Skyline (7-3) at East (10-1)
4A state tournament quarterfinal
Friday, 3:30 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: East by 11
All-time series: Skyline leads 20-7
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Skyline's Roger DuPaix and East's Brandon Matich
Last meeting: Oct. 9, 2009, Skyline 41, East 7
SALT LAKE CITY — Football games are won in the trenches. That's a well-known fact. If a team doesn't have the buffet busters up front it might as well forget about its chances of really being a contender.
As for teams that rely on a powerful running game, the success of the hog mollies up front becomes even more crucial.
That's the case for both East and Skyline, two teams that run a prolific triple-option attack, as the two programs meet Friday in the 4A quarterfinals.
"East is a very big, talented team. They're deserving of their record, they've only lost one game," said Skyline coach Roger DuPaix. "They run the option as well as anyone in the state and it's going to be hard to stop that. Our kids are excited to play the game so we just do the best we can do."
Ironically, DuPaix was concerned with the troubles of stopping the option despite the fact that Skyline has the same game plan when it has the football.
"We really haven't seen (the option) at all since the preseason when Cedar City ran it," he said. "It's going to be different to us even though we run it ourselves because we just haven't got ready for it."
The Leopards (10-1) have 11 players that have combined for 3,047 rushing yards and 41 scores. Both quarterback Jason Cook and slotback Liti Molisi have scampered for an identical 1,022 yards and have 22 of those touchdowns.
"Well, except for Logan, no one has really stopped (Cook and Molisi), so they're very talented," DuPaix said. "Very good football players, we'll do the best we can do against them and hope for the best."
"Maurice has played exceptionally well for us this year, he and Dylan have been the mainstays in our backfield," stated DuPaix. "You need a talented fullback and Maurice is definitely a great fullback. He's having a great year for us."
For the second consecutive year, East has advanced to the quarterfinals under Brandon Matich. Last year, the Leopards were handled easily by Mountain Crest and are looking to reverse the fortunes this season.
For that to happen, East needs to stop teams on defense, something it was unable to last year. This season it's loaded on the defensive side. Chase Barney, Sione Leaaetoa, Sione Makoni, Jewka Patetefa, Niel Robbins, Korey Rush and Nela Tuuhetaufa have combined for 314 tackles, 11 sacks and an astonishing 20 interceptions.
"I think the kids are excited that they get to play in the quarterfinals and they're working hard this week," said DuPaix. "It'll be exciting and I think the fans will have a great game. Hopefully we can stay with them and do OK."
Skyline statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 29.3 ppg
Scoring defense: 18.4 ppg
Passing leader: Zach Williams (22-59, 37.3%, 369 yards, 3 TDs)
Sacks leaders: Brandon Shingleton (4 sacks)
Interceptions leader: Tyler Snyder (3 interceptions)
East statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 32.4 ppg
Scoring defense: 17.2 ppg
Passing leader: Jason Cook (52-108, 48.1%, 893 yards, 3 TDs)
Interceptions leader: Neil Robbins, Sione Makoni (5 interceptions)