High school football: Ridgeline RiverHawks 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the Ridgeline Riverhawks football team heading into the 2020 season.

Note: Ridgeline finished with a 4-8 overall record in 2019 and was sixth in Region 11 with a 0-5 record. It was RPI seed No. 14 in the 4A playoffs and was eliminated by Dixie 38-7 in second round.

MILLVILLE, Cache County — Ridgeline may have only won four games a year ago, but it was in the game on four other occasions in the fourth quarter and players knew a successful season wasn’t that far off.

With nine starters back on offense, Ridgeline is extremely confident it can take the next step under first-year head coach Travis Cox.

For the seniors, Cox is their third coach in three years, but he said they’ve been very receptive to his ideas since taking over.

“I’ve known a lot of them pretty much their whole life. They were very comfortable with me and kind of knew my background. I was on staff a couple years ago and they kind of knew my personality, so it was pretty seamless for them,” said Cox.

A year ago, Cox stepped away from coaching to watch his son start at quarterback for Ridgeline, and now he gets a chance to coach him.

Overall, Cox said Ridgeline’s offense is a very confident, experienced group. It’s the defense that has a bit more work with just a handful returning starters.

Both sides of the ball got a boost with the transfer of Roy’s Jaden Harris, who will be a contributor at running back and linebacker.

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Ridgeline Riverhawks at a glance
Cox’s thoughts on how his players dealt the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“They were great. Considering we had a relatively new staff and me being a new coach, I thought they were very attentive. We are able to do stuff on Zoom. The summer’s been great. They’re a lot further along than I thought they’d be.”

Ridgeline offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Jeremy Livingston

2019 offense: 21.5 ppg (14th in 4A)

2019 offensive statistics
Nine returning starters
Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
Kaden Cox (QB)
Noah White (RB)
Strat Simmons (WR)
Jovessa Damuni (RB/WR)
Evan Webb (WR)
Carter Murdock (WR)
Charlie Nielsen (OL)
Nate Nixon (OL)
Daimien Boehme (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
Jaden Harris (RB)
Alex Lundahl (OL) — started DL last year
Kolton Easton (OL)
Cox’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“We have to run the ball for sure, and we’ve got to be able to spread the defense out and find the guy we like the most with the mismatches we can create. It starts with being able to run the ball.”

Ridgeline defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Aric Craig

2019 defense: 28.9 ppg (12th in 4A)

2019 defensive statistics
Four returning starters
4-3 defense
Returning defensive starters
Dillon May (DB)
Miles Eck (DB) — moving to LB
Bridger Hammond (DL)
Defensive newcomers to watch
Carter Murdock (DE)
Peyton Knowles (DE)
DJ Samuelu (DL)
Kolton Easton (DL)
Jaden Harris (MLB)
Will Booth (LB)
Branson Jones (LB)
Daegen Galloway (DB)
Jackson Olsen (DB)
Jaxen Hollingsworth (DB)
Stone Crandall (DB)
Max Maile (DB)
Cox’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

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“We’ve got to be able to stop the run first and foremost. I think we’re going to be really fast, we’ve just got to execute …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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