Ravell Call, Deseret News
Defense has been Davis' calling card all year, and it will need to continue that trend if the Darts hope to advance to another 5A state championship game.

Jordan (7-3) at Davis (8-1)

5A state tournament first round

Friday, 4:30 p.m.

Parry's Power Guide: Jordan by 6

All-time series: Jordan leads, 20-17-4

Coach vs. Coach: Jordan's Eric Kjar and Davis' Ryan Bishop, first meeting

Last meeting: Oct. 21, 1976 — Davis 21, Jordan 6

They've put up gaudy offensive numbers all season, thanks to quarterback McCoy Hill. And when the Jordan Beetdiggers get rolling, they're terribly difficult to stop.

That could be bad news for Davis when the Darts host Jordan in a first-round 5A playoff game on Friday. Jordan clinched a playoff berth by beating Brighton last week, and enters the playoffs having won four of its last five games. The Beetdiggers avoided having to play in a play-in game by defeating the Bengals.

"We're just excited to be able to keep going on and playing football," said Jordan coach Eric Kjar.

Going into the postseason with a victory should bolster the Beetdiggers' mindset.

"That helps," Kjar said. "I think that will help our kids' confidence. Our kids are really turning the corner confidence-wise and starting to pull it together."

Although they have a solid record at 7-3, the Beetdiggers have struggled with consistency this season. Sometimes that lack of consistency shows up in the same game. Jordan outgained Alta 155-19 in the first quarter but lost to the Hawks, 14-13. The following week, the Beetdiggers lost to American Fork, giving the Cavemen one of their three wins this season.

Jordan led Region 4 champion Lone Peak by 10 at halftime before being defeated 35-30 in the only game the Beetdiggers have lost in the last six weeks. The Beetdiggers have been plagued by the same mistakes in those losses, such as turnovers and penalties.

"Man, we've got to start playing smarter football," Kjar said. "These kids can be good if they cut penalties and cut mistakes. They have no idea what their potential is. They're getting there."

How far the Beetdiggers advance in the playoffs depends largely on Hill. He has already thrown for more than 2,600 yards and nearly rushed for 1,000 more. He has accounted for a whopping 33 total touchdowns (20 passing, 13 rushing) in 10 games.

Jordan's defense, anchored by defensive lineman Taylor Frenchwood, can also be solid. It will have to be prepared for a heavy dose of running when it faces off against the Darts.

Frenchwood said his team is up for the challenge.

"I have a feeling our team is going to start rolling," he said.

The Darts, who obviously hope to do the same thing, took second place in Region 1 after losing the league title game to Fremont on Oct. 13. That result could be a confidence boost for the Beetdiggers, who defeated the Silver Wolves in their season-opener.

Davis is, as always, led by a strong running game and defense. The Darts will be without their top receiver in Daniel Moffett, who suffered a season-ending injury against Fremont. His absence will put more pressure on veteran quarterback Gavin Fowler and leading rusher Tyrel Day.

"I know they finished second up there, but they were right there with Fremont," Kjar said of the Darts. "I know they're always well-coached and always pretty good. They're a big school. We'll be ready."

Jordan statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 36.4 ppg

Scoring defense: 20.0 ppg

Passing leader: McCoy Hill (172-of-333, 51.7%, 2,620 yards, 20 TDs)

Rushing leader: McCoy Hill (169 carries, 969 yards, 13 TDs)

Receiving leader: Taylor Loomis (43 receptions, 739 yards, 7 TDs)

Tackles leader: Taylor Loomis (60 total tackles)

Sacks leader: Taylor Frenchwood (5 sacks)

Interceptions leaders: Taylor Dean & Kole Kafentziz (1 interception)

Davis statistical breakdown

Scoring offense: 26.2 ppg

Scoring defense: 9.9 ppg

Passing leader: Gavin Fowler (99-of-171, 57.9%, 1,291 yards, 7 TDs)

Rushing leader: Tyrel Day (147 carries, 927 yards, 9 TDs)

Receiving leaders: Cade Miller & Daniel Moffett (25 receptions, 447 yards, 3 TDs; 34 receptions, 476 yards, 2 TD)

Tackles leader: Andrew Sillotti (70 total tackles)

Sacks leader: Troy Hinds (6.5 sacks)

Interceptions leader: Landon Hart (4 interceptions)