Another week, another great rivalry game I had the pleasure of covering on Friday night. Sometimes I can't believe I get paid to do this job.
That makes four straight games I've seen with some intense emotion and play. Davis-Layton on Friday night was just as good as the Alta-Bingham, Logan-Sky View and Highland-East games I've covered in the last month.
There was an overflow crowd at Layton High, partly because it was the Lancers' homecoming game, partly because Davis travels well in all sports, and mostly because the game pitted two of 5Ais best teams against each other.
Check out the sportstalk section on our Web site and see what the Friday Night Rider had to say about the game. The post does a fine job of summing up the emotion and excitement of the evening.
I'll go in a different direction and write about what I learned about each team:
Davis: Oh, the Darts let one get away. It was obvious that the Lancers felt like they stole one after the game, and they did.
I love Davis' defense. The Darts rush the quarterback better than any team I've seen this season. They can get pressure with their front four, too. They threw a couple of blitzes at Layton quarterback Camren Applegate, but they mostly got to him because guys like James Cowser are almost unblockable.
The Darts have a championship-caliber defense.
Davis' offense couldn't make plays in crucial situations, but I wouldn't be too concerned if I were a Darts fan. Sophomore Gavin Fowler showed some real potential in the loss. The Darts have too good of a coaching staff to continue to commit the costly penalties that cost them field position and killed drives on Friday night.
Davis has a good running game. As a whole, I believe the offense will make great strides as the season progresses.
Layton: The Lancers' defense bent, but almost never broke against the Darts. Guys like Thomas Bryson, Karl Williams, Nick Ciancone and of course, Kimble Jensen turned in memorable performances. Layton's secondary is a lot of fun to watch. They deliver some punishment.
The Lancers' offense struggled against Davis' stingy defense. Offensive coordinator Scott Applegate was actually apologetic for his unit's performance. The biggest problem with Layton's offense is its health, as tailback LaVaughn Jackson is out with a broken foot. Williams only had a few carries because of a pinched nerve in one of his toes. I like the poise of quarterback Camren Applegate, and I know this offense will be explosive when Jackson and Williams are back at full strength and in the same backfield.
The high school football season technically hit the halfway point of the 2008 season with the completion of Week 5 games on Friday night (except for No. 1 Alta). But realistically, the season is just beginning, as just about everyone will be involved in league play next week.
The games will start to mean more. Teams will start positioning themselves for region championships and favorable playoff seedings.
But before we start to worry about that, check our blog this week for a class-by-class recap of the first half of the season.
Some highlights from Week 5:
--West Jordan matched its best start in school history by improving to 5-0 on Friday night. The Jaguars started the 1999 season 5-0. West Jordan will find out where it stands in Region 3 when it plays Bingham on Thursday night.
--Watch out for Springville's Colton Ramon. One week after he produced 246 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns against Provo, he added two more rushing scores in the Red Devilsi 42-8 win over Salem Hills on Friday night.
--Sky View is on fire. The Bobcats scored 48 points in the first half against Roy and beat the Royals 62-0. You already know about how good their defense is. It looks like their special teams, which returned two punts for touchdowns against Roy, and their offense is getting to the same level as their defense.
--Hurricane had a statement win in a 31-0 victory over Park City. That's two straight shutout losses for the Miners.
--Delta improved to 4-0 for the first time in 11 years by beating Moapa Valley, Nev., 41-20. Dayton DeLoach continued his assault on opposing teams' passing games, as he recorded two more interceptions.
--Millard picked up its first win by beating Beaver, while North Summit, Juab, Manti and San Juan continue to roll in 2A.
--North Sevier got back on the winning track by racking up 437 yards in a 47-26 win over Layton Christian. Kanab, behind 153 rushing yards and three touchdowns by Bryce Hafen, beat Rich in a rematch of last year's 1A championship game.
Some extra notes from the Skyline-Kearns game from my man John Coon:
--With its 35-7 pasting of Kearns, Skyline has now won eight straight over the Cougars dating back to 1989 - when Kearns claimed a 4A state title.
--Alamoti Vaenuku was practically a one-man team against the Eagles. The Kearns back rushed 22 times for 135 yards and a touchdown. As a team, the Cougars gained only 166 yards of total offense.
--"I think the run is funner. It brings more excitement." Caleb Latteier on ripping off his 58 yard TD run in the first quarter to put Skyline up 14-0. It was his longest ever touchdown run, although he had gone longer for a touchdown pass. Latteier enjoyed getting the long touchdown run more than the pass.
ARAGON TOP 10
7. Sky View
8. Pleasant Grove
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Wyatt Mason, North Sevier
He torched Layton Christian for 159 rushing yards and three touchdowns
Selby Reinhardt, Jacob Evans, Austin Thompson, Matt Mott, Kyle Wilkerson, Morty Burt, Duchesne
I love how the person who called in the Duchesne-Altamont score made sure to highlight Reinhardt's offensive linemen. The big guys helped Reinhardt rack up 212 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Anthony Heimuli, Mountain View
The Bruins are just a different team when Heimuli is rolling. He rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns in their 42-7 whipping of Tooele.
Josh Soter, Copper Hills
It bothers me when I see the stats Soter has been racking up n and for a good reason. I saw him play some 7-on-7 at BYU during the summer and had a feeling he was going to have a big season. Problem is, I didn't write it in advance of the season. So instead of looking like a genius, I just appear to be on the bandwagon. Rant over. He's good. He threw for 312 yards and five touchdowns against Taylorsville last night.
Kimble Jensen, Layton
His 74-yard touchdown reception from Camren Applegate put the Lancers ahead in the first quarter of their 13-7 win over Davis.
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Dayton DeLoach, Delta
Seriously, this kid has a nose for the ball. He had two interceptions last night, and a total of five in his last two games.
James Cowser, Davis
I don't know if anyone rushes the passer better than Cowser, who sacked Applegate twice last night.
Kimble Jensen, Layton
His interception in the final minute sealed the Lancersi 13-7 win over Davis.
COACHES OF THE WEEK
Jim Batchelor, Layton
He knows he stole one from Davis last night. But you don't care about quality of wins in rugged Region 1. Batchelor deserves credit for his team refusing to break against the Darts.
Dustin Pearce, Hunter
I made some bad picks this week. Pearce made sure to make me look good by having his team destroy Spanish Fork.
John Colosimo, Juan Diego
Raise your hand if you had Juan Diego at 5-0, and allowing less than five points per game at this point in the season. No you didn't. Put your hand down.
Mike Morgan, West Jordan
The Jaguars are 5-0 for the first time in 1999. They are pulling out the close victories and buying into what Morgan is coaching.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kimble Jensen, Layton
He blocked a punt to set up a touchdown in Layton's 13-7 win over Davis. Bonus points if youive noticed a trend here.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Layton defeated Davis despite rushing for 1 yard on 21 rushes on Friday night.
Region 3 kicks off Week 6 on Thursday next week, and all three league games will be competitive. The big one on Friday is obviously Layton-Northridge. No time to celebrate last night's win, Lancers. North Summit-Manti, San Juan-Millard, Alta-Skyline, Bountiful-Mountain Crest and Mountain View-Timpview are also big games to watch.