Highland is coming off a disappointing loss to Olympus, dropping the Rams down to fourth in Region 6 and shaking up the standings with just a few games left in the season.
But the Braves proved again that they can play any style of ball they want and still win, which is why they have remained in the upper echelon of Region 6 for the past few years.
Highlighting Bountiful all season long has been the defense, which has allowed 24 points against teams in Region 6 this year.
Their seven points per game average in their region games is the lowest in the region, next to Highland’s 42 points.
So far, a number of players have contributed to stopping opponents from reaching the end zone this season.
Dillon Salazar leads the team in tackles this season but did not play against East last Friday due to undisclosed reasons. Teau Satuala is the second-leading tackler for the Braves with 37 tackles and half of a sack to go along with one interception.
Despite playing on the offensive side as well, he has helped the defense stymie opponents all season long.
Another player on defense who had a monster game last week was Kyle Pawlowski, who accounted for three of the Braves four interceptions during last week’s game against the Leopards.
Monson Welch will be another player to look out for, as he had a good game against the Leopards and is third on the team in total tackles.
The Braves offense really bounced back after having a rough game against the Viewmont Vikings, but that didn’t deter them from scoring twice through the air while pounding the football right down the throat of East’s defense.
After being held to only 10 yards on the ground against the Vikings, Braves running back David Coffman exploded for 123 yards and a touchdown against the Leopards.
Coffman was also an important part of Bountiful’s second passing touchdown of the game against East, proving that even though they do not throw the ball that often, when they do they are very dangerous.
The Braves’ passing game featured a duo of quarterbacks against East, and both were very effective. On the first play of the game, Cam Zollinger fired a 74-yard touchdown pass, while Tyler Hayes threw a 55-yard strike to Tyler Poppe in the first half as well.
Hayes has done well spelling for Zollinger, who played more defense last game in Salazar’s absence.
If both quarterbacks continue to play well, Highland will have its hands full Friday night.
Highland’s defense is also pretty strong this year. They have allowed the second fewest points in Region 6 play (42) but allowed half those points against Olympus last week.
Players on defense that Bountiful may have to look out for will be Nate Fakahafua and Desmond Collins, who are first and second on the team in tackles (39 and 37 respectively) and sacks (8.5 and seven).
Christian Schulte is third on the team with 3.5 sacks and also has an interception, showing that he can be nimble at his position.
This season has seen a trio of quarterbacks play for the Rams, but they all have one thing in common in their favorite receiver.
Of the trio’s eight total touchdowns, seven of them have gone to Fakahafua, who also leads the team with more than 500 yards receiving.
The Highland rushing attack has also seen a lot of players in the backfield this season. Leading the way so far has been Toi Taufu, who has nearly 400 yards on the ground four touchdowns on the season.
Colby Earl is second on the team in rushing yards with 255, but leads the team in touchdowns with five on the year.
Both teams will definitely show how good their defenses are during Friday night’s showdown.
And with both running games on full display for Friday, it should be fun for those in attendance to see which running game will dominate and take control of the outcome.