Woods Cross seeks first berth in semis since 1993
BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS – The Woods Cross Wildcats football team had a grand opening to its first playoff game this season.
Behind a stellar play by Xequille Harry, the Wildcats were able to blow out Box Elder and its former Viewmont Vikings coach, Robbie Gunter, and have moved into the quarterfinal round for the second year in a row.
However, Salem Hills will not be a team to be overlooked, despite its No. 4 seeding.
The Sky Hawks entered play with a 3-3 record in Region 8, but finished the regular season with seven wins overall.
Last week’s win over top-seeded Orem saw Salem Hills quarterback Chad Peterson throw for 378 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-14 win.
Some may discount the win because Orem was granted the top seed due to a tie-breaker. The Tigers were 5-1 in region play, but went winless in non-region play.
Peterson’s four-touchdown effort; however, also came with four interceptions, mistakes that the Woods Cross secondary are likely to see when they kick off.
Including the playoffs, Peterson has 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.
Two receivers who could be targeted by the Wildcats secondary are Zack Zobell and Gunnar Gustin. Each of them has over 40 catches and 750 yards this season.
They’ve also combined for 23 touchdown receptions.
However, the receivers will be test against a very tough defense in Woods Cross, winners of six straight games entering Friday night.
The Wildcats, led by second year head coach Justin Spencer, closed out the regular season with a single loss to top-ranked East, and have one of the best scoring defenses in the state.
Overall, Woods Cross has the fourth best scoring defense in the 4A class, behind only Timpview, Olympus and East.
Xequille Harry was one of the stars of the defense against the Bees, intercepting two Box Elder passes and returning one of them for a touchdown.
Harry also threw for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass from Clay Kidman, all in the first quarter of the Wildcats’ 42-14 win.
Harry leads the team in interceptions (five), and is the team’s leading receiver with 30 catches, 692 yards and eight touchdowns.
A win for Woods Cross this week will have the Wildcats facing either Timpview or Sky View next week at Rice Eccles Stadium.
Kickoff for Friday’s game is 4 p.m.