I covered the Cottonwood-Orem football game Friday afternoon (Oct. 31) at Cottonwood's home field. It ended up being a great game.
It was also an afternoon contest, and the weather was great, except for a persistent south wind. Cottonwood jumped ahead 17-0 at halftime, and then made it 24-0 after three quarters.
Orem had a great rally in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 31-24 and then recovered a fumble. The Tigers threw a long pass that put them at the Colts' 18 before Cottonwood's defense came alive and stopped the threat.
I have compliment Orem on its comeback. I roam the sidelines during the game and, in the second half, I was on Orem's side of the field. There are some big kids on that team, and their QB - Josh Hamblin - throws a nice ball. This game had two good QBs as Cottonwood's Steve Romero is also among the best.
Cottonwood has a little tailback - Isi Sofele - who is a shifty little guy who makes people miss. He ran for 124 yards on 28 carries. In this game, Sofele never broke loose for any long runs. Cottonwood also hurt itself with over 100 yards in penalties, and had three touchdowns called back because of those issues.
Afterward, both coaches were not unhappy. Orem's Robert Steele said that if his team had not lost to Tooele and Springville, they would not have had to play a team as powerful as Cottonwood in the first round. I can understand losing to Springville, but Orem must have just caught Tooele on a good day. The Buffaloes only won three games this year.
Cottonwood coach Cecil Thomas was also unhappy. I like Coach Thomas. He's a good guy. He's a big fellah with a deep voice, and you can't help but fear or respect him. Cottonwood is so intent on making the 4-A finals and playing Timpview. I can't say they were overlooking Orem (certainly they weren't in the first three quarters), but ...
I spoke to some Orem players during the game and asked them to compare Cottonwood and Timpview. The Orem players said they thought Timpview was the better team. "They hit harder," one player said.
I wrote a decent article about the game, which you can access from my website - www.matchupUT.com - or you can find it on www.deseretnews.com.
I also got a request from a reader that, since I keep statistics during the game, to publish the detailed report here. So, I will do that from now on. Here it is:
Orem 0 0 0 24 - 24
Cottonwood 14 3 7 7 - 31
C - Sofele 1 run (Curtis kick)
C - Lundquist 22 pass from Romero (Curtis kick)
C - FG Curtis 26
C - Sofele 7 run (Curtis kick)
O - Boulter 20 pass from Hamblin (Hamblin run)
C - Sofele 8 run (Curtis kick)
O - Boulter 14 pass from Hamblin (Jones pass from Hamblin)
O - Jones 17 pass from Hamblin (Huntbach pass from Jones)
First downs 22 22
Rushes-yards 33-54 35-146
Passing yards 310 250
Passes 24-38-1 18-28-1
Fumbles-lost 3-2 3-1
Penalties 5-40 11-105
Punts 4-44.0 2-41.0
RUSHING: Orem - Boulter 11-49, Huntbach 4-16, Villagra 3-2, Habel 3-2, Hamblin 12-(-15). Cottonwood - Sofele 28-124, Romero 6-21, Thomas 1-1.
PASSING: Orem - Hamblin 24-38-1-310. Cottonwood - Romero 18-27-1-250. Sofele 0-1-0.
RECEIVING: Orem - Boulter 10-89, Jones 5-76, Egbert 4-39, Poulsen 3-72, Huntbach 2-28. Cottonwood - Larsen 7-99, Lundquist 6-106, Moli 2-28, Sofele 2-9, Payne 1-12.
MISSED FGs: None.