Some of Utah's best football players suited up this morning for a preseason scrimmage. Coach Matich (Brandon) and East High School headed a few miles down the road to take on Coach Croshaw (Greg)and Cottonwood. Several of Utah's top 2015 & 2016 prospects were on the field getting ready for the season ahead. As you would expect, both teams brought a lot of physicality.
The Play Of The Day: came when East middle linebacker and Stanford commit Christian Folau closed hard on a Cottonwood running back and jarred the ball loose. East defensive end and Nevada commit Hausia Sekona made an athletic play to scoop up the ball on an awkward bounce, and what ensued was a masterpiece only a linemen could have composed. Sekona was joined by a convey of Leopard defenders and rumbled 60+ yards to the house. Sekona made people miss and ran one unfortunate receiver over. His teammates made a few key blocks leading to the scoop and score. Sekona celebrated like a 6-1 255 pound defensive linemen could in the endzone.
-Lorenzo Manu took a QB keeper to the house, making a beautiful read and going 0-60 in a few seconds. Manu's scramble was around 45 yards and once he turned the corner, Cottonwood defenders had no chance.
-Christian Folau covered the flats perfectly and crushed an easy target after a quick dump pass of a few yards. Folau took a page from Madden 2005's "hit-stick" as he ran straight through the receiver.
-T.J. Fehoko and Fua Pututau spent the entire morning destroying East in the backfield. Between Fehoko and Pututau there were at least six sacks, an additional three or four tackles for loses, and a few forced fumbles.
-East running back Sione Mafi took a hand off from Lorenzo Manu, made a defender miss and turned on the jets. Mafi's ran with a good blend of power and speed and once he got going nobody had a chance to catch him.
Top Five Standouts
T.J. Fehoko- Fehoko wracked up 34 sacks as a junior last year. If today was any indication, he could surpass that number this year. Fehoko unofficially recorded five sacks today and was a problem on just about every snap. He played tight end and fullback on offense and rarely left the field. The Colorado commit displayed his versatility, lining up all over the field on defense. Fehoko made a few bone-crushing hits and was one of the main reasons Cottonwood had some success stopping East's dangerous option offense.
Fua Pututau- Pututau is an early three-stay prospect, but if he continues to build upon his play today, he could be on the rise. The 2016 DE/OLB for Cottonwood was dominant today. He was in the backfield as much as Fehoko, wracking up a few sacks and TFLs. Pututau also made a very impressive tackles in pursuit, including a play where he clubbed the ball out and it was recovered by one of his teammates. Pututau also had a sack/strip and recovered that fumble as well. After the game, Coach Matich gave Pututau a lot of high praise.
Christian Folau- Folau started off the day like he was half a sleep, but that changed pretty quickly. He just needed to shake off the cobwebs, because after a few series, he was a beast. Folau forced a fumble and had a few big time hits. Even though it wasn't his best game on the field, Folau was consistently leading on and off the field. When varsity was done, most guys sat on the benches and talked about their performances and weekend plans. Folau continued to pace the sidelines, coaching up some of the younger linebackers and supporting the JV squad on the field. Once again, he proved he is the general of this East team.
Hausia Sekona- On the third snap of the game, Sekona's finger nail was ripped off. He wanted to keep playing, but the medical staff addressed him for close to 10 minutes on the sideline. Sekona's next series, he recovered a fumble and took it to the house. The fumble recovery displayed Sekona's game perfectly; he ran one guy over using his strength and then he juked a few other guys showing his agility. Sekona was easily the best defensive linemen for East and he also took some reps on offense.
Lorenzo Manu- Manu made some good reads at QB and showed a lot of ability to be a great QB for East. He was also playing center field for East on D, making some plays at free safety. Manu's highlight reel touchdown run was the best offensive play of the day. Manu made a few good throws as well, but the passing game still needs some fine-tuning before fall comes around.