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4A football: Springville will use East loss as motivation again

Published November 18, 2016 10:35 pm

Springville in focus • Devils hang in, but can't make the plays to close the distance.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Over the course of this season, one of the primary motivators for the Springville Red Devils was their loss in the 2015 playoffs to East.

As much as they may not want to do it again, both the outgoing seniors and the underclassmen on the field for the Class 4A football championship on Friday said it would happen once more.

One more year of using a defeat to East High to push Springville through the offseason — and then to the 2017 campaign.

"Use it as fuel to come out next year. Hopefully the younger guys can use it to come out, play hard and win state," said Red Devils senior defensive lineman Vili Kolomalu, who had 10 tackles in the 48-20 loss at Rice-Eccles.

Kolomalu has two younger brothers on the Springville team, and he got the message to junior Lakei and freshman Sione quickly.

"I told them to come back," he said. "It starts tomorrow in the weight room. Work hard, be ready for next year."

Junior Bradley Nicol, who tallied seven tackles defensively, was also teary-eyed.

"I just got all the juniors together and said that we don't want this to happen again," Nicol said. "We'll go into the weight room on Monday, because that's what we do — we work hard.

"We wouldn't be here if we didn't work hard," he added. "And we've been working hard since we lost to them last year."

In 2015, Springville's trek into the 4A playoffs ended in the semifinals with a 42-14 loss to East.

In fact, the only losses the Red Devils have suffered the past two seasons have been to East — ending undefeated seasons in both cases.

The state championship was still within sight for the Devils — although a significant comeback would still have been required — as late as midway through the fourth quarter.

But, down 34-20, Springville gave up the ball on downs with 7:30 left in the game, and East pulled away from that point.

"We gave it all we had. Sometimes things turn out not the way you want, but that's life," said Springville quarterback Jantsen Thorpe, while holding the 4A second-place trophy. "I wish a lot of things had been different, but I think that showed a lot about us — how long we hung in there."

The Red Devils actually had a chance to make the contest a one-possession game at the end of the first half when Nicol recovered an East fumble, with the Leopards up 27-13, at the 2:27 mark of the second quarter.

However, the opportunity deep in East territory also ended with Springville using all four downs without moving the marker.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game going in. You know, East is a great team and we had to take advantage of every opportunity and we weren't able to do that," Springville coach Willy Child said. "These kids put up two great years. Lost two games in two years. They worked hard to get back here and did everything we asked them to do." —


R Springville has lost only two games over the past two years, and both to East — in the 2015 semifinals and in the '16 championship.

• The Red Devils cut the East lead to 27-13 late in the first half on a 14-yard pass from Jantsen Thorpe to Seth Mortensen.

• A Leopards fumble, right after the Mortensen TD, gives Springville a further opportunity in the second quarter but that chance ends when the Devils turn the ball over on downs.






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