Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS — It has been a brief, but stellar rivalry between Viewmont and Woods Cross high school.
With the rivalry entering its third straight year, both coaches see it as one to win.
“They’re a cross-town rival, and there are a lot of relationships that have been built by the kids in both those areas,” said Woods Cross coach Justin Spencer. “We’re not going to take that game lightly, though.”
Last year, the Wildcats evened the series at one game a piece after a 41-16 victory over the Vikings at Viewmont High School. Spencer made a point of saying that his team is much different than the team that was on the field last year.
“We don’t have those guys that played a big part in last year’s game,” he said, “so it’s difficult to compare what happened last year to what we have on the field this year. We don’t have Sean (Barton) and Skyler (Farnes) anymore.”
What the Wildcats will have to have this week, said Spencer, is a steady and consistent team. After last week’s 41-14 win over Judge Memorial, Spencer said he wants to see fewer penalties.
Defensively, however, the Wildcats are gelling together quickly.
“When we played Maple Mountain, they just jumped right on us from the start,” said Spencer. “On one of those possessions we gave them a short field and they scored, so our defense isn’t what it looks like on paper.”
Against Judge Memorial, the Bulldogs scored one of their two touchdowns on a kickoff return, and the other score came after a turnover gave the Bulldogs a short field.
“Our players have figured out a way to get to the ball,” said Spencer. “They’ve done a really good job on that aspect.”
The Vikings come off a 41-0 loss to Bountiful last week, but believe that even during that thumping, they improved over their performance against Bonneville.
The coach said his offensive and defensive line “did a much better job in that game than they did against Bonneville.”
“That was the biggest positive we took from that game,” said Lloyd. “We graded them at about an 80 percent against Bonneville and an 85 against Bountiful, so we felt we won on that front.”
On top of winning the line of scrimmage battle, Lloyd made a change at quarterback against Bountiful that he said he won’t repeat. Hunter Anfinson got the start against Bountiful due to Lloyd’s wanting Max Hadlock “to move around the field as much as possible,” he said.
“We thought it gave us the best chance to win if we had him on the field on offense and defense,” he said, “so we moved him around the field. It didn’t work out, but he’ll be starting at quarterback this week.”
Lloyd admitted that Woods Cross is “still a darn good team,” and that without preparation the Vikings may suffer another tough loss.
“They can still whoop you if you’re not well prepared for them,” he said. “We’re still going to continue to improve, but we will be prepared.”
Spencer said that despite what happened to the Vikings last week, they’re still a team Woods Cross wants to beat.
“They’re a well-coached team, and I think Lloyd is one of the best coaches around,” he said. “We also have some things we want to fix before Friday, so we’ll get those fixed and see if we can stop what they can do.”
Kickoff is Friday night at 7 p.m. at Woods Cross High School.