Davis (5-3) at Jordan (8-2)
5A state tournament first round
Friday, 5 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: Jordan by 16
All-time series: Jordan leads 20-17-4
Coach vs. coach: Jordan's Eric Kjar leads Davis' Ryan Bishop, 1-0
Last meeting: Oct. 29, 2010, Jordan 52, Davis 7 (5A first round)
One of the state's highest-scoring teams takes on one of its stingiest defensive squads when Jordan High plays host to Davis in a 5A first-round matchup Friday.
The Beetdiggers have averaged over 34 points per game for the season, scoring more than 40 points three times and piling up a whopping 55 points against West Jordan in their regular-season finale. Only three other 5A schools — Lone Peak, Alta and Bingham — have scored more points that Jordan has this year.
The Darts, meanwhile, have allowed less than 11 ppg to their opponents, but that Davis defense will definitely be challenged by a Jordan offensive unit which is accustomed to putting plenty of points on the scoreboard.
As long as the final score's not 21-14, the Beetdiggers should probably be all right. After all, both of their losses this season — to Alta and Brighton — came by that same 21-14 score. And in seven of their eight wins, the 'Diggers lit the scoreboard for at least 32 points.
Freshman quarterback Austin Kafentzis directs Jordan's high-powered offense, and he's had a splendid season, throwing for over 2,600 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for almost 1,000 yards and 14 more TDs.
"He's a very good player," Davis coach Ryan Bishop said of Kafentzis. "I've watched a lot of film on them and I've been very, very impressed with him."
Hayden Babka leads the Beetdiggers' defense in tackles, sacks and interceptions.
The Darts are led by quarterback Tyson Denny, who's thrown for nearly 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns, while running back Mark Christiansen has nearly 700 yards rushing and five TDs. Troy Hinds, Rossiter Potter and Jackson Peacock pace the Darts' dynamic defense, which has allowed an average of only 10.9 points per game.
"We're trying to do everythng we can to prepare our kids on both sides of the ball and make sure we're very sound on special teams, because we know that can make a big difference in a game like this," Bishop said. "We know they're very explosive on offense, but our bigger concern is what can we do to get better and play better.
"We had a nice little break last week for UEA. We worked on some stuff and our philosophy is to be more concerned about us and what we're doing and not so much about our opponent. I believe our kids will respond to the challenge and will go play the game and let the chips fall where they may."
These same two teams met in a 5A first-rounder a year ago, with Jordan dealing Davis a lopsided 52-7 defeat. But coach Bishop isn't playing up the revenge angle too strongly with his team this year.
"There are not very many opportunities in life when you didn't do what you hoped to do and you get a another chance to compete again, try and execute better and do some of the things we didn't do last year," Bishop said. "But that was last year, and this is this year."
Davis statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 17.0 ppg
Scoring defense: 10.9 ppg
Passing leader: Tyson Denney (113-214, 52.8%, 1,289 yards, 8 TDs, 5 INTs).
Sacks leaders: Troy Hinds (9 sacks)
Interceptions leader: Rossiter Potter (1 interception)
Jordan statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 34.1 ppg
Scoring defense: 13.7 ppg
Passing leader: Austin Kafentzis (177-303, 58.4%, 2,638 yards, 18 TDs, 16 INTs)
Sacks leaders: Hayden Babka (7.5 sacks)