Brighton vs American Fork Standouts

James Empey

Scout.com recaps who stood out from Friday nights opener between two of Utah's best teams, Brighton and American Fork...

The Fantastic Four

1)Lopini Katoa: 21 touches for 209 yards and two touchdowns is impressive at anytime, but when it comes in the midst of a monsoon it's even sweeter. Katoa played just about every snap of the game at running back, as well as safety. In the final 10 minutes of the game, he put American Fork on his back and nearly carried them to victory. Katoa's toughness, athleticism, and determination were all on display. Look for Utah State and Army to be joined by a few other schools this fall, in the "Pini sweepstakes".

2)Osa Masina: You won't find Masina's value in the box score, his value was only seen by those watching in person. Masina's selflessness and leadership were displayed throughout Friday night. He was a primarily a lead blocker on offense and on defense, Masina was flying around the field like his hair was on fire. If he wasn't on the field for Brighton, AF may have won that game by 25, he was that important.

3)James Empey: Empey looks better and better every time I see him. The offensive guard prospect played every snap of the game at left tackle. Empey stonewalled the Brighton defensive line from the start of the game to the end. His footwork and power was too much. What was even more impressive was Empey's performance on defense, lining up at end, as well as tackle, he was very disruptive. He tallied 5 tackles, 3 TFL's, and 1 sack. Empey is primarily looking at Boise State, BYU, Utah, Utah State, and Washington. Whoever lands him is going to get a fantastic prospect that will find a lot of success at the next level.

4) Drew Jensen: Jensen didn't have a perfect night, but when his team needed him, he was perfect. The three-star junior did everything for Brighton, lining up at running back, receiver, cornerback, safety, punt returner, kick returner, and punter. He had the game winning 75 yard kick return to the house, followed up with the go-ahead two-point conversion late in the 4th quarter. Jensen made a few mistakes earlier in the game, but he stayed focused and was Brighton's best playmaker on Friday. He scored two touchdowns and converted three 2 PT conversions.

(Lopini Katoa)

The Best Of The Rest

Cody Barton: Barton made some mental mistakes early in the game, but when Brighton needed a spark, he came up big. Midway through the 4th quarter, Barton jumped a route and ended up waltzing into the endzone, to put Brighton within striking distance. The Ute commit played lock-down defense after that pick-6.

Sione Heimuli-Lund: Heimuli-Lund showed flashes of brilliance. The 2017 four-star had a few impressive runs where he refused to go down after early contact. He also delivered some vicious blows on defense.

Nate Heaps: The weather wasn't exactly conducive for Heaps to play his game, but he still had a few receptions. He finished with 3 receptions for 58 yards, including a highlight reel catch where he hurdled a defender to pick up a few extra yards.

Nick Bernardo: Bernardo finished with five tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery, but his impact on the game was more than that. He set the tone for American Fork with a few bone-crushing hits early in the game. Bernardo is a sleeper in Utah, that looked like a D1 outside linebacker on Friday night.

Dylan Pearmain: Pearmain had an impressive game, especially late in the game. He had two big pass break ups in the 4th quarter and was reliable for Brighton all night.


(Cody Barton)

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