Region action is here; Highland football aiming for top
Sep 21, 2018 16h33
By Jana Klopsch
Senior Trajan Benson runs the option against Murray where the Rams won 24-0. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
With little margin for error, the Highland football team has started its quest for a region championship.
The Rams’ first Region 6 contest took place Sept. 14 at Murray in a game held after our press deadline. It was the first of five league games for the Rams, who figure to compete for the region title with Olympus, which was undefeated through four weeks of play. Highland, meanwhile, had just one blemish on its record in non-region action, going 3-1 during that span.
Take a way a 45-30 loss to Pine View on Aug. 24, and the Highland defense has been virtually impenetrable. Pine View, one of the highest-scoring teams in the state, did far more damage than the other opponents did during the first four games. In Highland’s first three victories, it surrendered just 16 total points.
Game one against Desert Hills on Aug. 17 was a low-scoring contest. Highland scored touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters. The first came on a 5-yard run by Colton White. With five minutes to play in the game, Ousmane Doumbia broke a 7-7 tie and ran one in from 14 yards out. The Rams held Desert Hills to just 62 yards of offense.
On Aug. 31, Highland destroyed a struggling Hillcrest team 58-0. The game was decided by halftime when the Rams were leading 51-0. Several players got into the act for Highland, including quarterback Matthew Lloyd, who tossed a pair of touchdowns on just four total pass attempts. Meanwhile, Highland controlled the line of scrimmage by running the ball 53 times. A staggering 17 players carried the ball for Highland, with Lingi Latu, Don Aisea Mahina, Colton White, Floyd Nau, Siope Tenifa, Bronson Olevao and Ammon Sofele registering touchdowns.
Highland also recorded a huge victory on Sept. 7 by taking down traditional state power Lone Peak 21-9 at home in front of an excited crowd. The Rams used a big fourth quarter in which they scored a pair of touchdowns—on a 5-yard run from Trajan Benson, and one on a 64-yard pass from Benson to Bronson Olevao—to stretch a 7-3 lead out to 21-3. Lone Peak scored an inconsequential touchdown on the final play of the game.
Following their 24-0 victory at Murray on Sept. 14, Highland plays at Skyline on Sept. 21. The first region home game is Sept. 28 against Olympus, the favorite to win Region 6. Highland must finish in the top four of the six-team region to secure a state tournament berth. It must also place first or second to earn a first-round home game at state. The second-round state tournament games are also held at home team sites; the semifinals and finals will be held Nov. 9 and 16 at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah.