1A soccer championship: Layton Christian 1 wins his first state title in the turnaround season | News, sports, jobs

Patrick Carr, standard examiner

Layton Christian football players practice at the Spence Eccles Ogden Community Sports Complex in Ogden on Wednesday November 10, 2021.

OGDEN – Wednesday, with newly snowcapped Mt. Ogden to the east, the Layton Christian Football Team trained at the Spence Eccles Ogden Community Sports Complex.

LCA freshman coach Ray Stowers walked the players through the warm-up exercises, telling them that they were the only team in Davis County still in training and that they should be proud of it.

Technically, they trained in Weber County, but the point is pretty clear: The Eagles are one of a dozen pre-soccer teams across the state that are still playing soccer, and the only one left in Davis County.

The Eagles No. 6 will face No. 6 in the 1A State Championship Game at Weber State on Saturday at 11 a.m. 1 Duchesne – a rematch after a 39-15 Duchesne win in October.

“It’s crazy to think about it because two years ago some of these guys would never have thought we’d ever play in a championship two years ago,” said junior Malik Johnson.

LCA has already had two playoff storms, the first being a 30-26 win at No. 3 Enterprise, followed by a 14-13 win over No. 2 Kanab at Southern Utah University in the semifinals last weekend.

As an added bonus for the school, the LCA’s travel time from campus to Weber state is approximately 15 minutes, instead of more than four hours to southern Utah.

“I think I’ll get her jogging,” Stowers joked.

Standing 9-4, the Eagles are in the middle of a 180 degree turn after a 2020 train wreck season of 1-8 that saw the entire coaching staff sacked during the October season.

Stowers took over the position of interim coach, led a game and had 10 months with the team before the start of the 2021 season.

“I walked in and everything was brand new to them with the whole system and what I was trying to fit into these kids, but when I started the culture I wasn’t so sure how soon they would understand and buy me had for them, ”said Stowers.

It’s always tough to win at LCA, which has eight different nationalities on this year’s 27-player list.

Patrick Carr, standard examiner

Layton Christian football players practice at the Spence Eccles Ogden Community Sports Complex in Ogden on Wednesday November 10, 2021.

Like every year, many of these children are new to football. Still, the Eagles average 31 points per game, allow 12.6, and have a handful of players high on the state’s statistical leaderboards.

There are two main running backs, Jessaia Giatras-Moala and Manu Vaitaki, who both tore up the defense behind an offensive line that has literally made canyons for the backs to run through.

Prior to last week’s win against Kanab, Giatras-Moala had reached 1,770 yards in 12 games at 169 carries with 23 touchdowns, while Vaitaki had reached 978 yards at 130 rushs.

“Jessaia has this speed, he’s just a slasher, he can really do an 80-yard touchdown at any moment. And Manu has that power and together they’re a great combination, ”said Stowers. “It was a pleasure to watch the two of them with their own running styles.”

One name to know is Lineman Tevita Pome’e, a junior who has received scholarship offers from Vanderbilt and Oregon State.

Another name you should know is Johnson, a junior receiver and defensive back who led the state with 10 interceptions before last week’s game. He also had 785 yards on 25 catches with 10 touchdowns in the 12 games leading up to the Kanab semifinals.

Johnson said the key to an LCA win on Saturday is to get started quickly. Duchesne beat teams 106-22 in the first quarter.

“We always come out pretty slowly,” said Johnson. But I think what we’ve done better in the last few games is that even though we were a bit shaky in the first quarter, we pulled through in the third quarter and finished hard and never gave up. “

Duchesne, whose mascot are also the Eagles, is 10-1, averaging 36.6 points per game on offense and 12.7 per game on defensive.

Defensively, Duchesne has forced 43 ball losses in 11 games and made 24 sacks with 54 tackles-for-loss. The team is just as good as the number 1 suggests.

As a result of the realignment, the 1A football classification was revived after two years with five football classifications.

Duchesne fell from 2A to 1A football despite a combined 22-3 record from 2019-20 in 2A. The LCA fell from 2A to 1A after a 4-15 record from 2019-20, even though the rest of school sports went down to 3A.


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