The big surpise in Utah football season is the rise of Ogden, a perennial afterthought while in 3A but now off to a 5-0 start in Class 4A.
The Tigers have scored at least 30 points in all five games and put up 63 against Logan behind seven touchdowns from QB Nik Allred. MaxPreps.com caught up with him earlier in the week.
Dan Ryan: How much satisfaction is there knowing that you’ve helped turn the program around? Ogden is the feel-good story of Utah football right now.
Nick Allred: It feels great and it is nice to know that I, along with many others, have been a part of helping to turn our program in the right direction. I think that we are satisfied with the things what we've accomplished thus far, but by no means are we content to stop here. I hope that what we started this year and last year can be a foundation for many great years of Ogden football to come.
DR: Can you compare the atmosphere around football today to when you were a freshman?
NA: As a freshman, there really wasn't much of an "atmosphere." It was something for us athletes to do, but the rest of the school and community expected nothing from us. Last year (head coach Eric Eyre’s first year) I really noticed a change. There was a change of attitude and a different perception came to our team when we won some ball games. This year, we've been able to build on that. The atmosphere around the community and what people expect from us has risen dramatically.
DR: You had seven touchdown passes last week against Logan, six the week before Ben Lomond. You have a pair of 100-yard rushing games. Those are some pretty amazing stats. When you see those , do you think "Dang, we were that good?” or what?
NA: It definitely has been a little unexpected, but after five games I'm now starting to realize that our offense really is impressive. Our coach does a good job of helping us to adjust to the different defenses. The offensive line has been solid, and the receivers have made some phenomenal plays.
DR: Was there a moment this season when it really hit you and the team that something good is happening?
NA: I think after we beat Judge Memorial we felt that we were good, maybe better than we expected to be. After that game, I think it hit us. We believed we could compete with anybody. Other high schools (many in our new region) and people doubt us, but as for my team and I, we know that something good is happening to Ogden Football.
DR: This is the chance to show your appreciation to the guys up front – say something about each of your linemen.
NA: Nathan Kapple is the left tackle. He is a great player and team captain. Nathan is probably our best all-around lineman. He has good size and a lot of experience.
Darrin Gomez is the left guard. He joined our team later in the summer, but has worked very hard since then to learn what is going on. He does a great job of wrapping around for lead blocks.
Hunter Petersen is the center. Although Hunter isn't the biggest lineman, he does a good job with what he's got. Hunter doesn't get much credit, but he really does well with his snaps. This is very important for our offense that's strictly shotgun.
Robert Cervantez is the right guard. Robert works as hard and has as much heart as anybody I know. He too does a great job of pulling around and opening up some big gaps for me to run through.
Paul John Giles is the right tackle. Since deciding to play football last spring, he has been committed to improving. P.J. has amazing feet and moves extremely well for a lineman.
DR: Any scholarship offers so far?
NA: I haven't received any scholarship offers yet.
DR: Talk about the impact Coach Eyre has made on you and the team.
NA: Coach E has impacted us all. I have a good relationship with him in and outside of football, and I think most of the team feels the same way. When it comes down to football he's all business. He will sacrifice anything to help make our team better. He has done a good job of getting kids out to play who usually wouldn't. Obviously, his impact has turned the program completely around.
DR: Who are some of the area players you’re impressed with and like to face off against?
There are definitely some impressive players in our area, but I can't say that I really look at other players on different teams too much. However, the Iron Horse game against Ben Lomond is always a thrill to play in and I'm very excited for this week's face off against Bonneville.
DR: Is the close ready for a big playoff run?
NA: Although we made the move up to 4A this year, I think that a playoff run is certainly within reach. However, we must win some games in region and continue to get better as a team week after week to make that happen. Naturally, it feels great to be 5-0. But, I can't say that we are close to making a playoff run yet because region has only just begun.