HURRICANE – Hurricane quarterback Josh Parker threw for 1.374 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, a good starting point for the 2016 Tigers.
In a run-heavy offense, that may not matter a lot. But with the loss of Jake Carr, who had 600 yards, to injury, it’s a plus. Carr, who tore ligaments in his knee this summer, told his coaches he hopes to return by the playoffs.
But for now, the running of Jaron Cordova and Kolby Heaton will be key in his place as Hurricane unleashes its traditional wing-T offense on the 3AA South Region. A solid line that includes Cameron Anderson, Isaiah Johnson, Tobie Swenson and Gavin Atkinson should help.
“This is about our young men,” said coach Steve Pearson. “They worked really hard in the weight room.”
Pearson, in his third year at the helm for Hurricane after more than a decade as the offensive coordinator, said his team needs unity in order to compete in the tough 3AA South.
“This group is a cohesive group,” Pearson said of his team. That’s important because the Tigers are often a smaller team than their opponents. “In our program, you have to have a next-man-up mentality. I look at Josh (Parker), he was the next man up as a sophomore going into a playoff stretch and he performed well.”
As for Parker, he’s pretty motivated for his senior year after the Tigers fell in the quarterfinals last season.
“Mostly, I’m just excited to be playing with my brothers our senior year,” he said. “We’ve been together a long time. We had great receivers last year. We grew a lot together, but we’ve got a lot of new guys this year … who have been working hard in the offseason.”
Tobie Swenson and Isaiah Johnson (at tight end) are two targets Parker will look to in the passing game.
Pearson is playing his offensive game plan pretty close to the vest, though logic would dictate that an injured running back combined with a senior quarterback could mean a lot more passing for HHS.
“We have a pretty solid two-minute offense where we’ll spread things out and move the ball around,” Pearson said. “But our base tradition, year in and year out, has been a wing-T set and we like to do what we do.”
After opening at home with Skyline on Aug. 19, the Tigers will be on the road for three straight.
“Our fan base travels really well,” Pearson noted of the fact that traveling is not a negative.
Among the returning defensive starters are Noah Humphrey and Michael Lacy at defensive back, and Quando Ieremia on the line.
Region play begins Sept. 16 with a home date against Snow Canyon. Last year the Tigers were 3-2 in league and 6-4 overall.
Hurricane was picked fourth by the media and coaches in the 3AA South Media Day poll last week. Parker was picked third in preseason MVP voting on Media Day.
2016 Hurricane Tigers football schedule
Aug. 19 – Skyline
Aug 26 – at Canyon View
Sept. 2 – at Moapa Valley
Sept. 9 – at Carbon
Sept. 16 – Snow Canyon
Sept. 23 – at Desert Hills
Sept. 30 – Pine View
Oct. 7 – at Cedar
Oct. 14 – bye
Oct. 21 – at Dixie
Felt’s Facts for Hurricane High School
All-time record: 308-311-12 (66 years)
Region championships: 10 (1965 co, 1980, 1982, 1989 co, 1990, 2005, 2008, 2009 co, 2010 co, 2011, 2012 co)
Playoff appearances: 35
Current playoff appearance streak: 11 (2005-2015)
All-time playoff record: 31-34
State championships: 1 (2011)
State championship record: 1-7
Most played rivalry: 65 meetings with Cedar dating back to 1949. Cedar leads 44-18-3.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Hurricane made the most improvement in one season in state history, going from 1-8 in 2004 to 12-1 in 2005. … Tiger Lance Gubler still holds the career interception record, 34, set from 1980-82. … Tony Matthews set the single-game interception record, with five in 1967.
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