by Daniel Olsen | It has been 406 days since the Sky View Bobcats last lost a football game. Since then they won a state championship and have rallied off 19 straight wins.
It will be quite the challenge for Logan to take on a Top 10 RPI team in the state. Even with new schools like Ridgeline and Green Canyon being built in Cache Valley in the last decade, there is one traditional rivalry in northern Utah and that is the Grizzlies vs. the Bobcats.
Logan High Grizzlies
Logan comes off a rough loss to Ridgeline High School in Millville, Utah. The final score of that game was 52-22. The Grizzlies are now 3-4 on the season and 2-1 in Region 11 play.
The Grizzlies have had some impressive wins over Bear River, Mountain Crest and Cyprus this year. They aren’t title contenders yet but this young team is showing promise. They can learn a lot from their recent wins as well as their losses.
“The biggest thing we found is when we run the ball well and stop the run defense we have a successful night,” said Logan High Head Coach Bart Bowen. “Against Bear River we stopped the run game and ran the ball well. We picked up yards when we needed to on the pass. When we have had a tough stopping the run like we did vs. Ridgeline, it causes tougher matchups for the secondary. It’s easy to give up big plays when being forced to play man defense.”
Logan is not stacked with All-State athletes but several of their players are turning heads.
“Our strengths are our defensive backs and receivers,” said Coach Bowen. “We have a quarterback with a strong arm that can get the ball down the field to anyone we need him to throw to.”
Some of those athletes are getting looks from college scouts. Logan may not have the best team in Region 11 but some of these players are really athletic.
“There is something stirring there at Logan,” said Eric Olsen of The Valley Channel. “JJ Sargent is a wide receiver who has some interest. He’s had conversations with Utah State. His dad played at Utah State. He will be great in college if he can put on 15-20 pounds and learn from coaches at the next level on route-running. He burns up the field with his speed. The go-route is his best play. If he has space he will catch the ball. Over the middle he will short-arm a few since it’s hard to be ready for defensive backs going after him. Logan tries to run more slants with him.”
As far as the defense goes, the jury is still out on Matt Mason at the next level but for right now he is a tackle-machine. He played well against Bear River. He leads the team with 91 tackles on the season.
Sky View Bobcats
On the Sky View side, former Logan High cornerback Isaac “Ike” Larsen is a strong commit to Utah State. He committed as a junior and wants to be a successful Aggie.
The Bobcats enter this game with an undefeated 7-0 record this season and ranked first in RPI at the 4A division. They are coming off a convincing 29-0 shutout of rival Mountain Crest.
“Sky View likes to run the football and they are pretty physical,” Coach Bowen said. “Our first priority is slowing that down. They have physical athletes on defense as well so we need to be disciplined.”
As far as the outlook for the state playoffs go, Logan could definitely win a playoff game like they did last year. Sky View is in the mix for some hardware again with Carlson back as quarterback.
“Park City, Stansbury and Ogden are good this year,” said Eric Olsen. “Green Canyon is a mystery because they have great athletes but have had some COVID issues. Mountain Crest is struggling.”
It is quite a tall task to bring Logan High back to what it was before Mike Favero retired five years ago. He led the Grizzlies to five state titles in his seventeen years as Coach and his time at the helm definitely helped those teams.
“We need consistency and leadership,” said Coach Bowen. “I am the fourth head coach since Favero left. Programs with success have a coach who has been there for five or more years. Kids need to know who they will play for when they get to high school. Sometimes we prioritize winning too much. Relationships can be good too. Favero was there 17 years. We work with youth groups and get them excited to play football. There is no reason why Logan can’t return to that. We return eight defensive starters next year.”
As far as this year is concerned, Logan is at least a year away from making some noise. This road matchup is tough for the Grizzlies just like Ridgeline was last week. If they played Ridgeline closer there would be more reason to hope for the Grizzlies this week. They will need to follow the game plan that Coach Bowen has laid out. Those keys to the game could make things interesting, but in the end if Sky View shows up to play their team success should continue. When they are flirting with 20 straight wins it’s hard to get in the way of that. A movable force like that won’t be stopped until they meet an immovable object, which won’t be until late in the state playoffs. We have seen this with other programs with current win streaks in Beaver and Corner Canyon.
I expect the Grizzlies to rebound from the Ridgeline loss and fight the first half. Ultimately Sky View should win by at least two possessions. No matter what happens this is always a fun rivalry game between the two oldest schools in the Valley. Logan High was founded in 1917 and Sky View was in 1963.
Final Score Prediction: Sky View 38 Logan 27