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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Non-region slate kind to Brighton football

Oct 02, 2017 12:18PM ● By Jana Klopsch

The Bengal football team kneels on its field in 2015. The 2017 version went undefeated in its non-region schedule. (City Journals)

With more than a third of the season already in the books, the Brighton football team has gotten off to a great start. The Bengals entered their final non-region game of the season — Sept. 15 against Skyline — 4-0 overall.

The real fun is about to start.

Brighton kicks off its Region 6 portion of the schedule Sept. 22 at home against Jordan, the first of five league games. The top team in the six-team region will qualify for the 5A state tournament. If the region games go like the non-region contests, Brighton should be just fine returning to the postseason after missing the playoffs last year. 

The Brighton defense was stellar over the first four weeks, allowing just 11.5 points per game. No team has broken the 14-point mark against the Bengal defense. 

The season opened with a 17-9 win over Fremont on Aug. 18. The Bengals surrendered a first-quarter touchdown to fall behind 7-0 but only allowed a fourth-quarter safety the rest of the way. Meanwhile, senior running back Nicholas Parker rushed for 103 yards, part of a Bengal running attack that amassed 303 yards on the ground. 

The following week, in a 27-14 in over Hillcrest, Brighton used a 21-point second quarter to erased a 7-0 deficit and take a commanding lead. Parker, Evona Hall and Sione Angilau each found the end zone on short runs to account for the team’s touchdowns. Place kicker Justen Smith booted two field goals, 45 and 40 yards.

On Sept. 1, Brighton squeaked past Olympus 13-10 in a defensive struggle. In fact, Brighton didn’t find the end zone until the fourth quarter when Angilau plunged across the goal line from a yard out. Then Smith, who made a successful attempt from 32 yards in the second quarter, kicked a 31-yarder in the fourth to seal the victory for Brighton. The Bengals surrendered just 21 yards rushing and racked up 259 of their own, including 177 on 22 carries for Hall. In addition to his rushing touchdown, Angilau made nine tackles on defense. Tui Kefu and Addison Trupp teamed up for a sack.

The Bengals then moved to 4-0 with its best scoring output of the season, a 35-13 victory over Granger on Sept. 8. Playing on the road in a hostile environment, Brighton fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter but rallied with 14 points in the second and third quarters to take a commanding 28-7 lead heading into the final quarter. 

Hall was the star of the show for Brighton. He had a pair of TD runs — 2 and 72 yards — to go with a 43-yard TD pass from quarterback Alexander Zettler. Trey Davenport hauled in a 42-yard pass for a score from Zettler in the third quarter. Brighton capped off its night of score in the fourth with another big play — a 67-yard scamper from Kepu Fifita. 

Not to be overlooked was linebacker Rocky Marks. The senior accumulated an eye-popping 29 tackles. Angilau added 16 more stops in a game where Brighton held Granger to a season low in points. 

Brighton’s undefeated march through four games has included a team effort and contributions from several players. Nine Bengals caught passes during this stretch, and six ball carriers each averaged at least 5.3 yards per carry, led by Angilau, who averaged 12.4 every time he ran with the ball. On defense, Devin Elder has been another standout, picking off two passes.