Desert Hills vs. Orem Standouts Editor-in-Chief Jake Hatch recaps the standout players from the Desert Hills (St. George, UT) and Orem (Orem, UT) game last Friday. Also included are the comments from Desert Hills Head Coach Carl Franke about his team and thoughts on recruiting.

Desert Hills High School (St. George, UT) made the first of two trips to northern Utah to open their season against the Orem High School (Orem, UT) Tigers. The Thunder emerged from the game with a 35-13 blowout of the Tigers behind the power of their running game. Desert Hills Head Coach Carl Franke had some pointed comments about the perception of southern Utah schools by people in the northern part of the state.

“Southern Utah has talent that no one in northern Utah knows about,” Said Coach Franke. “That’s OK. We’ll keep winning titles and the people up north can act like there’s no talent down south.”

The one thing that’s sad is that the BYU’s, the Utah’s, and the Utah State’s will not pay attention to us but we hope that changes soon,” Continued Coach Franke. “There are schools [coming in from out of state] and offering our kids because they see the talent.”

Here’s my assessment of the notable standouts from the Orem-Desert Hills match-up.

The Brothers Sewell

Lausii “Boogie” Sewell:The oldest of the Sewell contingent had a standout performance against Orem. The Tigers couldn’t block him one-on-one. Sewell finished the game with 7 total tackles (3 solo), 1 sack, and nearly came up with an interception after a nice read on a screen play. The Colorado commit will be a force to be reckoned with all season long.

Gabriel Sewell: Gabe Sewell was, in my opinion, the best athlete on the field Friday night. The senior played outside linebacker, inside linebacker, strong safety, free safety, and nickel back on defense, while contributing at both running back and slot receiver on offense. Gabe finished the game with 8 total tackles (6 solo).

A lot of people wonder when and where Gabe Sewell will commit to and Coach Franke filled people in.

“Gabe said he’s tired of all the recruiting and just wants to play football,” Said Coach Franke. “He’s happy to wait until after the season and make a decision come February”

Nephi Sewell: Only a sophomore for Desert Hills but Nephi Sewell will be a force to be reckoned with in coming years. Sewell started at cornerback for Desert Hills and recorded 3 total tackles (2 solo) but made a bigger impact on offense, where he touched the ball only 8 times as a running back but rumbled for 70 yards and a touchdown. On Nephi’s touchdown run, Boogie and Gabe Sewell led the way as his blocking backs.

When asked about the Sewell family, Coach Franke responded saying, “They’re an incredible family, with incredible talent all over the field. Having Nephi able to play corner and running back for us [this season] is huge. Having Gabe in the [defensive] backfield and Boogie up front helps. They’re a dominant force.”

Cowdin Rumbles: Bridger Cowdin shouldered the load for the Thunder in the wet and soggy conditions and responded with a big game. Cowdin finished the game with 155 yards on 27 carries and 2 touchdowns, along with 3 receptions for 18 yards. Cowdin is a downhill runner who doesn’t have much flash to him but makes good reads and sets up blocks well to gain chunks of yardage.

The Best of the Rest

Nick Warmsley: Desert Hills quarterback struggled to complete passes in the less than ideal weather conditions, finished the game 6/16 for 76 yards and a touchdowns. The junior signal caller rushed 12 times for 78 yards in the win. Warmsley probably projects better as a running back at the next level but he’s an above-average athlete who should have another solid season leading the Thunder.

Tucker Cowdin: The lesser known of the Cowdin twins but Tucker had a monster game at middle linebacker for the Thunder. He totaled 17 tackles (11 solo), 2.5 sacks, 2 TFL, and 2 fumble recoveries. At only 5’9”, 197-pounds, Cowdin is undersized but he’s the backbone of what should prove to be a stellar Thunder defense in 2014.

Coach Franke believes that Cowdin could be a player in the Ivy League or elsewhere at the FCS level.

“Tucker Cowdin is a hell of a player,” Said Franke. “He has a 25 on his ACT. Cornell, Harvard or a school like that would be a good place for him to end up in my mind.”

James Wadsworth: Orem’s star running back had a solid night, totaling 90 yards on 13 carries. Wadsworth had some big holes to run through thanks to his offensive line but wasn’t able to find pay dirt.

Samson Saluone: Saluone had an up and down game for the Tigers. He came out of the gate hot, blowing up the Desert Hills offensive line and making plays in the backfield but as the game wore on he appeared to wilt. Saluone also started at guard on the offensive line for Orem but was replaced in the second half as the Orem coaches monitored his reps.

Isaiah Frame: The senior defensive end/tight end for Orem is just that; a frame. Listed at 6’5”, 265-pounds, Frame looks the part of a high level prospect but didn’t register on the box score on offense (Orem didn’t report defensive stats). Frame was around the ball constantly on defense but as the Thunder pulled away in the second half, Frame seemed to lose focus. He’ll be a guy to watch and see if he can develop this season.

Final note is that I didn’t get a chance to see Orem High’s Steven Latu play. Not sure what the reason for his absence is, but he was not on the field for the Tigers.

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