I think we just try to keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re playing good football right now, so I think we just keep doing what we’ve been doing. —Juab head coach Mike Bowring
Morgan (8-2) vs. Juab (7-3)
3A state tournament semifinals
Friday, 5 p.m. (At Weber State)
Parry’s Power Guide: Juab by 16
All-time series: Morgan leads 10-3
Coach vs. coach: Morgan’s Kovi Christiansen leads Juab’s Mike Bowring, 3-1
Last meeting: Aug. 20, 2010 – Morgan 21-6
SALT LAKE CITY — For Juab High School and coach Mike Bowring, a win on Friday against Morgan High at Stewart Stadium on the campus of Weber State University would send the Wasps to the state championship game and put them on the cusp of the school's first state football title.
But, before that can happen, Juab has to get past Morgan, which is currently in a state title drought of its own, having not hoisted a state football trophy since 1997.
The hallmark of the Wasps’ football team is defense. Juab enters the semifinals as the best defensive team in the 3A classification — only giving up 14.5 points per game. The Wasps carry the momentum of having won their six of their last seven games into Friday, with the only loss in that stretch coming to Juan Diego on Oct. 6.
“I think we just try to keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re playing good football right now, so I think we just keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Juab head coach Mike Bowring said.
Meanwhile, Morgan enters the matchup on a hot streak of its own. The Trojans have rattled off six straight wins.
Juab didn’t face Morgan in the regular season, so Friday’s semifinal game will be the first time the two squads have lined up against each other since 2010. Bowring says that his staff will take the same approach to the Trojans as they have to every other team they have faced in 2017.
“Same thing we’ve done all year long to prepare for our opponents. We have the same process, so we’ll just prepare like any other game,” Bowring said.
Morgan enters the matchup scoring 29 points per game. The Trojans’ offense is led by quarterback Jacob Stephens, who has thrown for 2,051 yards and 24 touchdowns, and running back Bridger Miller, who has carried the ball 116 times for 666 yards and five touchdowns.
“They’ve got a lot of good players. We’ve got to prepare for all of them, they’ve got lots of good kids, so we’ll have to be ready for all of them,” Bowring said.
On the offensive side of the ball for Juab, the Wasps are led by running back Alex White, who has rushed for 881 yards on 123 carries with 13 touchdowns.
“He’s playing really well, we’ve got a lot of kids playing well but, no question, Alex has had a great year for us and he’s a key part of our success,” Bowring said.
For Juab to win on Friday and advance to the championship, Bowring says the Wasps need to play good defense and limit turnovers.
“I think we have to play great defense, and take care of the ball and win on special teams,” Bowring said.
Juab comes into the game with a 7-3 record, having lost to Delta, Salem Hills and Juan Diego, while Morgan enters with a 8-2 record, falling to South Summit and Bear River.
Morgan statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 29.0 ppg (4th in 3A)
Scoring defense: 23.0 ppg (6th in 3A)
Passing leader: Jacob Stephens (167-348, 48.0%, 2,051 yards, 24 TDs)
Rushing leaders: Bridger Miller (116 carries, 666 yards, 5 TDs)
Sack leaders: Brenon Sanders (4 sacks)
Interception leaders: Jay Carrigan (7 INTs)
Juab statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 26.7 ppg (5th in 3A)
Scoring defense: 14.5 ppg (1st in 3A)
Passing leader: Easton Wright (94-179, 52.5%, 1,226 yards, 8 TDs, 7 INTs)
Felts Facts for Morgan High School
Head Coach: 2007-current — Kovi Christiansen (86-40)
All-time record: 465-333-22 (90 years)
Region championships: 23 (1930 co, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1975 co, 1976, 1977 co, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1989, 1991 co, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2005 co, 2008, 2016, 2017)
Playoff appearances: 50
Current playoff appearance streak: 23 (1995-2017)
All-time playoff record: 52-43
State championships: 6 (1940, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1993, 1997)
State championship record: 6-5
Felt’s Facts for Juab High School
Head Coach: 2003-current — Mike Bowring (111-50)
All-time record: 282-323-3 (62 years)
Region championships: 10 (1976 co, 1995, 1997, 2005 co, 2006 co, 2008, 2014, 2015 co, 2016, 2017 co)
Playoff appearances: 34
Current playoff appearance streak: 5 (2013-2017)
All-time playoff record: 21-33
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-3