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Prep Football: Lehauli leads Granger past Judge

Published September 7, 2012 11:37 pm

Prep Football • The Granger defense bottled up the Judge offense.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

West Valley City • The Granger football team hoped to stay under the radar this season, much like the planes that constantly fly over its stadium.

Another 4-0 start likely will attract more attention.

The Lancers built a 21-0 lead in the first half and never let up Friday, routing visiting Judge Memorial 35-7.

Tani Lehauli rushed for 289 yards, and Jairo Tarver threw three scoring passes for Granger.

"This is putting us on the map thanks to our hard work in the offseason," Lehauli said. "We want to dedicate ourselves to being in the playoffs. Last year [against Judge] it was a close game and we beat them by a field goal. This time, just look at the scoreboard. That's how I know we've improved."

Lehauli, who already is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing after just four games, carried the ball 31 times and averaged more than nine yards per carry. He was held out of the end zone until a 72-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.

"He's a special kid," Granger coach Cecil Thomas said about Lehauli. "The combination with [James] Elkins gives us a good 1-2 punch. Defenses have to prepare for two different guys. The foundation was laid last year with this group of kids. Now we just have to keep polishing that. We're not a finished product by any means."

Granger, which also started last season 4-0 before finishing 6-4, built a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. Elkins scored a touchdown rushing and one receiving, while Robbie Elkins hauled in a 34-yard scoring pass from Tarver. An illegal formation penalty negated another touchdown for the Lancers.

Tarver completed 6 of 12 passes for 140 yards and three scores. The Lancers racked up 470 yards on offense, while Judge only mustered only 146 yards.

Granger's defense settled down and stymied the Bulldogs after allowing 81 points over the first three games. Judge's Kaden Elliss didn't complete a pass until late in the third quarter.

"We got down to basics with our defensive guys," Thomas said. "We took the time to explain things to them. Defense is an effort, and I'm real proud of their effort tonight. We made some adjustments, and the kids are understanding it now."

Judge made things a little tense in the second quarter. The Bulldogs held Granger on downs at their own 6-yard line, then drove 94 yards to make it 21-7 on Sosefo Falemaka's 13-yard run.

But Judge couldn't carry the momentum. It was forced to punt on its next two possessions and ended another possession on downs at the Granger 1-yard line.

The Lancers promptly orchestrated a 99-yard drive that culminated with Tarver's 16-yard touchdown pass to Robbie Elkins to rebuild the lead.

Granger will attempt to keep its record intact next week against Juan Diego.

"They don't know what's coming," Lehauli said. —