Game Preview Capsule: Hurricane at Skyline

Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

Hurricane (0-0, 0-0) at Skyline (0-0, 0-0)
Previous Meeting – Hurricane 20, Skyline 7 (Aug. 17, 2012 at Hurricane)

hurricane-smClassification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Chris Homer (12th year, 85-44 overall)
Offense: Wing-T
Last game: Juan Diego 38-0 in the 2012 3A playoffs
Players to watch: Homer calls fullback Jeremiah Ieremiah “226 pounds of solid muscle.” Ieremiah will need that muscle as he’s running behind four new offensive linemen (only Jordan Ence is back). Ieremiah also plays a mean linebacker. Adlai Elison will start at QB and got experience last year when Zac Prince was hurt. The Tigers do need an outside speed guy in the backfield (Adam Thompson will be missed). Kicker Ethan Stratton is back. He was first team all-state last year.
PPG: 31.9 (last season)
PAPG: 20.5 (last season)
Trend: Homer said his defense last season never really did fulfill its potential and that has been a focus in the offseason for the Tigers. But with just three starters back, it may be a struggle early on. Cody Lebaron is back at RB/LB and will see extensive playing time. The Tigers had a 20-game winning streak halted mid-season last year, just a sample of how good they’ve been the past few years.

skyline-smClassification: 4A, Region 8
Coach: Steve Marlowe (2nd year, 5-5 overall)
Offense: Wishbone, spread-bone
Last game: Lost to Bountiful 35-6 in the 2012 4A playoffs
Players to watch: Braxton Chipman will start behind center, with his choices at running back being Aleck Russon and Chris Williams. But Skyline’s real strength is on defense, where linemen Jake Wittwer and Hanani Aiono lead a stout group that includes star DBs Parker Bowles and Dallin Slough.
PPG: 19.6 (last season)
PAPG: 21.6 (last season)
Trend: The feeling out there is that football has evolved while Skyline has stood still. Thus the dominant Utah prep team of the 1990s and early 2000s haven’t sniffed a state championship in nearly a decade. The vaunted wishbone ain’t what it used to be, is the thinking. So Marlowe will incorporate the spread-bone, a run-focus form of the traditional spread. Chipman will be his triggerman, but has little experience.

Skyline will still run the ball. A lot. And of course, Hurricane’s focus is always the running game. Perhaps in the preseason Homer and HHS offensive guru Steve Pearson will let Elison open it up a little bit. The Tigers would love a season-opening win to purge that Juan Diego taste out of their mouths.

STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (0-0) — Skyline
Darren Cole (0-0) — Skyline

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