Herriman Mustangs looking to battle with Bingham for the Region 3 crown

Quarterback Jack White is one of 10 returning starters for coach Dustin Pearce

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Herriman's Nu'u Tafisi runs for a touchdown last season. Tafisi is expected to once again help lead the Mustangs backfield.

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After a season where the team finished with a 6-6 record the Herriman High School Mustangs are in a solid position to compete for a position at the top of Region 3. But the team is going to have to put together a very solid season to be able to dethrone rival Bigham for that title.

Last season things didn’t get off to a good start for the Mustangs who opened the season 0-2, including a blowout loss to Corner Canyon 56-0. After getting things back on track with wins over West Jordan and Westlake, the Mustangs dropped games to American Fork and rival Bingham, 44-10.

The Mustangs closed out the regular season with a 2-1 record before heading to the playoffs. They defeated West Jordan in the first round before losing to Skyridge in the next round.

2021 Mustang Roster

This season’s Herriman team is expected to bring back 10 total starters (five offense and five on defense) but the team is still loaded with talent.

Both Jaxon Fullwood and Michael Falatea were named to the All-Region 3 First team last season and should be back for Herriman this season. Fullwood, who is a senior defensive lineman this fall, recorded 43 tackles last season (19 solo and 27 assisted). He averaged 3.6 tackles per game and had 4 sacks as well. He also had 10.5 TFLs in his junior campaign.

Falatea, on the other hand, did it all for the Mustangs on both sides of the ball. When lining up in the secondary the now junior recorded 43 total tackles, 18 of which were solo. He also had 5 interceptions, one fumble recovery and two blocked field goals. On the other side of the ball he recorded 104 receiving yards on 10 receptions and two touchdowns.

Herriman’s line includse Utah State offensive lineman commit Kauasi Hansen. Hansen held offers from BYU, San Jose State, Colorado State and New Mexico along with the Utah State offer he accepted.

Hansen will be one of the key pieces in protecting quarterback Jack White. The senior QB threw for 726 yards, four touchdowns and nine interceptions last season. But he also got it done on the ground, rushing for 229 yards on 83 carries and three touchdowns of his own.

The Mustangs have a strong trio of running backs who are able to get the job done. Led by Nu’u Tafisi and Caden Syddall the HHS backfield is stacked. Tafisi led the team in yards last year with 315 and two touchdowns to go with it. Syddall was not far behind in terms of yards with 302. He did have two more touchdowns than Tafisi, totaling four on the season.

The trio is rounded out by Afa Kula who had 255 yards on 70 carries and one touchdown.

Syddall also did the kicking duties for the Mustangs last season, going 20-22 on PATs and 9-14 on field goals. He did have a kick of 56 yards last season as well.

The secondary of Herriman is full of ballhawks, led by the aforementioned Falatea. Safety Dom Martucci recorded 41 tackles last season, one TFL, two INTs and two fumble recoveries. Cornerbacks Jace Burbidge and Matt Lovato both had good seasons. Lovato had 34 total tackles, 26 of which were solo along with 2.5 TFLs. Burbidge had 15 tackles (7 solo) and one quarterback hurry on the season.

Schedule outlook

After opening the season on the road versus Roy, Herriman will begin their homestand versus West on Friday, Aug. 20. They will then host Skyridge, the team who cut their postseason hopes short last season at home the following Friday.

After a pair of road games at Westlake and Kearns, the Mustangs will be back at home for the biggest game of their regional slate when they host rival Bingham on Sept. 17.

Their region schedule will continue the next week as they hit the road to take on West Jordan on Sept. 24. The Mustangs final two games of the season will be against Riverton (Oct. 1) and Copper Hills (Oct. 8.) before they finish out the season on the road versus Mountain Ridge on Oct. 14.