Lancer football team earns berth in state playoffs
The 2012 Granger Lancers football team established itself as a high-scoring offense that would not back down to any of its opponents. The team started training without a coach, but quickly came together and had a successful season.
“This year was a step in the right direction for Granger football. We got better, and now we have the expectations to go to the playoffs,” head coach Cecil Thomas said prior to the team’s final contest.
The Lancers closed out the 2012 season with a loss to Northridge Oct 26. in the first round of the state playoffs, 42-25, their first trip there since 2005 when they lost to Mountain Crest 42-6.
Thomas said the Lancers’ postseason experience will help them build a better football program at the school. He said the team benefits from the extra time they can work together.
This season’s summer preparations were interrupted when former head coach Alex Gerke left the team for another opportunity. The Lancers replaced him with Thomas, a former Cottonwood High School head coach and assistant at Weber State University.
Granger started off the season strong with four straight wins against Payson 49-21; Murray 53-22; Cyprus 41-38 in overtime; and over Judge Memorial 35-7. In regional play, they finished 3-2, with wins over Viewmont 19-13; Taylorsville 41-21 and West 56-35.
The Lancers averaged 31 points per game, third highest in the 5A division, behind only Jordan and Bingham high schools.
The offense was led by senior quarterback Jairo Tarver. He totaled 938 yards passing and 10 touchdowns. The rushing leader was junior Tani Lehauli. He ran for 1,759 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“This year’s senior class was great. I wish we had had the entire summer to work with them,” Thomas said.
Senior James Elkins had 14 touchdowns and 899 yards rushing, and Robbie Elkins led the receivers with 28 catches for 676 yards and six touchdowns.
“The team’s future is bright. We have great underclassmen, and with the ninth graders coming to the school next year, we are excited,” Thomas said.
The offensive line will return standout junior Kenyon Frison. Thomas said he really flourished in the starting right tackle spot this season.
“The student body really got behind us. They really supported the team. It was fun to see the atmosphere on game nights, and it will continue to get better,” Thomas said.