The Rams, one of class 4A’s best-scoring teams, were held to just three points last Friday against Bountiful after scoring nearly 200 points in their first five games.
The Wildcats are coming off a 42 point outburst against one of the worst teams in 4A, the Pirates, but have been steadily rising as a team after their first season under Nick Longshore.
Last season, it was a different type of offense that led the Wildcats to an eight point win over the Rams. The win almost propelled them into the playoffs for the second time in three years.
This year, the Wildcats have possibly one of the most exciting offenses that fans have seen in some time, airing it out rather than taking to the ground.
Although the passing game and running game are balanced, this year’s Wildcats have done more scoring through the air than in years past.
Leading the passing attack is Skyler Farnes, the junior quarter back who already has 1,525 yards with 13 touchdowns. Farnes’ yardage through the air is only 108 yards short of Tyler Parson’s 1,633 from last season, which has Woods Cross fans excited about the team’s passing attack this year.
And Farnes hasn’t shown any favoritism toward one receiver when he throws the football either, already having two players eclipse the 500 yard mark in receiving yards with three games remaining on the regular season.
Leading the team in receptions (29) and yards (563) is Sean Barton, who is also second on the team in rushing yards (212) behind Farnes. A close second on the receiving corps is Nick Sefakis with 24 catches and 533 yards, though he leads the team in touchdown catches with seven.
Defensively the ’Cats will have to be aware of the Highland rushing attack, which was grounded for just three points and held scoreless for the final three quarters against Bountiful last week.
The double-wing, option-style offense, still licking its wounds from last week’s loss, has had a pair of players under center this season, with Anthony Smithson initially leading the way in the passing game.
Smithson was second on the team in rushing (283) through five games, while leading the team in passing yards and touchdowns in that span.
Weaver has been the opposite for the Rams this year, leading the team in rushing while throwing for just over 200 yards.
Should the Wildcats sustain the running game like the Braves did, they’ll have to rely on a slew of leading tacklers on defense. Among them include Barton, Derek Lord and Pele Lokeni, who are in the top three in tackles for the Wildcats. Lord and Barton have also been ball hawks in the secondary, intercepting a combined six passes for the year.
While Barton also leads the team in sacks, junior linebacker Mafua Vailolo is second on the team with two on the year. The team as a whole has 10.5 sacks on the year, but they will still have to contain whomever Highland decides to put under center Friday.
The defense will also have to improve on its overall points allowed, giving up an average of nearly 28 points this season while the Rams have given up just over 18 points per contest so far.
The game between the Rams and Wildcats will be at Highland High School, with kick off set for 7 p.m. A win by Woods Cross would mark its second win over the Rams in the past three seasons.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Highland High School.