Clipper Sports Editor
BOUNTIFUL — It’s a non-region game that everyone remembers every year.
Since 1999, and on a near-annual basis before then, the Viewmont Vikings and Bountiful Braves have faced off against each other on the gridiron for city bragging rights.
Even though it’s considered a preseason game, the coaches on both sides understand how important this game is to the students and the players.
“It’s a great rivalry,” said Bountiful coach Larry Wall. “It’s a non-region game, but you need to play your cross town rival. The kids know each other and have been playing with or against each other for a long time.”
The Braves have had the most success against Viewmont over a longer time span, claiming wins in six of the last 10 meetings.
Half of those meetings have seen the winner decided by a touchdown or less. Last year’s 41-7 win by Bountiful was the largest margin of victory by either team since 1999.
That season, Bountiful won 33-0.
However, since Brad Lloyd took over as coach of the Vikings in 2010, Viewmont has taken two of the last three games.
Still, he said Bountiful is one of those opponents the Vikings “will have to go toe-to-toe with” when kickoff arrives Friday night.
“Bountiful is always tough,” said Lloyd after last week’s win over Bonneville. “But I fully expect that we’re going to give them a better game than last year.”
Both Lloyd and Wall said that adjustments will have to be made before Friday night.
Wall said coaches typically see the biggest improvements between Week 1 and Week 2, and even though they will be playing the Vikings a little earlier than last season, he expects the Braves to give the Vikings a tough battle after losing to Lone Peak last week.
“I was really proud of the way they played last week,” said Wall. “We stayed in the game for awhile and made some mistakes, but they battled.”
In the Braves’ 32-14 loss, quarterbacks Trevor Lloyd and Jordan Hayes saw action under center, as expected. They combined to throw for 229 yards and a touchdown. Sam Merrill was the favorite target in that game, catching six balls for 100 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings’ win can mostly be attributed to Mason Wright, who scored two defensive touchdowns in a 20-17 win over Bonneville.
For Lloyd, tweaking the offense to fit into Viewmont’s scheme is the key concern.
“I thought we did some good things running the ball (against Bonneville),” he said. “We’ll have to be a little more patient there, see things a little bit better. (Jared) Barnum did a pretty good job running the ball, though.”
Lloyd also said his offensive line is only going to get better, and that he was “proud of the way they played” against the Lakers last Friday.
Lloyd and Wall were complimentary of each other as coaches, simultaneously stating that each does a great job with his respective team.
Both coaches are also looking forward to fixing the little things and battling it out Friday night.
“It’s going to be big, as usual,” said Lloyd. “Coach Wall and his staff are always well prepared; but I expect nothing but a knock-down drag out battle between us.”
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Bountiful High School.