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Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Layton's Chad Wilson (20) dives over the pile for a touchdown during the Lancers' semifinal victory over American Fork last Friday.

It should not be any surprise that both Alta and Layton advanced to today's 5A championship game. Both teams sport identical 12-1 records, and both were region champions. Even more than that, both teams have a tough, fast and top-ranked defense.

"I think our defense has been there all year for us," said Lancers coach Jim Batchelor. "Even when the offense has been a little stale at time, the defense has been able to keep us in games and give us a chance until the offense wakes up."

Layton has the best defense in the state statistically giving up an average of only 9.54 points-per-game. But Alta counters with a defense that has given up an average of only 14 points-per-game and wants to prove on the field that it can match up with any team.

"We have a great defense," said Hawks middle linebacker Jefferson Court. "We know that we can go out and get stops and make plays. We have one more chance to show people what we can do."

While keeping opponents off the scoreboard, having a high caliber defense can also help the offense.

"Both of us rely on our defenses," said Alta coach Les Hamilton. "We rely on them to not only set up our offenses with a short field and getting good field position after forcing a team to punt, but to be game-changers.We have had more defensive scores this year than ever before, and after watching film on Layton, it seems they always have a short field to work with on offense."

The Lancers are led by middle linebacker Chad Willson. He is a two-way starter for two years and is the team's leading tackler. Perhaps even more than the tangible evidence of his stellar play is what else he does for the team.

"Chad is our defensive leader without question," said Batchelor. "He is smart, fast and tough out there. He leads our team in tackles, but his example and attitude are even more important. It rubs off on all the guys."

Willson is the standout on the defense, but Batchelor was quick to point out that it has been a complete team effort with the defensive line, linebackers and secondary all having important roles. Another key to the defense is the effort expended is always at 100-percent.

"We have good team speed and everybody flies to the ball," Batchelor added. "We try to get everyone around the ball. One of our team goals is that when an opponent goes to get up, all he sees around him are blue socks."

While Willson is Layton's leader, Alta had eight guys on that side of the ball returning from last season's runners-up finish. Something the Hawks hope to capitalize on.

"We hope that experience will help us. Our guys have been there and should know what it is like out there on the field and hopefully we can use that," said Hamilton. "But from what I've seen, Layton seems like a pretty low-key bunch of guys that doesn't let the pressure get to them. They don't panic."

Experienced or not. How many points a team gives up or scores. None of that matters now. It all comes down to 48 minutes of execution.

CLASS 5A CHAMPIONSHIPS

Last year's 5A championships — Bingham 21, Alta 19

ALTA (12-1) vs. LAYTON (12-1)

Friday, 2:30 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: KJZZ

Radio: AM1230

Parry's Power Guide: Alta by 9

ALTA HAWKS DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB . . . . . RYAN ROSENVALL . . . . . 9

Jordan Brown . . . . . 13

RB . . . . . SAUSAN SHAKERIN . . . . . 22

Chaz Nelson . . . . . 6

RB . . . . . PARKER WALBECK . . . . . 1

Shayne Day . . . . . 32

WR . . . . . PARKER WEBSTER . . . . . 10

Sam Metikingi . . . . . 28

WR . . . . . SAM TEHAN . . . . . 21

Jordan Middlesworth . . . . . 23

TE . . . . . BRADY HUNT . . . . . 99

Jet Tomlinson . . . . . 84

LT . . . . . PARKER ERICKSON . . . . . 79

Jordan Davidson . . . . . 70

LG . . . . . KEVIN FORTIN . . . . . 53

Kyle Clark . . . . . 91

C . . . . . SPENCER JOHNSON . . . . . 64

Landon Weaver . . . . . 72

RG . . . . . JORDAN BETZ . . . . . 52

Jaren McCann . . . . . 58

RT . . . . . KEITH HANTLA . . . . . 75

Taylot Bass . . . . . 63

PK . . . . . ADAM FROGLEY . . . . . 86

Jared Fehr . . . . . 5

KR . . . . . PARKER WALBECK . . . . . 1

SHAYNE DAY . . . . . 32

DEFENSE

DE . . . . . DEREK KELLER . . . . . 92

Dexter Davies . . . . . 96

NG . . . . . LANDON MORTINSON . . . . . 94

Taylor Myers . . . . . 51

DE . . . . . BRADY DAVIES . . . . . 81

Cody Palmer . . . . . 49

OLB . . . . . BOO ANDERSON . . . . . 45

Sean Moore . . . . . 47

MLB . . . . . JEFFERSON COURT . . . . . 33

A'l Ho-Ching . . . . . 54

OLB . . . . . JORDAN ANDERSON . . . . . 31

Garret Smart . . . . . 55

SS . . . . . MITCH ALM . . . . . 8

Justin Stevens . . . . . 20

SS . . . . . KADEN CARLI . . . . . 11

Brandon Weiss . . . . . 19

FS . . . . . JARED FEHR . . . . . 5

Ryan Lee . . . . . 2

CB . . . . . SPENCER CROXTON . . . . . 16

Trey Phillips . . . . . 7

CB . . . . . BRANTLY DUNN . . . . . 25

Trey Phillips . . . . . 7

P . . . . . JACE BECKSTROM . . . . . 48

Parker Webster . . . . . 10

PR . . . . . PARKER WALBECK . . . . . 1

SAUSAN SHAKERIN . . . . . 22

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

ALTA GAME-BY-GAME

08/17/07 ... Alta 44, Spanish Fork 7

08/24/07 ... Bingham 23, Alta 20

09/01/07 ... Alta 28, Clovis East, Calif. 12

09/07/07 ... Alta 53, Hunter 12

09/14/07 ... Alta 52, Grant, Calif. 33

09/21/07 ... Alta 49, Skyline 7

09/28/07 ... Alta 24, Brighton 7

10/05/07 ... Alta 64, Hillcrest 7

10/12/07 ... Alta 55, Taylorsville 7

10/19/07 ... Alta 35, Jordan 12

10/26/07 ... Alta 56, Kearns 10

11/2/07 ... Alta 35, Timpanogos 28

11/9/07 ... Alta 21, Bingham 17

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

11/9/07 ... Layton 28, American Fork 14

ALTA STATS

Offense: 42.2 ppg. Defense: 14.0 ppg

Passing leader: Ryan Rosenvall (119-184, 64.7%, 1,740, 21 TDs)

Rushing leader: Sausan Shakerin (180 rushes, 1,056 yards, 17 TDs)

Receiving leader: Brady Hunt (30 rec., 527 yards, 4 TDs)

Tackles leader: Jefferson Court (102)

Sacks leader: Derek Keller (8 1/2)

Interceptions leader: Brantley Dunn (5)

LAYTON STATS

Offense: 32.7 ppg. Defense: 9.5 ppg

Passing leader: Gavin Green (99-175, 56.6%, 1,908 yards, 20 TDs)

Rushing leader: LaVaughan Jackson (134 carries, 858 yards, 13 TDs), James Adams (143-876, 8 TDs)

Receiving leader: Matt Putnam (32 receptions, 639 yards, 7 TDs)

Tackles leader: Chad Willson (97)

Sacks leader: Karl Williams (7)

Int. leader: Haden Lomax (4)

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

Both teams are on an 11-game unbeaten streak, and one is about to end a long state title drought. Alta's last state championship came in 1988, whereas Layton hasn't tasted title glory since 1978 ... Alta is 2-2 in championship game history, winning in 1983 and 1988, and losing in 1984 and 2006 ... Layton's championship game record is 1-2, but all three of those games occurred before 1979 ... Alta leads the all-time series 3-2, but these teams haven't meet since the 1990 regular season when Alta won 20-14.

COACHING REPORT

Alta coach Les Hamilton — In his third year at Alta coach Hamilton's led Alta to Rice-Eccles Stadium all three years. In addition to two years at Grantsville, his career coaching record is 46-19

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 19-15, and 3-1 in two playoff appearances.

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