One year removed from starting out 1-4 before going on to have a fairly decent season, much of the talk inside Morgan High's football program before the start of 2008 revolved around making sure the Trojans got out of the gates much faster than they did 12 months earlier.
And then came Week 1.
Morgan actually played pretty well at Class 2A's Juab en route to taking a 16-0 lead early in the second half of its season-opener, but the game turned on its head after that and the Trojans eventually lost, 20-16.
Rather than get down on itself, however, Morgan wasted little time getting back on track. Just seven days later, the Trojans surprisingly routed traditional rival Wasatch 49-0 and, in the process, put themselves back in position to start out better this fall than they did last fall.
They'll face another huge test this Friday when No. 5 Park City visits Morgan County, and coach Kovi Christiansen hopes his Trojans can continue to improve in the preseason and win while doing so.
"The biggest thing is sometimes in the past (the players) had the idea that the preseason is a chance to get better, which it is, and the preseason is a time to try some people in different positions, which it is," said Christiansen. "But I've taken the philosophy that I want to win every game. I don't want to just try some things out.
"I'd rather learn from a win than a loss."
At least for one week, his players got the message.
Against Wasatch, the Trojans jumped out to a 35-0 lead at halftime and, unlike Week 1, didn't take their foot off the peddle in the second half en route to an impressive 49-0 shutout win.
According to Christiansen, two things helped Morgan from Week 1 to Week 2. First, the Trojans maintained a very good attitude throughout the week and didn't dwell on the Juab game. Secondly, Morgan settled on senior Ben Van Campen at quarterback, allowing the Trojans to utilize a spread-option look more often while freeing junior Matt Largent to play more on defense.
Those two things helped Morgan find its groove against Wasatch, and Christiansen hopes it continues throughout the remainder of the preseason.
TOP 25 WATCH: Surprisingly, the Deseret News Top 25 stayed relatively intact following Week 2 of the young season. While there were lots of big moves in the rankings following Week 1, that wasn't the case seven days later.
To be sure, a number of teams made minor moves up and down in the rankings. However, the overall shape looked the same, as the top three teams No. 1 Alta, No. 2 Timpview and No. 3 Cottonwood stayed the same, with most of the teams below them assuming positions at or near the same spots they were in one week earlier.
Notable exceptions were No. 18 Lone Peak, which climbed four more spots on the heels of its second consecutive big win, and No. 7 Layton, No. 12 Bingham, No. 19 American Fork and No. 24 Viewmont, who all dropped at least four spots.
MORE RANKINGS: Two-time defending 4A champ Timpview is ranked 108th nationally in the latest maxpreps.com rankings. The T-Birds climbed 44 spots from the previous week.
The next highest-ranked Utah team is Alta at No. 202.
PLAYING A DAY EARLY: While the rest of the state will participate in varsity games this Friday, red-hot Davis High will play this evening.The Darts, who have only given up a total of six points in comfortable wins over Hunter and Brighton, will take on Kemehameha of Hawaii at Weber State today in what promises to be an entertaining affair.
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