Skyline coach Scott Berger said he likes to schedule tough teams at the beginning of the season with the goal of giving his players the chance to line up against top-notch competition before conference play.
The Grizzlies got what they asked for on Friday night, despite falling 34-20 to Orem in the Rocky Mountain Rumble at Holt Arena.
“I have to give our kids credit, they battled,” Berger said. “We didn’t get anybody injured. If you can come out of those early games without injuries, that’s huge.”
“It’s always tough to play somebody when they have a game under their belt,” Berger added, noting Friday’s game was the third for Orem, which comes off a loss to Nevada power Bishop Gorman.
Cruz Taylor started at quarterback but Orem’s defense created plenty of pressure against a Grizzlies O-line with just one senior.
“It’s a building process,” Berger said.
Conner Maloney scored two touchdowns and Brixton Gilbert added a score.
Skyline takes on 5A teams Thunder Ridge, Rigby and Madison before opening conference play Sept. 27 against Idaho Falls.
Hillcrest not slowing down
The Knights were a dominant rushing team a year ago, rolling over opponents on the way to the 4A state title. Despite losing a crop of skill players, Hillcrest hasn’t changed its tune or its philosophy.
“It was really a team effort,” Knights’ coach Kevin Meyer said of his team’s 54-40 shootout win Saturday morning against Raymond (Canada) at Holt Arena.
The Knights racked up 509 rushing yards, led by Tre Kofe’s 252 yards on 29 carries. Kofe also scored two touchdowns. Demick Hatch ran for 134 yards and scored three times.
“I didn’t think we’d get that many yards,” Meyer said, noting the most important thing was the team’s second-half rally and some defensive tweaks.
Raymond led 27-13 at the half, but scored just 13 points in the second half while the Knights tallied 21 points in the third and 20 points in the fourth to put the game away.
“I think we wore them down a little bit,” Meyer said.
More scores from Saturday
RIRIE 41, STAR VALLEY JV 12: At Ririe, the Bulldogs led 14-0 at half and extended their lead to 27-6 after three quarters.
Gabe Sommers ran for two touchdowns in the second quarter, Rawley Johnson ran for a score, and Harmon Brown scored off a 50-yard fumble recovery in the third. Tory Criddle scored on a quarterback keeper and Payton Prophet ran in a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth.
Ririe is at Malad on Friday.
MELBA 42, WEST JEFFERSON 18: At Melba, the Mustangs scored 26 points in the second half to hand the Panthers a loss to begin the 2019 season.
West Jefferson trailed 16-12 at halftime and 22-12 after three quarters.
West Jefferson (0-1) hosts South Fremont on Friday.