Here’s an in-depth look at the Mountain Crest Mustangs football team heading into the 2020 season.
Note: Mountain Crest finished with a 5-7 overall record in 2019 and was second in Region 11 with a 4-1 record. It was RPI seed No. 11 in the 4A playoffs, and was eliminated by Stansbury 28-24 in second round.
HYRUM — Defensively a year ago, Mountain Crest was good enough to hold its own in 4A as it ranked fourth in scoring defense. The problem was on the other side of the ball as it ranked 16th only scoring 17.9 ppg.
Improving that efficiency while also maintaining that defensive intensity will be key in trying to follow up last year’s Region 11 runner-up finish.
“We moved the ball really well between the 20s, and then inside the 20s we struggled a bit. Being able to consistently get the ball punched when we get it down there is key,” said Mountain Crest coach Jason Lee.
Despite those offensive shortcomings at times, Mountain Crest still nearly advanced to the quarterfinals as it lost to Stansbury in the final seconds of the 4A second round.
“You always hope that some of that stuff is (an) incentive builder that they left something behind that they could’ve easily fixed,” said Lee.
How well the offense ultimately does this year will depend on QB play. Zeb Bensen and Preston Lofthouse have battled throughout the summer for the starting job, and whoever gets the nod will be critical in improving that red zone efficiency.
Defensively the Mustangs return three starters at linebacker as they hope to pick up where last year’s defense left off.
Mountain Crest Mustangs at a glance
Coach Lee’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:
“These kids did pretty good as far as rebounding and coming back. We missed two months worth of stuff and then we were able to get back into it. I don’t feel like we’re that far off from where we’ve been. Mainly the stuff that they missed just the strength building by us, but lots and lots of them were working out on their own and they were pretty disciplined.”
Mountain Crest Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Adam Kennedy/Dave Kuresa
2019 offense: 17.9 ppg (16th in 4A)
2019 offensive statistics
5 returning starters
Returning offensive starters
Brock Alder (OL)
Calvin Kunzler (OL)
Emilio Veator (TB)
Walker Hutchinson (Slot)
Elijah Jackson (TE/FB)
Offensive newcomers to watch
Zeb Bensen (QB)
Preston Lofthouse (QB)
Martin Vasquez (OL)
Parker Parrish (OL)
Coleman Foulger (WR)
Tony Lopez (WR)
Terrill Lee (WR)
Coach Lee’s keys for offensive success in 2020:
“We need to consistently make plays. There were times last year we needed crucial downs and we’d have a drop or we’d have miscue on the snap, just little things that held you back. We’ve got to overcome those and sustain drives.”
Mountain Crest Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Jason Lee
2019 defense: 18.3 ppg (4th in 4A)
2019 defensive statistics
5 returning starters
Returning defensive starters
Walker Hutchinson (DL)
Elijah Jackson (MLB)
Emilio Veator (OLB)
Coleman Foulger (OLB)
Noah Fletcher (CB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
Avery Wells (DL)
Nick Lefevre (CB)
Stockton Nelson (LB)
Coach Lee’s keys for defensive success in 2020:
Source:: Usa Today News