Prep Impressions: Week 0

I covered the Salt Lake City (Utah) East-Corona Centennial varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, and came away thinking the Huskies were just priming the engine.

Centennial (1-0 overall) got going on its first two drives of the game, both punctuated by long (45 yards) and short (1) runs from senior RB J.J. Taylor. Other than QB Anthony Catalana, no players carried the ball until Miles Reed got some touches in the second half.

It was as though the Huskies were just warming to the season, nice and easy-like, when Javon McKinley stiff-armed some dude on his way to a 62-yard touchdown — already a strong contender for play of the year.

Desmond Williams (left), Chacho Ulloa (13) and Javon McKinley (88) join the pregame huddle on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015.

Desmond Williams (left), Chacho Ulloa (13) and Javon McKinley (88) join the Week 0 pregame huddle.

Then Cameron Jackson, a receiver who wasn’t on anyone’s preseason radar, made a terrific play to score a 54-yard touchdown on a routine slant pattern over the middle.

“I’m just looking for an opportunity and a chance to make a play,” said Jackson, who led the team with

It was more of the same in the second half, with Taylor scoring again in the third before getting the hook for Reed. Catalano lasted about as long before getting relieved by 6-foot-4 sophomore QB Tanner McKee.

The Huskies’ defense was stout (two sacks, one forced fumble, one INT) but it was up against inferior line play and uninspired quarterbacking.

“They have a good team. They have some pretty good players,” Matt Logan said. “They’re physical. they’re a big team.”

I asked, “Is this a tune-up?” Centennial plays Gardena Serra next week in the Honor Bowl.

“I liked it. They run a triple option (offense) so I thought that was a good test of our defense,” Logan said. “They gave us a bunch of different looks with different athletes. It was good work on both sides.”

“I don’t know if it was maybe a tune-up,” Catalano said. “They’re a good team. We just played very well against them.”

East High (1-1) totaled 200 rushing yards but just 13 points vs. Centennial, unable to score until nine minutes remaining in the game.

“We have big game next week, and an extra day (Honor Bowl is Saturday) so we’ll watch the tape and get better,” Catalano said.

An engine requires constant maintenance.

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