HIGHLAND (8-4) VS. SPRINGVILLE (10-1)

Friday, 11 a.m. — Rice-Eccles Stadium (field turf)

Ticket Information: Fans can purchase tickets at www.uhsaa.org

TV: None — Parry's Power Guide — Springville by 2

SALT LAKE CITY — Sure there was some celebration as the Springville Red Devils walked off the field. After all, they had just beaten Timpview, but they aren't finished.

"When you beat a team that has won it four years in a row, and they are the quality of team that Timpview was, it is an upset, and sure, you are excited about it," said Springville coach Scott Mitchell. "But we didn't set our goal at the beginning of the season to beat Timpview in the quarterfinals. We set the goal to get back to the title game and win it."

If Springville is going to reach that goal, first, it has to get past Highland at Rice-Eccles Stadium Friday at 11 a.m., and it senses that is no easy task.

"We know that Highland isn't going to just lay down for us," added Mitchell.. "They aren't going to say, 'Oh, those guys beat Timpview. We might as well not even show up.' We know they are going to come out and give it their best game. We've seen enough to know they are a very good football team."

Highland overcame its own obstacles in reaching "the turf." The Rams trailed Pine View 37-22 on the road entering the fourth quarter of their quarterfinal game. They answered by scoring 26 points in the final 12 minutes.

"I think it showed a lot about this team," said Highland coach Brody Benson.. "They very easily could have gotten down, given up. Instead, they never stopped believing and just got to work. It showed the type of character these guys have. It showed just how far they have come as a group that they simply didn't want their season to end, they wanted one more week."

Something to keep an eye on with these two teams is the quarterback position. Springville's Steven Bate and Highland's Anthony Smithson are both playmakers that lead their teams.

"Their QB is spot on," said Highland's Benson of Bate. "He is very good at putting the ball exactly where it needs to be, and he makes good decisions."

"They are an option team, but their quarterback gives them the ability to throw the ball as well," said Springville's Mitchell of Smithson. "He is a very dynamic player that does a good job of running their offense."

Another similarity between the schools is both have a playmaking wide receiver. The Red Devils' Jaylon Miyasaki has 38 catches for 891 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year, while the Rams' Nate Fakahafua has 46 catches for 1,082 yards and 14 scores, including five in the two playoff games.

"He is a good looking athlete," said Mitchell of his opponent. "We will have to pay attention to where he is, along with stopping the run."

With two evenly matched teams — Parry's Power Guide has Springville a 2-point favorite — which will make the plays and advance, and what does that play need to be?

"Our secondary needs to play with confidence," said Benson. "They need to believe they can make plays and then go make them. They need to not play scared."

"We need to continue playing good defense and then keep up our balance on offense," said Mitchell. "I think it all comes down to playing our game."

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

Highland leads the all-time series with Springville, 3-0 ... The most recent meeting was in the 2001 in the first round of the 4A state tournament, with Highland prevailing in a shootout 44-34 ... This is the first meeting between Highland coach Brody Benson and Springville coach Scott Mitchell ... Highland has won four state championships, but none since 1985. The Rams' all-time playoff record is 46-32 ... Springville's only state title came back in 1985, when Mitchell led Red Devills past Bear River for the 3A title. Springville's all-time playoff record is 22-39.

COACHING REPORT

Highland coach Brody Benson: He's been the head coach at Highland for five years, and he's compiled a 43-18 record. This is his second semifinal appearance.

Springville coach Scott Mitchell: A graduate of Springville, this is Mitchell's third year as head coach. He's 27-8 in those three years, and this is his second straight semifinal appearance.

HIGHLAND RAMS DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB ANTHONY SMITHSON 6

Colby Earl 8

WB JUSTIN WEAVER 20

Po Lauti 42

WB THOMAS BARLOW 5

Colby Earl 8

FB SIONE HOUMA 35

Toi Taufa 3

WR NATE FAKAHAFUA 7

Jerry Padilla 12

WR HAYES HICKEN 49

Alvin Garcia 10

RT DESMOND COLLINS 72

Dylan Coggins 60

RG ONO TAFISI 53

Tavita Sagapolu 77

C HEA TUIFUA 58

Quincy Clark 50

LG REAGAN HACKETT 51

Ben Johnson 45

LG FIHI KAUFUSI 57

Popoto Moala 62

PK HAYES HICKEN 49

KR NATE FAKAHAFUA 7

KR TOI TAFUA 3

DEFENSE

DE DESMOND COLLINS 72

Hea Tuifua 58

DT FIHI KAUFUSI 57

Ono Tafisi 53

DT QUINCY CLARK 50

Toi Taufa 3

DE NATE FAKAHAFUA 7

Steven Nonu 40

OLB CHRISTIAN SCHULTE 37

Sione Houma 35

MLB BEN JOHNSON 45

Po Lauti 42

OLB ADAM WEBBER 30

Po Lauti 42

CB HAYES HICKEN 49

Anthony Smithson 6

CB JUSTIN WEAVER 20

Jerry Padilla 12

FS COLBY EARL 8

Jackson Beck 28

SS WIL NEILSON 2

Thomas Barlow 5

P HAYES HICKEN 49

PR COLBY EARL 8

SPRINGVILLE RED DEVILS DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB STEVEN BATE 2

Jordan McCann 12

RB MARCUS CASE 34

Mitch Paystrup 44

RB MITCH PAYSTRUP 44

Zach Gardanier 22

WR JAYLON MIYASAKI 18

McKay Murphy 5

WR DALIN OLLERTON 28

Derik Mehl 6

TE MATT SUMSION 35

Brody Swanson 15

RT CARVER DAVIS 51

John Garfield 52

RG TAVIVI CROMAR 56

Matt Dedrickson 50

C SETH CRANFORD 58

Tyler Barton 63

LG KALEB COOK 54

Jerrell Nicholes 59

LT CONRAD BEACH 67

Andrew Clyde 68

PK JARED CHI CHIA 4

Jake Bills 32

KR JAYLON MIYASAKI 18

KR ZACH GARDANIER 22

DEFENSE

DE BRODY SWANSON 15

Jordan Davis 82

DT JOHN TOPOU 75

Jerrell Nicholes 59

DT LANDON MCKELL 79

John Garfield 52

DE MATT SUMSION 35

Trevor Church 25

OLB ZACH PUCKETT 30

Steven Nelson 85

MLB CALEB MCCRAY 55

Steven Gueck 27

OLB BRAD MORSE 33

Jake Bills 32

CB ZACH GARDANIER 22

Murphy Nadauld 1

CB JOSH BUHLER 21

Trevor Church 25

FS MITCH PAYSTRUP 44

McKay Murphy 5

SS HUNTER NELSON 11

Dallin Ollerton 28

P JAKE BILLS 32

Jared Chi Chia 4

PR DALIN OLLERTON 28

Marcus Case 34

HIGHLAND STATS

Scoring offense: 29.6 ppg

Scoring defense: 20.6 ppg

Passing leader: Anthony Smithson (56-93, 60.2%, 1,360, 15 TDs, 4 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Toi Taufa (112 carries, 577 yards, 5 TDs), Sione Houma (83, 691, 4 TDs)

Receiving leader: Nate Fakahafua (46 rec., 1,082 yards 14 TDs)

Tackles leader: Desmond Collins (71 total tackles)

Sacks leader: Nate Fakahafua (14.5 sacks)

Int. leader: Colby Smithson, Colby Earl (4 INTs)

SPRINGVILLE STATS

Scoring offense: 38.8 ppg

Scoring defense: 14.3 ppg

Passing leader: Steve Bate (127-120, 60.5%, 2,054 yards, 31 TDs, 6 INTs)

Rushing leaders: Marcus Case (150 carries, 1,309 yards, 19 TDs)

Receiving leader: Jaylon Miyasaki (38 rec., 891 yards, 14 TDs), Matt Sumsion (22, 368, 7)

Tackles leader: Caleb McCray (107 total tackles)

Sacks leader: Brody Swanson (14 sacks)

Int. leader: McKay Murphy, Zack Puckett (2 INTs)

HIGHLAND GAME-BY-GAME

Aug. 20 … Mountain Crest 28, Highland 14

Aug. 27 … Hunter 25, Highland 7

Sept. 3 … Highland 14, Lone Peak 12

Sept. 10 … Highland 34, Bear River 13

Sept. 17 … Highland 48, Tooele 7

Sept. 24 … Highland 42, Stansbury 14

Oct. 1 … Olympus 21, Highland 17

Oct. 8 … Highland 31, Bountiful 17

Oct. 13 … Woods Cross 31, Highland 23

Oct. 21 … Highland 42, East 14

Oct. 29 … Highland 35, Box Elder 21

Nov. 6 … Highland 48, Pine View 44

SPRINGVILLE GAME-BY-GAME

Aug. 20 … Springville 55, Dixie 48

Aug. 27 … Springville 40, Wooster, Nev. 0

Sept. 3 … Springville 42, Mountain View 0

Sept. 10 … Juan Diego 21, Springville 14

Sept. 17 … Springville 50, Payson 0

Sept. 24 … Springville 48, Uintah 7

Oct. 1 … Springville 35, Maple Mountain 0

Oct. 8 … Springville 35, Spanish Fork 34

Oct. 21 … Springville 35, Salem Hills 6

Oct. 29 … Springville 35, Olympus 14

Nov. 5 … Springville 38, Timpview 27

e-mail: mblack@desnews.com