MORGAN Heading into his team's Region 11 boys soccer game at Morgan High, Logan coach Tod Martin didn't know what to expect from his opponent.
But he walked away feeling awfully impressed.
The Morgan Trojans, who lost to two 5A teams in the preseason and fell 1-0 to Ogden earlier in the week, showed against Logan that they're much better than their winless record suggests.
In the end, however, second-ranked Logan had what it took to get the result.
Senior captain Ricardo Benavides scored the game's lone goal in the 36th minute, and the Grizzlies played pretty good soccer from start to finish en route to a 1-0 win at Morgan Friday afternoon.
"Their speed's going to be tough for teams to compete with all year," Martin said. "As they get the discipline of (first-year coach Fritz Backman) and actually possess and develop as a team, they're going to be a very difficult team to deal with.
"We probably had more chances, but they're a good team. No. 8 (Kyle Walker) is a quality player."
Class 3A has been wildly unpredictable during the opening three weeks of the season with one notable exception Logan. The Grizzlies have clearly established themselves as the 3A front-runner, and while they're far from a finished product, they've been the only squad in their classification to display consistency.
That much was on display Friday.
For the most part, Logan kept the ball at its feet, maintained possession and had the majority of the game's chances.
Benavides scored from distance near the end of the first half, and the Grizzlies carved out a number of scoring opportunities over the final 20 minutes, though they failed to convert any of them.
"Around the field, we just kept possession," said junior forward Edwin Sanchez. "Sometimes we lost it, but we got it back."
Logan played without two starters Jon Allan (concussion) and Tanner Gittins (sickness) but coped just fine without them. And perhaps one of the brightest lights for Logan against the Trojans was a little sophomore with bright, yellow Brazilian Nikes.
Sophomore midfielder Christian Ashcroft played a little during Logan's run to the 3A championship game last spring, and he showed Friday he could be a future star.
Displaying all kinds of skill and ability, Ashcroft looked extremely comfortable at the heart of Logan's midfield.
In recent seasons, the Grizzlies have become known for central midfielders. Two years ago, they had stars James Calvimonte, Tim Horrocks and Shay Merrill. A year ago, they had all-stater Gaby Okito.
At the risk of piling pressure on the youngster, Ashcroft fits the mold of those guys.
"He's a point guard in basketball," said Martin. "On every club team, on every team that he's ever played on he's been a forward ... But I'm always looking for a midfielder's perspective, and a point guard would be a midfielder distributing the ball."He has the vision, he has the ball work, he has the strength in his legs, the quickness and the speed to be a very, very good player."
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