Cottonwood football battles through region play with some goals in mindOct 14, 2019 02:45PM ● By Brian Shaw
The Colts call a play from the huddle. (City Journals)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
Probably the hardest part about starting over is knowing the end is something that is ambiguous. That is, you cannot see it. But, you know it's there.
If you're on the outside looking in, it's a safe bet you think things are going horribly wrong inside the Cottonwood football program.
For the Cottonwood football team though, the 2019 season has gone as expected, according to those close to the program.
Having already been under a head coach in Bart Bowen who three years ago undertook what many perceived was the biggest rebuilding project in Utah high school football, Casey Miller was then Bowen's offensive coordinator.
Now that Miller has ascended to the biggest job in the Cottonwood high school football program, it's clear to anyone watching the games that the Colts still have a long way to go.
After a 66-13 loss to West closed out the preseason, providing the Colts with their only points thus far in 2019, Cottonwood opened region play in a brand new league in Class 5A.
To be clear, the Colts went into the 2019 season with one big goal. That is, compete with every team in Region 6 for more than two quarters of play—that which they struggled to do in 2018.
And so for Cottonwood, going into its first region tilt against Skyline on homecoming Sept. 6, the goal was to battle with the Eagles for three quarters.
Despite their best efforts, the Colts allowed Skyline a 47-0 halftime and coughed up 15 more points for the remainder of the game in a 62-0 loss.
That loss handed Cottonwood (0-2 Region 6, 0-5 overall) its first region defeat of the season. The Colts then took the short trip to Murray to take on their new region foe.
A longtime rival, each school competes for supremacy in other sports. In football, however, Murray has been king for several years. And the game at Murray on Sept. 13 was no exception.
Cottonwood gave up 42 first-quarter points on the road, giving Murray a huge cushion. The Colts would clamp down in the second quarter, giving up just 13 points before Murray tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter, handing Cottonwood a 69-0 loss.
For the Colts who have been led by junior running back Joseph Madrigal with 136 yards on the ground—who scored their only touchdown on the season—along with a freshman quarterback and a young receiving corps, expecting victories this season is probably a mirage.
A home game against Brighton (that saw them fall 56-0) and a short bus ride to Highland will wrap up the month of September for the Colts, whose goals are simple—improve on offense and tighten up the defense as the season goes on.
As October approaches, Cottonwood will find itself playing a unique non-region contest against Maple Mountain followed by a home tilt versus a mighty Olympus squad. Then, the big rivalry tilt on Oct. 16 versus crosstown rival Hillcrest will commence.
The rivalry game against Hillcrest may be the Colts best shot in 2019 at a win, and it's Miller's former school at which he coached a few years ago and had some success.
At the moment, an opportunity to take a trip to the state tournament first round thanks to the new Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) also gives Cottonwood one chance to shock the Utah high school football world.
The Colts are currently ranked No. 25 in the Class 5A RPI, pitting them—if the state tournament started today—against No. 2 ranked Springville. (Hillcrest, ironically enough, is ranked just below Cottonwood.)