Sugar-Salem topped Star Valley 22-6 to win their road opener in Afton.
The Diggers scored the first two touchdowns of the game on back-to-back drives in first and second quarter.
Star Valley scored a touchdown of their own on the following possession but Sugar answered late in the third quarter then held Star Valley for the rest of the game.
Sugar held the traditionally strong run game of Star Valley to 23 yards.
“In our experience playing them the last four years, they want to run the football and I think our defensive line really stepped up and made it very difficult for them to make any sort of run game going,” Richins said.”They overall were probably the MVP’s of the game just being able to get them out of their comfort zone and make it difficult for them.”
Defensive lineman Boyd Sorenson led the defense to six tackles for loss.
“I think Boyd Sorenson had a remarkable night,” Richins said. “He’s very difficult to block with just how fast and strong he is. He caused a lot of problems for them up front.”
Carson Harris led the Diggers in absence of his older brother, Ryan who went out with an elbow injury in the Diggers opening game. Harris rushed for 94 yards on 18 carries.
“He’s a very physical runner,” Richins said. “He’s not a real big kid but he’s pretty low to the ground and difficult to tackle. The line lead blockers made some great holes for him tonight. I don’t know the stats but I know that he had a lot of yards after contact being able to stay low to the ground. He’s a strong runner and made things happen for us.”
Richins said he doesn’t expect Carson to dominate carries every week but believes he’ll shoulder much of the run game until Ryan Harris comes back from injury.
“With Ryan being hurt, a lot of that shared responsibility has shifted directly to Carson,” Richins said. “We suspect when Ryan gets back ready to play again Ryan will shoulder some of that workload. But, we have a lot of capable backs but really our goal last night was to get back to doing what we want to do and establishing the run game and not turn over the football. We felt that Carson is kid who really protects the football and runs hard. We just wanted to give him some opportunities and help him build his confidence heading into this next few weeks and into our conference play.”
The Diggers hope Harris will come back after their week 5 bye for their game against Preston.
Quarterback Daniel Neal completed 7/12 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown without any interceptions after throwing four in the previous contest.
Jonah Schulthies caught two passes for 41 yards and Cooper Porter caught one pass for 23 yards.
The Diggers play Marsh Valley(1-2) next Friday in Arimo.