High school football: Giles' rushing, strong defense send Woods Cross into 4A semifinals

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  • TDeagle24 mapleton, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    I'd not only be willing to bet that theres no way they make the semis, i'd say there's a high probability of salem taking either 3rd or 4th in region 8, behind Maple Mountain and Springville. No doubt Salem has a good program, but maple mountain will be improved next year and I think springville will also beat Salem.

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    @ Sportsfan 101: Thanks! Good Luck Thurs...knock off Timp!
    @TBAnnounced: Thanks for the input, however I'm not officially involved in the program, just a long-time fan, so I can't pass on your suggestions, although I definitely agree with some (but not all) of them. Either way, next year we are going to build on the foundation we laid this year and be even better. We have some big talent coming up to fill the new vacancies and it is impressive. Which brings me to @TDeagle24: WHO is RETURNING? Pretty much everyone but our two WRs, Fifita, Van Tassell and one or two more impact players on defense. Definitely big shoes to fill, but we will have the horses to reach the semifinals next year and finish 1-2 with Timpview. In fact, barring any major injuries, I guarantee it. So, grab your quarters and jump into the bet that "Hawaiian Fan" tossed out....he's gonna buy me a shaved ice when we play at RES next year...you can do the same! :) @ Hawaiian Fan, no need to be such a hater. Makes you and your AWFUL RAINBOW WARRIORS look that much worse. If that's even possible. Aloha :)

  • TDeagle24 mapleton, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:43 p.m.

    You guarantee a semifinal appearance next year? Really? Other than the younger Gustin, who is returning? A decent season, maybe. Semifinal apperance? no way

  • Fallguy Payson, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    Hawaii Football Fan,
    I'm your huckleberry! I will take that bet any day. You obviously don't know football. Allow me to use some stats to substantiate this argument that I have been watching. Money and Covey are great athletes but not true quarterbacks. According to max preps Money ended the season with a QB rating of 60 with 15 picks to 12 TD'S. He is a running back that plays QB. Covey is a phenomenal receiver and explosive punt returner but not a QB. He is filling in at the QB position and averages just 81 yards passing and 1 TD in each of the last three games. Iongi has a QB rating of 67 (according to max preps) and also threw more picks than TD's. Athletes yes, Quarterbacks No, You need to do your homework before spouting off. I will take gustin with a QB rating of 128 and throwing 13 TD's to 3 picks (max preps) in only four games prior to injury. He also plays both ways and sacked money four times with a broken hand. I call that athletic! Especially since he is the only one playing both sides of the ball. Still wanna bet me?

  • SportsFan101 Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    Just to end my part of this.. Congrats Salem Hills on a great season! both programs surprised the media and coaches with what they have done this year. Get your boys healed up, keep em working hard, and most of all have them enjoy the high school experience! With the number of underclassmen on the team, I intend on hearing alot more about Salem Hills and their studs next year! As for Woods Cross, hopefully we can play the game of our lives and surprise some people against the Champion TBirds. LOVE HS FOOTBALL! Go cats!

  • TBAnnounced9 Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:53 a.m.


    If you are associated with the Salem program, Congrats on a great year! It is very nice to have a winning season. Here are some suggestions from the cheap seats:

    1) Offensive line. Big, but soft and weak. more sled work. O-line should be the Rockstars of the team. Watch Timpview. Their O-line moves and pulls in unison and hits with authority. It is a thing of beauty to watch. QB should have all day and your Grandma should run for 100 yards if the O-line has been built by the coaches. On you.

    2) Best WRs in history of SHHS. They saved many a pick.
    3) Very few H.S. QBs can run a spread offense. Very, very few. Porter can. The backup cannot. Change the game plan. Run the ball.
    4) You had a Stallion in the backfield who gets stronger as the game goes on, but needs 25 carries a game, not 5. Another good RB sat the bench. You should have used a two-back set, give your tailback a blocking back and more protection for the QB. Many were scratching heads all season at the lack of running game.

    Good luck!

  • fboy Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Baller. Go back an read your post that started the conversation. Although you were writing it to voice your displeasure that the article was "lopsided" You discredited anything that WX did other than playing hard and basically said that you gave us the game. You say that your intent was not to denigrate WX but that's exactly what you did throughout your subsequent posts. If you had you "stud" QB would the game have been different? Maybe. But he would have been running for his life too. By the same token what if WX had their Two "Stud" Running backs who were lost to injury, What if they had their "Stud" D tackle who was lost to Injury? We put up over 300 yards rushing on your awesome Defense with a Defensive player thrown in to replace an Injured player. a Third string half back and a Quarterback. Our intent was never to throw the ball much to Z Harry because we knew you would take that away.
    You guys have a bright future for sure though. Probably the toughest team we faced apart from East.

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 12:21 a.m.

    TBAnnounced9 thanks for the props. Yes, we definitely have a ways to go but we've made some big strides. As for your analysis on Timpview's domination? All I can say is, "well said". Everybody in the state knows the real game is going to be East vs. Timpview because WX will get throttled by Timpview. So while this little chat-fest has been fun...come Thursday night, it's lights out for WX hence there is no point splitting hairs on yardage and penalties. As you said TBAnnounced, if we had our stud QB (Gustin) this game would have been different. Instead we had 4 picks by our backup. But that's how it goes sometimes. My sole purpose for leaving a comment yesterday was not to denigrate WX at all, but to point out the lopsidedness of the article to the writer. That's all. As for all you silly cats who insist that because I point out noteworthy stats of two players (who happen to be brothers) I must be related? Really? Ever occur to you that it's because one led in defensive stats & the other in scoring? Sorry. Not related, just keeping it real.

  • TBAnnounced9 Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 10:37 p.m.

    Best year in the short history of Salem Hills. Congrats to the Skyhawks! One can only wonder where we'd be if Porter Gustin was still QB. No, actually, no wondering necessary. We'd be 10-1 and in the State Semis against either Timpview or East, and there the parade would end.

    Nobody beats Timpview with Covey at QB. They absolutely dominate and then ease up after halftime. Timpview is what a H.S. football team should be. Everybody else is playing for second (said as a Skyhawk booster). The 4A championship game against East might have the two best teams in the State. (Remember, Timpview's lone loss of the season came before Covey took over at QB.)

    I'm a big fan of what Timpview has built, after watching them in person earlier this year. Big time H.S. football. East is making a run at them. Two great Coaches. The rest should watch and learn.

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 9:07 p.m.

    I would reactivate that water boy because you will need more than one weapon on offense (Giles) to contend with Timpview. If we can shut down Harry, Gunther and Kidman as a "weak region 8 team" you are in for a miserable experience this week. You will definately need more than the 3 touchdowns you scored against powerhouse Clearfield (2-8) earlier this year to get to the next level.
    Timpview will not hand you five turnovers (two within the 20 yard line). Your biggest weapon was our own mistakes on offense. Five turnovers, supposedly 340 yards rushing and all you have to show for it are 3 TD's? Not what I would consider a stellar offense. We helped you get to the red zone two out the four times you made it. That effort may get you a field goal against Timpview. I will predict a similar outcome to your East game. If not worse.
    This will be your Litmus test.
    May the force be with you.

  • mab93 Provo, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:40 p.m.


    Sorry the article didn't read the way you wanted. Had you won, they might have talked about what Porter did with two broken hands. Their stats show Gunnar Gustin as only having 16 receptions, so they may be off by one, but usually they don't talk much about a player leading the state unless they think they will beat the all time state record. Since they lost he won't be able to reach the all time record of 23 and another player may beat the 2013 record. I know people like to focus on relatives but I would hope there were other players doing just as well. It's hard to build a top program on just a couple players.

    With new or revamped programs sometimes it takes a little for them to gain traction. I have liked the progress Salem Hills has had this year. Timpview needs better competition in their region.

    I have also liked the progress Woods Cross has had the last few years. I think it would be great if they faced off next year in the championship game.

  • fboy Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    Baller. Is there any one else on the Salem hills team? Go back and read your posts. Apparently there isn't. That's why I mentioned that you must be family. You know there are 20 other starters right? You guys have a long way to go if your relying on two players to carry you.

  • wildcat4life bountiful, ut
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    the rushing stats are correct...Gunther is a soph that was our 3rd string Rb until the two guys ahead of him had season ending injuries carried the ball 16 times for 116 yds with long runs of 30,16, 12,10,10 As mentioned by SportsFan Jowers is our running Qb he carried the ball 15 times for 101 yds with long runs of 20,10,10,12 Masi Giles is a defensive tackle/end carried the ball 6 times for 106 yds and ran thru the defense like a tank running over pop cans with long runs of 55,16,14,13 two touchdowns! The game plan was to run the ball and use our other weapons because we knew they would take away Z Harry

    Good thing we didn't give the water boy you mentioned any carries

  • Hawaii football fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:32 p.m.

    Ouch braddah! Maybe next year with the Rainbow Warriors:) I completely agree with a few of your projections next year: schedule weak opponents and your Gustin boy WILL do well as QB (although Zobell will be missed). Don't get it done up front (i.e. defensive line) and he'll wrack up quite a few tackles as well. However, Timpview and Spanish return twice the athlete at QB and will finish ahead of Salem next year. Heck, watch out for Provo's playmaker under center as well. Sorry, but you lack depth... And especially speed. Best case is 3rd in region next year, possibly 4th. Either way, RES as a spectator is guaranteed. I'll bet you a shave ice.

  • SportsFan101 Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    Cnntinued... The penalties stopped the end of the first half drive by WX, ending in something like a third and 45. Rather ridiculous. WX also kneeled on their final possession. Timpview, East, Bingham, etc drive up the score. Wx has not shown a tendency to do that this year. They have had multiple opportunities, but have refrained. One more point of emphasis..WX returns 9 defenders next year..9. On an already top three 4A defense. They do not need a 16 tackles per game player, as every single one of them does their job. Gustin needed that many tackles because other defenders were not stepping up. More power to him for being able to do it, as well. You will need to be able to score more than 7 points per game against quality defenses if you wish to move farther next year. 6 against Timpview and 7 against WX, both quality teams, will not cut it.

  • SportsFan101 Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    Just a couple thoughts. First off, congrats on an awesome season, Salem Hills! I have been around football a long time, and was impressed. Two things that most impressed me were the closing speed of the Skyhawks, and the number of underclassman. It was one of the faster defenses I have seen.
    Now on to addressing some of the points made. Why make fun of WX schedule? Salem Hills would not make the playoffs in region 6. Coaches and media would agree with this assessment. From top to botter they are bigger and more physical than region 8, except for Timp. And yes, I have seen the teams play. Second area is that the rushing numbers posted for WX are correct. Those are correlated using a review of game film by a coach. WX switched to Jowers for QB after Kidman was roughed up a little bit in the first half, once again, great job Salem Hill D.
    Last area to address. Nobody has mentioned the penalty count 0f 16-4 in favor of Salem Hills. Two of which happened at the end of the fourth when the game was out of reach.

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    Hawaii football fan,
    Aloha! How are those Rainbow Warriors doing this year? You bring up a good point pertaining to "Weaker opponents" and "soft preseason"? Maybe Salem should have scheduled powerhouses like Viewmont, Clearfield, Cyprus, Kearns, Maple Mountain and Bountiful all of which had losing seasons and averaged less than three wins each this year. I'm not sure I would be bragging about that strength of schedule. Our biggest win may have indeed been Orem (twice). Who was your biggest regular season "win"? Corner Canyon? Didn't they lose to Orem? :)
    BTW, the TD was not scored on a fade. It was a hitch and go.
    As for fboy,
    Why not "love the gustins"?
    One was the highest rated QB in the state (128 according to maxpreps) prior to breaking one hand and still dominated teams on defense with three pins sticking out of his right wrist. He threw for over 200 yards against Timpview which is not an easy task as you will find out next week. He had sixteen tackles Friday with both hands broken and no use of his thumbs.
    The other one leads the state in touchdowns while facing double coverage.
    I do love it!

  • Hawaii football fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    What began as a fantastic start against weaker opponents quickly went downhill beginning with Springville... and continued with Maple and Spanish. The answer to controlling the "fade" was to lock up your receivers at the line of scrimmage. You guys put up HUGE numbers... in a soft preseason... and while Zobell can break off the line, others not so much. Your biggest "win" was the Region 7 coin toss pitting you against the real #3 (Orem) in a region where only Oly stands out. See ya in RES next year... in the stands.

  • fboy Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:26 a.m.


    You are clearly in love with the Gustin brothers. You must be a relative. The way I see it is that what was predicted to be a high scoring game ended up being a battle between two really good defenses. But when it came down to it Salem Hills couldn't stop the run game when it had to and WX did a nice job stopping your passing game. It was sure nice having our Big left tackle back after five weeks out with a knee injury. Quite a few of our runs came behind his blocks.

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 10:21 p.m.

    I agree with Wildcat4life, we all see things differently. Very differently! Starting with the stats that you provided. No offense, but I can't find one publication that can substantiate those numbers including Max Preps. Where in the world did you come up with those figures? Apparently Everyone but the water boy had 100 yards rushing Fri. night? (ha! ha!) Amazing! As a side note, when a QB is sacked it counts as yards lost and Jowers was sacked several times. He did not rush for 100 yards?!?
    Here's something else to consider, two of your best athletes and future collegiate prospects ( Xequille Harry and Braxton Gunther) combined for an amazing four first quarter touchdowns against Box Elder last week, YET neither one got even close to end zone Friday. Credit goes to our defense. Two of the Wildcats three scoring drives started within the Salem Hills 20 yard line following a muffed punt return and an interception. Like I said, the Wildcats managed one viable scoring drive leading to a two yard rush by Giles.
    Thanks for the kudos on our future. We hope to be continue to build on our success! Best of luck to you!

  • Hawaii football fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:24 p.m.

    I can understand your frustration. What started as a great preseason against week opponents quickly went downhill. You had 2nd in region literally handed to you after the great Springville 2nd half collapse, but couldn't finish against Maple Mountain and Spanish Fork. Then, to top it all off... your greatest win all season... the Region 7 coin toss! You faced a weak Orem team and were shut down by a subpar Woods Cross team. When it comes to Salem Hills the answer is simple... tie up their receivers at the line of scrimmage. One has speed (Zobell) and is somewhat physical and the other has height... and that's about it. Neither is/was effective if you tie them up. Btw... racking up qb stats against Hillcrest, Juab, and Payson SHOULD make you one of the highest rated qb's in the state. RES next year? As a spectator.

  • wildcat4life bountiful, ut
    Nov. 10, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    you have made some great points #11 is a stud! You do have a great defense, it was a great season for Salem hills, the fade is their best play and had us worried (not lucky) the article is a little one sided... Which usually happens when you are the looser unless it's your local paper!
    A few things you missed when you made the statement about (porter and crew) destroying our running game.....#12 Gunther 109yds rushing....#47 Giles 106yds rushing....#13 Jowers 101yds rushing....#5 Cheney also had 27yds on 5 carries. That is approx 340yds rushing

    From my perspective Salem hills has a bright future...... but everyone sees thing differently thus... D-news,MG4, me and yourself.

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    As for the "lucky fade"? Not so much. That WR, Gunnar Gustin, has been torching DBs all year with that "lucky fade". There is a reason he leads the entire state in receiving TDs at 17.
    I hope you guys can stand your ground against Timpview next week. They are tough as nails but are ripe for an upset. Maybe you can be the party crasher for them? I hope so. But honestly, I doubt it---they simply have too many weapons and your QB is not gonna be able to handle the intense pressure they'll throw at him.
    As for Porter Gustin? Lucky for us, he is only a junior. Next year when he is back in the pocket on offense as our top-rated QB, as well as terrorizing offenses as the best LB in the state, I guarantee we'll be in Rice Eccles come November. Meet us there for a rematch? Until then, good luck, especially with Timpview next week. Hope you get em!

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    I agree with you MG4, our offense couldn't handle the pressure...and you make a good point. Porter Gustin had been our starting QB up until the end of September when he shattered his right thumb against Provo. He'd been starting at both QB and LB but now because of the cast could only play LB. At the time he got hurt he was the highest rated QB in the state, leading in TDs. Having to go with our backup really hurt us as he frequently threw 4 to 5 picks a game (4 against WX) but because of our incredible defense we still managed to beat good teams (Springville, Orem) and advance to the second round of playoffs. Last week against Orem, while playing with a broken right hand/cast, Porter Gustin broke his left hand as well---hence my point about how badly he destoyed you with TWO broken hands- both casted up to his elbows. He didn't even have the use of his fingers on either hand. Considering his AMAZING stats in your game--it might be the reason your QB was forced to throw. Our defense (Porter and crew) would've destroyed your running game.

  • MG4 Woods Cross, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 3:49 a.m.

    Yes I agree, he was also the starting quarterback until he broke something in his hand or arm. He was a key player on Salem Hill's defense and got through that line with ease. But I think woods cross could've had some better play calling from the sideline. Your DB's were fantastic, and that's what ruined us. But I bet if we would've ran the ball a lot more the score would've been different. Plus Salem hills's offense couldn't really handle the pressure from upfront most of the time. So really all you had was Porter Gustin and a lucky fade.

  • The Baller Salem, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    Seriously?! Your article was extremely lopsided. In fact, I had to read the article twice just to see who Woods Cross played. Nothing of substance was mentioned about Salem Hills until the very end, and it was one sentence. So, let me recap for you. Salem Hills defense was fantastic. Two of Woods Cross's three TDs came from offensive turnovers, so for all the hype about their offense, Woods Cross put together just one solid scoring drive and it was in the first half. As for Salem Hills defense, a little stat that you missed was that Salem Hills LB Porter Gustin led both teams with 17 tackles, led both teams in sacks, forced 2 fumbles and led both teams in tackles for loss. And he did it with 2 broken hands! (a full cast on both hands!) Furthermore you failed to mention that the TD pass Peterson threw to Gunnar Gustin puts Gustin in the State record book (giving him 17 receiving TDs on the season) and made him state TD leader. I don't mean to sound like a poor loser, I give Woods Cross credit for their effort, they played hard. But please be fair and tell the whole story.

  • PNWUte Vancouver, WA
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    Actually, Woods Cross's last trip to the state semifinals was in 1993.