Warriors begin 2018 football season
Aug 21, 2018 02:11PM
● By Jana Klopsch
By Greg James | [email protected]
Taylorsville High School’s varsity football team missed the playoffs last season. As it opens its 2018 campaign, it hopes to reverse those results.
Friday, Aug. 17 Snow Canyon (in St George). In a battle of the Warriors, Taylorsville traveled to St George to face the Snow Canyon Warriors. Last season, Snow Canyon tied for fourth place in its region. Snow Canyon lost the tie breaker and missed the state playoffs. Their spread offense produced an average 27.6 points per game (11th in 4A). This was the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Taylorsville lost 35-29.
Friday, Aug. 24 Lehi (at Lehi) The Pioneers dropped a classification last season in realignment and captured the 5A state championship. They were undefeated in Region 6 going 5-0 and finished 12-2 overall. The Pioneers graduated several key positions from the championship team. This will still be a key contest in the Warriors’ season. The Warriors have never faced the Pioneers.
Thursday, Aug. 30 Stansbury (at Stansbury) The Stallions won the Region 11 championship in 2017 and lost to Mountain Crest in the state playoff semifinals. They scored 32 points per game while only allowing 22.5. Being the third straight road game, it should be important for the Warriors to maintain focus in this game. The Warriors defeated Stansbury 55-36 last season.
Friday, Sept. 7 Jordan (home game) In their first home game of the season, the Warriors face a high-powered offense in the Beetdiggers. Last season, they averaged 39 points per game. Jordan will have traveled to California and faced Pleasant Grove and East before this contest. The Warriors could catch a weary team. Jordan defeated Taylorsville last season 49-33, and the Warriors are 0-12 against the Beetdiggers all-time.
Friday, Sept. 14 East (home game) The first region contest will be a tough one. Last season, East won Region 3 and lost to Bingham in the state championship game. East moved up a classification and is consistently the home of many top college recruits. The Leopards run a triple-option offense, which is different than what the Warriors will have seen in the season so far. Last season, East defeated Taylorsville 64-19. This will be only the second matchup ever between the two schools.
Friday, Sept. 21 West Jordan (home game) Last season, this game proved to be pivotal in the Warriors’ playoff chances. They lost 40-34 and missed the state tournament. West Jordan’s spread offense and the return of one of the region’s best quarterbacks (Oakley Kopp) will make this a must-see game. West Jordan leads the all-time series 18-8.
Friday, Sept. 28 Riverton (at Riverton) The Warriors lost to Riverton last season 37-24. The Silverwolves have another new coach and are installing a new offense. This late in the season, they should have the bugs worked out. The key could be on the defensive side of the ball. Taylorsville is 4-9 all-time against the Silverwolves.
Friday, Oct. 5 Herriman (home game) Herriman finished second in Region 3 last season. The Warriors lost 31-21 despite passing for 341 yards. Herriman’s offensive runs behind a large and powerful offensive line. It will be a stark contrast to what the Warriors have seen most of the season. This will be the third meeting between the schools. The Warriors have never beaten Herriman.
Friday, Oct. 12 Copper Hills (at Copper Hills) This will be final region contest of the season. The Grizzlies have improved under second-year head coach Corey Dodds. The Warriors offense might be too much for them to stop. Last season Taylorsville defeated them 59-20. Its all-time record against the Grizzlies is 14-5.
Wednesday, Oct. 17 Westlake (at Westlake) For the second year in a row, the Warriors are scheduled to close out their season against the Thunder. Taylorsville won last year 35-34. This will be the second time the teams have played.
The Warriors will be led by senior quarterback Dane Leituala. He ran for 1,715 yards and passed for another 2,481, amassing 41 touchdowns. At his side, Marshallfaulk Vaitu’u will take some of the running load from the quarterback. He ran for 368 yards last season, second on the team.
To make a return visit to the state playoffs Taylorsville will need to finish in fourth place or better in Region 3. The state championship game is scheduled for Nov. 16 at the University of Utah.