Prep Preview: SLC East at Centennial
I’m covering the Salt Lake City (Utah) East-Corona Centennial varsity football game tonight, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, for The Press-Enterprise, @PEcom_preps and HSGametime.pe.com.
The best part of this assignment is the chance to get a look at the top-ranked team in Southern California.
THE LOW DOWN:
The Leopards (1-0 overall) are fresh off a 28-10 victory at Syracuse (Utah) seven days ago, and travel down to SoCal looking for some respect against a national powerhouse. Senior QB Vetekina Maile, who got the starting job with Gavin Herd transferring out, looks to manage the game. Coach Brandon Matich has a lot of options on offense, and will give the ball to at least a half dozen different backs through the course of a game.
The Huskies (0-0 overall) are facing a team they’ve never played, have zero history with nor an obvious coaching connection. So what’s the deal? Maybe we’ll find out later. What’s important now is that the offense clicks early, J.J. Taylor and Javon McKinley get some early touches, the defense makes a few stops and allows fewer than 30 points in a victory. The other details will shake themselves loose as the game goes along.
THE KEY PLAYERS:
Salt Lake City (Utah) East — QB: Vetekina Maile, Sr. (no data); DE/WR: Soni Fonua, Sr. (6-3, 236); WR/FS Cole Peterson, Sr. (6-1, 190); CB/FS Jordan Anderson, Sr. (6-foot, 175); RB/SS Hunter Conley, Sr. (5-11, 195); RB/OLB Helaman Suesue, Jr. (5-11, 180); RB/MLB Halani Utuone, Sr., (5-11, 185); C/MLB Seni Tuiaki, Soph. (6-foot, 202); G/DT Moa Heimuli, Soph. (5-11, 245).
Corona Centennial — QB: Anthony Catalano, Sr. (5-foot-10, 165 pounds); RB: J.J. Taylor, Sr. (5-6, 165); RB: Sammonte Bonner, Sr. (5-7, 180); WR: Javon McKinley, Sr. (6-2, 205); WR: Aaron Toyofuku-Aki, Sr. (5-9, 160); T: Daniel Juarez, Sr. (6-5, 285); OL: Paula Hajoka, Sr. (6-2, 290); DL: Jack Powers, Sr. (6-5, 215); LB: Zach Brumbaugh, Sr. (6-foot, 215); DB: Chacho Ulloa, Sr. (6-foot, 195); DB: Kentrell Love, Sr. (6-2, 175)DB: Desmond Williams, Sr. (6-foot, 190); K: Jake Perez, Sr. (5-10, 165).
Depth and extent of talent. East High is probably a pretty good team in Utah, but Centennial is proving consistently that it’s one of the best teams in California (and thereby the nation). Might be a stretch but you’d be hard pressed to find ONE player from Utah that could start at Centennial.
THE FINAL SCORE:
Centennial 56, Salt Lake City (Utah) East 14