WEST VALLEY CITY — Playoff brackets can be funny things.
Even though teams may be seeded higher or lower for very tangible reasons — wins and losses — the higher-seeded teams don't always prevail.
Such was the case when fourth-seeded Fremont travelled south to face No. 1 seed Hunter in the opening round of the 5A tournament Friday. Fremont made plays throughout to utimately walk away with a 14-6 victory in a contest that featured two squads that aren't strangers to postseason success.
Both schools lost to ultimate champion Lone Peak in last year's 5A tournament — Hunter in the first round and Fremont in the title game — and the Fremont Silverwolves, who feature mostly juniors and seniors, will try to draw on last year's experience as this year's tournament progresses.
Hunter came out sluggish in the first half and was unsuccessful converting third downs on offense while its defense did just enough to hold Fremont out of the end zone — until just before the end of the first quarter. That's when Fremont quarterback Jordan Preator snuck the ball in on a 5-yard carry to put the Silver Wolves on the board, with a successful point after attempt by brother, Parker, making the score 7-0.
Along with Jordan Preator, the Silverwolves compliment his running-style offense with another quarterback in Garrett Gallegos, whose strength is passing. When asked about the two-quarterback system, which most coaches shy away from, Fremont head coach Kory Bosgeiter said it’s a good way to keep opposing defenses off balance.
“Teams have a harder time preparing for you when they don’t know which quarterback is going to play when if you see the defense starting to line up for one QB, it’s nice to have the ability to switch to the other and keep the ball moving” Bosgeiter said.
Friday belonged to the Praetors though as Jordan found the end zone again right before the end of the first half with another short rush followed up with another successful point after attempt by Parker.
The second half found Hunter with renewed drive and energy. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, the Wolverines finally found the end zone but a failed PAT left them eight points short of where they needed to be to tie the game.
A key opportunity during the Wolverines' last drive with less than two minutes remaining came when Hunter faced fourth-and-4 on the Silver Wolves' 37-yard line. An ensuing short pass was completed but was too close to call without a measurement, but it was ruled to be a first down to put Hunter within scoring distance.
On the following play, however, Hunter failed to sustain its momentum when a penalty was called that pushed back it back to the 43-yard line. The Wolverines were forced to punt their possession away after a failed third attempt.
Losing in the first round is obviously not what Hunter coach Scott Henderson hoped would happen to his team after winning a region championship, but he said there were character lessons to be learned from the game.
“This will hopefully show our returning players that you need to always be ready when you step out onto the field. For the seniors it shows them that sometimes there aren’t second chances in life and to make the most of each opportunity” Henderson said.
Chriss Anderson is a writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle and can be followed on Twitter: @Chriss_Am_I