We’re familiar with them, but our kids know that just because we beat them earlier in the year, it doesn’t really mean much. Both teams are a lot better than they were at the beginning of the year. —Springville head coach Wily Child
SALT LAKE CITY — By the time the dust settles at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday afternoon, one school will advance to the 5A championship game and be in position to win its first state football championship in a long time. For Springville, it would be the first championship since 1985, and for Lehi, it would be the first title since 2000.
Thursday’s game will be a rematch of week four of 2017, when Springville prevailed 18-15.
“We’re familiar with Lehi; coach Larson does a great job over there. We know that they’re really explosive and even better than they were at the beginning of the year. We’re just working on trying to limit those big plays and make sure we’re able to control the line of scrimmage and be able to run the ball and pass the ball, hopefully keep the clock moving,” Springville head coach Willy Child said. “We’re familiar with them, but our kids know that just because we beat them earlier in the year, it doesn’t really mean much. Both teams are a lot better than they were at the beginning of the year.”
Springville (9-3) vs. Lehi (10-2)
5A state tournament semifinals
Thursday, 2:30 p.m. (at Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Parry’s Power Guide: Lehi by 8
All-time series: Springville leads 34-18-4
Coach vs. coach: Springville’s Willy Child leads Lehi’s Ed Larson, 3-1 (Larson’s win came in 2012 when he coached Timpanogos)
Last meeting: Sept. 8 (Week 4) – Springville 18-15, at Lehi
Lehi enters with one of the top quarterbacks in 5A, Cammon Cooper. Cooper has a 64 percent completion rate, and he has thrown 48 touchdowns in the Pioneers’ passing attack.
“The unique thing about Lehi, they’re not just one guy, but, obviously, their quarterback — Cooper — he’s the guy who makes all the decisions. He has some good weapons, so we know he’s going to make plays, but to be able to control him and not give them an opportunity for big plays, we think that’s the key,” Child said.
For Springville, the offense starts with the run. Bradley Nicol and Cole Bowers have combined to rush for 1,849 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Red Devils will be looking to get the running game going early and often at Rice-Eccles.
“We hope to run the ball first and get the clock moving and move the chains with our running game. We feel like if the clock’s moving and we keep the score low, that increases our chances of beating a team like Lehi. We trust our o-line and trust the running backs we have, Cole Bowers has been great for us two years in a row, so we like to give him the ball as much as we can,” Child said.
If Lehi does stop the run game, Child is confident in his quarterback, Ty Eriksson.
“We’ve always believed in running the ball, but we understand the deeper we get into the playoffs, the better teams were playing, they’re going to try to take away what we do best. Ty has the ability with his leadership and with his arms, and with his legs, to make plays and find open guys,” Child said. Him and Ben (Schreiner), our receivers have been big for us during the playoffs, when teams have stacked the box. Again, Ty’s ability to make plays has been big for us, especially in the playoffs."
Springville statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 27.0 ppg (13th in 5A)
Scoring defense: 21.9 ppg (8th in 5A)
Passing leader: Ty Eriksson (70-118, 59.3%, 1,307 yards, 11 TDs, 3 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Bradley Nicol (184 carries, 1,109 yards, 10 TDs), Cole Bowers (94 carries, 778 yars, 9 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Ben Schreiner (30 rec., 740 yards, 7 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Owen Rowe (107 tackles), Cole Bowers (87 tackles), Bradley Nicol (72 tackles)
Sack leaders: Bradley Nicol (9.5 sacks), Simote Iloa (7 sacks)
Interception leaders: Cole Bowers (3 INTs), Ben Schreiner (2 INTs)
Lehi statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 37.4 ppg (5th in 5A)
Scoring defense: 19.9 ppg (6th in 5A)
Passing leader: Cammon Cooper (286-447, 64.0%, 4,092 yards, 48 TDs, 9 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Carsen Manookin (160 carries, 917 yards, 6 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Dallin Holker (79 rec., 1,485 yards, 17 TDs), Kade Moore (77 rec., 1,208 yards, 18 TDs), Jaxon Moody (45 rec., 553 yards, 7 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Will Overstreet (60 tackles), Jeremy Hansmann (59 tackles)
Sack leaders: Drake Knowles (3 sacks), Jase Andersen (2.5 sacks)
Interception leaders: Jacob Vasquez (2 INTs), Qi’Sean Rust (2 INTs)
Felt’s Facts for Springville High School
Head Coach: 2012-current — Willy Child (47-22)
All-time record: 433-402-32 (101 years)
Region championships: 25 (1922, 1926, 1929, 1933, 1938, 1954, 1976 co, 1977 co, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 co, 1988 co, 1990, 1991 co, 1992, 1993 co, 2001, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Playoff appearances: 47
Current playoff appearance streak: 5 (2013-2017)
All-time playoff record: 30-45
State championships: 1 (1985)
State championship record: 1-4
Felt’s Facts for Lehi High School
Head Coach: 2014-current — Ed Larson (21-23)
All-time record: 366-444-22 (96 years)
Region championships: 13 (1940, 1944, 1950, 1963, 1990, 1992, 1996 co, 1997, 1999 co, 2000 co, 2003 co, 2004 co, 2017)
Playoff appearances: 33
Current playoff appearance streak: 2 (2016-2017)
All-time playoff record: 22-30
State championships: 2 (1980, 2000)
State championship record: 2-2