Region 7 is perhaps one of the most volatile regions in the UHSAA. While most regions have teams of similar skill levels, this region has teams all over the place. The Hillcrest Huskies are arguably the worst team in the region, and the Stansbury Stallions are the best. This article will have a rundown of all of the teams and their seasons.
The Stansbury Stallions (10-0)
The Stallions galloped into the season with a 72-14 victory over the Pine View Panthers. They didn’t slow down, averaging 53.9 points per game, and only allowing 16.1! Stansbury won the Region Championship with a perfect 7-0 region record.
The offense never failed to click all season long. Duel-threat Stallion Quarterback Ezra Harris threw for 211.4 yards and rushed for 96 yards a game. Dylan Hamilton, Brock Wilson, and Mateaki Helu also played pivotal roles throughout the season.
Hamilton was the Stallions’ leading receiver with 100.7 yards per game from 59 total catches and 19 touchdowns. He is the Stallions’ most reliable receiver and the best pass defender. He had the most interceptions with seven and provided the only answer to Timpanogos’ star receiver Luke Livingston.
Just behind him was Wilson. He majorly stepped up into the role of Running Back when Helu was unable to play the last three games of the season. During Stansbury’s 71-43 victory over the Timpanogos Timberwolves, Wilson scored eight touchdowns, the second most in 5A history! He rushed for six and caught two touchdowns in that game.
Wilson ended the regular season with 545 yards from 72 carries and eight touchdowns on the ground. He averaged 72 yards per game through the air with 30 catches and eight touchdowns.
Although Helu ended up being pulled due to injury, he was still an impact player on both sides of the ball for the first seven games. He ended up with 115 yards per game with 99 carries and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Helu also had a receiving touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball, Michael Geovjian and Easton Baker both averaged seven or more tackles per game. Baker led the team in both sacks and forced fumbles with five and one respectively.
The Stallions had a wonderful season this year, and have a shot to make a deep run in the playoffs. Stansbury will play Cedar Valley in the second round of the playoffs on Friday, October 28th at 6 PM at Stallion Stadium.
The Cedar Valley Aviators (7-3)
The Aviators had a great season this year! They flew into the season with a close victory against Copper Hills in West Jordan. They then lost an overtime thriller against Desert Hills in St. George, followed by a loss to Provo at home. They won every region game except against the Stallions.
Cedar Valley mostly plays a tough run game led by senior Running Back Clayson Jakins who had an impressive 109.8 yards per game and ten touchdowns on the ground.
Junior Tailback Joe Lomu backed up Jakins with 59.8 yards per game and seven touchdowns on the ground.
When the Aviators did throw the ball, Quarterback Cooper Thomson slung it for 206 yards per game and 19 touchdowns, with an impressive 62.8% completion rate. His favorite targets were Taygen Hansen and KJ Fisher.
Hansen had impressive stats on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He had 44.1 yards per game and four touchdowns through the air on offense. On defense, he had 75 tackles, 14 TFLs, and a blocked field goal.
Fisher had 40.1 yards per game with four touchdowns through the air, with 43 total yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He also had 47 tackles, six TFLs, and a sack.
Devoux Tuataga is a defensive monster for the Aviators. He had 14 TFLs and 10 sacks!
Overall, Cedar Valley is a good team, with some great pieces at key positions. They have a chance to make a good run in the playoffs this year. The Aviators won their first playoff game against the Viewmont Vikings on October 21st. They will now play the Stansbury Stallions on Friday, October 28th at 6 PM in Stansbury.
The Payson Lions (7-3)
The Lions had a wonderful season this year. In fact, this is their first winning season in over 50 years! They ended up dropping a heartbreaking game to Mountain Crest 7-3 in Hyrum. They then only lost two regional games. One of these games was to Cedar Valley in a 29-26 overtime thriller, with the other being a 52-14 pounding against Stansbury.
Payson runs a balanced offensive scheme, with Junior quarterback Kade Edwards running the show. He loves to hand the ball off to Jaxon Bulkley. Edwards also loves to throw the ball to receivers like Cooper Swasey and Dylan Wall.
First, Bulkley and his 901 rushing yards this season. He had 122 carries and found the endzone ten times.
Next, Swasey and his insane 1210 receiving yards. He caught the ball 73 times and had 15 touchdowns! Swasey is really good at shaking off defenders and deking out would-be tacklers.
Now, Wall had 668 receiving yards this year. His receiving yards are good, but he has nine touchdowns, the second most for the Lions. He also had a rushing touchdown and an interception.
The man behind all these yards, Edwards, had 2199 passing yards, the most in the region! He also had a 60% completion rate and 25 touchdowns. Edward’s biggest downfall is his ten interceptions this season.
The Lions had a great season this year. It was full of excitement and pride, especially with securing their first winning season in so long. Their balanced offensive attack has led them to a good season this year, and even a playoff berth. The Lions ended their season with an 8-24 loss against the Olympus Titans on Friday, October 21st in the playoffs.
The Timpanogos Timberwolves (7-3)
The Timberwolves dashed through the beginning of the season. They won their first four games, despite losing star QB Chase Riggs in their first game vs. Jordan. They then dropped an embarrassing rivalry game 49-6 at home against Payson, followed by a loss at Cedar Valley. They won their next games when Riggs returned, except for their 71-43 loss to Stansbury at home on Senior Night.
Timpanogos like to get yardage through the air, but when they do run, the receivers are the leading rushers. Riggs started at quarterback this season, but Luke Livingston served as his backup in multiple games where Riggs was injured. Livingston and Easton Bretzing were the leading receivers and rushers this season.
Livingston padded stats in just about every category this season. He had 780 passing yards, with 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, 829 receiving yards, 47 receptions, and 12 touchdowns, and 521 yards on the ground and 8 touchdowns.
Bretzing was the second target behind Livingston. He had 590 receiving yards, 46 receptions, and 8 touchdowns. He had 404 yards on the ground and 5 touchdowns. Bretzing also kicks off and punts for the Timberwolves.
Riggs ended with 1582 passing yards, 18 touchdowns to four interceptions. He had a 58.9% completion rate.
Defensively, Tyson Miller, Joe Vance, and Tyler Hunter racked up unreal tackle numbers, with 81, 77, and 79 respectively! Each has crazy amounts of TFLs and interceptions.
Overall, when the Timberwolves are healthy, they’re pretty good. They have the pieces, and a good team atmosphere, and have a chance to do well in the playoffs. Timpanogos lost their first-round playoff game 35-14 in Park City on Friday, October 21st.
The Uintah Utes (4-6)
The Utes started the season at a slow crawl with a 40-8 loss to South Summit and a 35-7 loss to Union. They beat Wyoming’s Green River 42-7 and then proceeded to lose every region game, except against Tooele, Mountain View, and Hillcrest. The games they did win weren’t super convincing either, with the Utes winning by only one to two scores.
Uintah likes to pound the run on offense. Their leading rusher, Dace O’bagy, had 753 yards and five touchdowns. Their quarterback, Chase Harding, only had 578 passing yards and seven touchdowns, with four interceptions.
On defense, brothers Jacob and Brody Rhoades have 82 and 66 tackles respectively.
Uintah didn’t have the best season this year, but they ended up making the playoffs. They ended up losing their playoff game at Orem High 61-20 on October 21st.
The Tooele Buffaloes (2-8)
The Tooele Buffaloes are rebuilding this season. They lost their senior talent last year and lost their star LB/RB Maeaki Helu to Stansbury. They also lost their head coach Andru Jones. With a new coach and an entirely new system, it was hard for the players to adjust. They ended up only beating Mountain View and Hillcrest.
The Buffs were most successful on the ground this year. Backs Wesley Tso and Seth Valencia had 61.2 and 60 rushing yards respectively. Tso had six touchdowns on the ground.
On the defensive side of the ball, Linebacker Luke Avina ended the season with even 100 tackles, which is 12th in Utah.
Overall, Tooele was not very good this year, as to be expected with entirely new players and coaches. However, with more experience in the new system, the players should be able to start clicking. The Buffaloes missed the playoffs this year but will get some much-needed rest before spring practice next year.
The Mountain View Bruins (1-9)
The Bruins have been bad since they joined Region 7, going just 1-9 for the past two years. Their only win this year was a 41-31 beating of Hillcrest.
Mountain View’s offensive yardage relied mostly on rushing, but their scoring happened entirely through the air. They had a grand total of zero rushing touchdowns this season. Their leading rusher was Messi Pahulu, who had 800. The second leading rusher was quarterback Lotoa Lesa with 342 yards. Lesa’s passing stats are not very impressive, and not really worth mentioning.
The Bruins did not have any standout players on defense this season.
Before Mountain View joined Region 7, they were pretty good. Now, they are not very good. Their roster is full of young players who have bright futures. The Bruins missed the playoffs, so the players will have a good rest before Spring Ball.
The Hillcrest Huskies (0-10)
The Huskies were embarrassed by every team they played this year. I cannot give you an analysis of their team, as I could not find their stats posted anywhere.
As seen in this article, there’s a lot of good, bad, and ugly in the region. There are some good teams with good players and some bad teams with some bad players. In any case, the season is over now and the playoffs are in full swing.
Of the five teams that made the playoffs, only two remain. Stansbury will coincidentally play Cedar Valley, meaning only one Region 7 team will make it to the Quarterfinals.
Region 7 will no longer have Mountain View and Timpanogos, as they are only in the region for Football.
This season has been really special for a lot of teams, and not so good for others, but in any case, it was a fun season.
Region 7 football action will return in August 2023.