Game Preview Capsule: Semifinals, Desert Hills vs. Spanish Fork

GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Spanish Fork (11-1, 5-0) vs. Desert Hills (8-3, 5-1), tonight, 6:30 p.m.
Previous Meeting – First meeting

DONS
Classification: 3A, Region 12
Coach: Kirk Chambers (First year, 11-1 overall)
Offense: Spread
Last week: Beat Morgan 33-23
Players to watch: Sophomore QB Jason Money barely won the starting job just before the Dons season-opener. All he’s done since then is pass for 2,140 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 442 yards and another four scores. The Dons’ feature back is Braxton Argyle, who has amassed 1,226 yards and 17 TDs. Argyle’s favorite target is Colton Olsen, who averages about six catches and 83 receiving yards a game.
PPG: 35.9
PAPG: 13.1
Trend: Spanish Fork has won eight straight and has been able to keep its offense humming. No matter the opponent. The Dons have been here before, beating Juan Diego last year in the quarterfinals before falling to Hurricane in the semis. SF QB Money does have a penchant for turning the ball over, though.

THUNDER
Classification: 3A, Region 9
Coach: Carl Franke (first year, 8-3 overall)
Offense: Spread
Last week: Beat Bear River 23-17
Players to watch: Let’s face it, this game comes down to Ty Rutledge and whether or not he can take care of the ball, get the other key players like Bridger Cowdin, Josh Anderson and Jordan Hokanson.
PPG: 34.0
PAPG: 17.0
Team Stats: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/high-school-sports/mens-football/desert-hills-stats
Trend: Desert Hills certainly has been playing well enough to win, but many people were surprised that Bear River gave them such a close game. They shouldn’t be. As the playoffs advance, the pressure mounts and this is a young DH team. Plus, Bear River was a hard-hitting, senior heavy team.

GAME OUTLOOK
So who will buckle under the pressure of the state semifinals on the turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium? That’s the million-dollar question, but our guess is the Thunder will play well. And so will the Dons. It should be a close, hard-fought game. Oh, you wanted a pick? Look for sophomore Cowdin to have a big return to swing momentum and earn DH a trip to the finals.

STGnews PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (41-10) — Desert Hills
J.A./Keric Seegmiller (43-8) — Desert Hills

Region 9 standings: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/high-school-sports/mens-football-standings
Region 9 leaders: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/high-school-sports/mens-football-leaders

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