Mustangs Have Eyes on Football Playoffs
Aug 10, 2015 11:21AM
● By Bryan Scott
Herriman senior Kayden Strasters was a bruising fullback
By Greg James
South Valley - A Utah high school football playoff without Herriman High School would be like Christmas without Santa Claus. The school opened in 2010 and has qualified for the playoffs every year.
The 2014 version of the Mustangs provided a level of excitement never before seen at the school. An 8-4 record (tying the school record for wins) and a second consecutive quarterfinal 5A appearance will be tough to match. Mustang head coach Dustin Pearce called the 2014 team “potentially the best the school has ever seen.”
A total of seven 2014 graduates have received scholarships to continue playing football at the college level. That list includes Andre James (UCLA), Dylan Bennett (Snow College), Alec Blonquist (Augustana College, S.D.), Kody Jarvis (William Penn), Harris LaChance (Utah State), Josh McMillin (SUU), and Kalisi Moli (Weber State). The loss of these players gives an opportunity for the team to prove itself once again.
The schedule maker for the 2015 season did not schedule any pushover games, either: five of their first six games are against playoff qualifiers from last season.
The 2015 season is scheduled to begin Aug. 21 at Brighton High School. The Bengals are coming off a semifinal loss to eventual state runner-up American Fork. The Mustangs have never defeated the Bengals. Their last meeting was in the 2013 state playoffs. They lost 41-36 in a wildly entertaining game. Brighton scored with 41 seconds left in the game for victory. Former Mustang Brandon Farmer ran for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mustangs’ home opener is Aug. 28 against the defending state champion Bingham Miners. The Miners enter this season without head coach Dave Peck roaming the sidelines. He retired earlier this spring and his longtime assistant John Lambourne will take over for the Miners. The Mustangs are 0-4 in their history against Bingham.
The Mustangs will then travel to Hunter to face the Wolverines Sept. 4 and host Box Elder Sept. 11 before their first Region 4 game at Westlake. They will then host their rival Riverton Sept. 25.
The Silverwolves hold the overall series advantage with three wins to two for the Mustangs. Despite the short five year history between these two schools, this game has become one of the best games in the state. The first matchup ended in a 42-0 Silverwolves victory, but the other four games have been decided by a total eight points.
Last season Riverton defeated Herriman 31-28. The Silverwolves kicked a 39-yard field goal with two seconds remaining for the victory. Herriman senior Kayden Strasters ran for 28 yards and had one reception for 42 yards in the loss.
The Mustangs are scheduled to close out their season hosting Pleasant Grove Oct. 2, at American Fork Oct. 9, at Lehi Oct. 14 and at home against Lone Peak Oct. 22.
The 2015 Mustangs have many skill positions to replace, including four of five offensive line positions. Pearce said last season, “We have developed more depth.” The Mustangs will hope to tap into that depth for a successful season.