Prep football two-a-days: Beaver
Football games often are won in the trenches, with the team that creates more space on offense increasing its chances of being victorious.
It remains to be seen what Beaver can do this season.
Things will look much different up front for 1,000-yard rusher Jesse McMullin and the Beavers, who graduated their entire offensive line. However, a promising yet untested group comes up from the junior varsity level hoping to make names for themselves and pave the way to success.
"Our success hinges on how the line does," Beavers coach Steve Hutchings said. "The line is the No. 1 thing we have to do. I'd rather have an experienced line than an experienced backfield. We'll see how it goes."
Led by McMullin, the Beavers posted their best overall record since 2002 (8-3) and advanced to the state quarterfinals before losing to Manti last season.
McMullin, a second team all-state player, rushed for 1,061 yards and 14 touchdowns. Fullback Bailey Bradshaw, who rushed for 389 yards and six scores, also returns along with quarterbacks Kasen Hutchings and Michael Roberts.
Hutchings threw for 530 yards and six touchdowns last season, while Roberts threw for 580 yards and four scores.
"We need to build around that [returning] experience,"coach Hutchings said. "Our backs will know where they're going. We'll stick to what we know."
Most of the Beavers' top receivers also graduated, but Zach Harris and Colby Limb are among those who could see the ball thrown their way.
The Beavers have had success with a mixture of the wing-T and option offenses.
Graduation also hit the Beavers hard defensively, but a mix of returners and newcomers is expected to mesh well in the team's 4-4 system. The defense came up big last season against South Sevier and Parowan, shutting out both opponents.
"We're inexperienced that way, but we're looking to make that next step," coach Hutchings said. "We don't blitz a lot. We'll try and stop the run."
The Beavers open the season Aug. 23 at Canyon View.
ASSIGNMENT • Class 2A South
LAST YEAR • 8-3 overall, 5-2 Class 2A South
KEY RETURNER • Jesse McMullin, RB. McMullin, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, expects to carry an even heavier load this year. Beaver will do everything it can to get the ball in his hands.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Incoming juniors and seniors. Coach Hutchings said a lot of players have been waiting their turn to start and are hungry to show what they can do.
BIGGEST HOLE • Offensive line. Beaver graduated its entire offensive line from last season. The production of this group will determine the team's success.
NEED TO KNOW • Coach Hutchings said his team would give everything it has and fly around the field. He is excited to see his players demonstrate how impressive they can be and how much they love the game.