . . . MARCUS CRAMER . . . . . 9

Eddie Holloway . . . . . 32

LT . . . . . ZAC ENOSA . . . . . 59

Kyler Tolman . . . . . 53

LG . . . . . WESTON SMITH . . . . . 79

Adam Rose . . . . . 66

C . . . . . JAMES PALU . . . . . 55

Zac Enosa . . . . . 59

RG . . . . . JASON DAY . . . . . 60

Sam Katoa . . . . . 52

RT . . . . . JUSTIN JENSEN . . . . . 71

Shawn Wall . . . . . 70

QB . . . . . TAYLOR JONES . . . . . 20

Jordan Lusk . . . . . 3

RB . . . . . CHRIS WERNLI . . . . . 40

Siosifa Militoni . . . . . 26

RB . . . . . ROBBIE LUSK . . . . . 27

Tyler Alter . . . . . 35

PK . . . . . EDDIE HOLLOWAY . . . . . 32

KR . . . . . ANDREW BANGERTER . . . . . 4

CHRIS WERNLI . . . . . 40

DEFENSE

CB . . . . . MARCUS CRAMER . . . . . 9

Aaron Lee . . . . . 10

CB . . . . . BRADY POULSON . . . . . 8

Mike Fogt . . . . . 21

FS . . . . . JAKE MURPHY . . . . . 1

Chad Knight . . . . . 7

SS . . . . . SIOSIFA MILITONI . . . . . 26

Colby Gray . . . . . 12

DL . . . . . SAM KATOA . . . . . 52

Adam Rose . . . . . 66

DL . . . . . JAMES PALU . . . . . 55

Ammaron Patane . . . . . 74

DL . . . . . ZAC ENOSA . . . . . 59

Jason Day . . . . . 60

DL . . . . . KYLE SUMSION . . . . . 19

Justin Jensen . . . . . 71

LB . . . . . ROBBIE LUSK . . . . . 27

Tyler Alter . . . . . 35

LB . . . . . JACOB HALL . . . . . 33

Eddie Holloway . . . . . 36

LB . . . . . SCOTT LEFRANDT . . . . . 14

Chris Wernli . . . . . 40

P . . . . . EDDIE HOLLOWAY . . . . . 32

PR . . . . . CHRIS WERNLI . . . . . 40

Andrew Bangerter . . . . . 4

LAYTON LANCERS DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB . . . . . GAVIN GREEN . . . . . 4

Camren Applegate . . . . . 9

TB . . . . . JAMES ADAMS . . . . . 21

LaVaugn Jackson . . . . . 25

FB . . . . . CHAD WILLSON . . . . . 20

Karl Williams . . . . . 24

WR . . . . . MATT PUTNAM . . . . . 1

Eric Swain . . . . . 13

WR . . . . . JEREMY HAYWARD . . . . . 5

Haden Lomax . . . . . 11

TE . . . . . THOMAS BRYSON . . . . . 17

Willie Harris . . . . . 6

LT . . . . . DALLIN POWELL . . . . . 75

Taylor Hatch . . . . . 72

LG . . . . . TYLER CHRISTENSEN . . . . . 54

Octavius Dickerson . . . . . 76

C . . . . . ADAM FAGER . . . . . 71

Kyle Olsen . . . . . 65

RG . . . . . ANDREW BOWERS . . . . . 51

Alberto Perea . . . . . 52

RT . . . . . JUSTIN TURNER . . . . . 77

Joe Kapp . . . . . 70

PK . . . . . BROCK PARKHURST . . . . . 37

Jaron Gold . . . . . 14

KR . . . . . KARL WILLIAMS . . . . . 24

KR . . . . . LAVAUGHN JACKSON . . . . . 25

DEFENSE

DE . . . . . CORY SCHROADER . . . . . 93

Karl Williams . . . . . 24

DT . . . . . TYLER CHRISTENSEN . . . . . 54

D.J. Blessant . . . . . 63

DT . . . . . ADAM FAGER . . . . . 71

Ryan McEuen . . . . . 97

DE . . . . . JEDD POWELL . . . . . 66

Thomas Bryson . . . . . 17

WLB . . . . . SEAN PICKETT . . . . . 27

Nick Ciancone . . . . . 3

MLB . . . . . CHAD WILLSON . . . . . 20

Shea Kopecky . . . . . 33

SLB . . . . . WILLIS HARRIS . . . . . 6

Cory Bartley . . . . . 34

CB . . . . . HADEN LOMAX . . . . . 11

Tanner Johnson . . . . . 30

CB . . . . . JAMES ADAMS . . . . . 21

Tanner Evans . . . . . 18

FS . . . . . JEREMY HAYWARD . . . . . 5

Bo Jensen . . . . . 10

SS . . . . . MATT PUTNAM . . . . . 1

Kimble Jensen . . . . . 22

P . . . . . GAVIN GREEN . . . . . 4

Dylan Wydal . . . . . 84

PR . . . . . MATT PUTNAM . . . . . 1

JEREMY HAYWARD . . . . . 5

AMERICAN FORK GAME-BY-GAME

08/17/07 ... American Fork 35, Provo 0

08/24/07 ... American Fork 31, Highland 7

08/31/07 ... East 24, American Fork 13

09/07/07 ... American Fork 42, East, Alaska 7

09/14/07 ... Mater Dei, Calif. 50, Am. Fork 32

09/21/07 ... American Fork 62, Timpanogos 46

09/28/07 ... Sp. Fork 22, Am. Fork 16 (OT)

10/05/07 ... American Fork 43, Lehi 0

10/10/07 ... American Fork 30, Lone Peak 20

10/19/07 ... American Fork 34, Pl. Grove 14

10/26/07 ... American Fork 28, Viewmont 21

11/2/07 ... American Fork 41, Hunter 19

LAYTON GAME-BY-GAME

08/17/07 ... Layton 41, Bonneville 6

08/24/07 ... Jordan 19, Layton 13

08/31/07 ... Layton 49, Timpanogos 35

09/07/07 ... Layton 23, Fremont 13

09/14/07 ... Layton 21, Davis 0

09/21/07 ... Layton 28, Northridge 10

09/28/07 ... Layton 32, Clearfield 0

10/05/07 ... Layton 27, Syracuse 3

10/12/07 ... Layton 37, Viewmont 17

10/19/07 ... Layton 35, Weber 0

10/27/07 ... Layton 42, Spanish Fork 7

11/2/07 ... Layton 49, Skyline 0

AMERICAN FORK STATS

Scoring offense: 33.9 ppg

Scoring defense: 19.2 ppg

Passing leader: Taylor Jones (78-121, 47.6%, 1,470 yards, 17 TDs)

Rushing leader: Chris Wernli (109 rushes, 807 yards, 15 TDs)

Receiving leader: Jake Murphy (35 receptions, 708 yards, 12 TDs)

Tackles leader: Robbie Lusk (114)

Sacks leader: Kyle Sumsion, Justin Jensen (7)

Int. leader: Jake Murphy, Siosifa Militoni (3)

LAYTON STATS

Scoring offense: 33.1 ppg

Scoring defense: 9.2 ppg

Passing leader: Gavin Green (91-163, 55.8%, 1,802 yards, 19 TDs)

Rushing leader: LaVaughan Jackson (121 carries, 779 yards, 13 TDs), James Adams (132-841, 7 TDs)

Receiving leader: Matt Putnam (30 receptions, 617 yards, 7 TDs)

Tackles leader: Chad Willson (85)

Sacks leader: Karl Williams (6)

Int. leader: Haden Lomax (4)

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

Layton's shutout victory over Skyline in the quarterfinals halted Skyline's 262-game scoring streak ... Layton leads the all-time series with American Fork 1-0, with that 27-24 victory coming in a 1993 first-round game at Layton ... American Fork is in the semifinals for the first time since 1984, and the Cavemen are trying to advance to the title game for the first time since the 1962 state championship team ... Layton's last semifinal appearance was in 1979, and its last championship appearance was in 1978, when it took state.

COACHING REPORT

American Fork coach Davis Knight — This is Knight's 26th year as American Fork's head coach, and his career record is 151-114-1. That one tie was a 30-30 game called because of darkness in 1984.

Layton coach Jim Batchelor — He's guided his alma mater to the 5A semis in just his third year as Layton head coach. His career record is now 18-15, and 2-1 in two playoff appearances.

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