Their last name is Havili, and yes, they are related to former USC and Cottonwood High player Stanley Havili. But Atu and Allan are trying to leave their own mark on the football field. The only problem is sometimes their best work goes unnoticed.
The Havili brothers anchor Stansbury’s stout defensive line, acting as run-stoppers and quarterback hunters. Equipped with a rare combination of speed and power, the duo commands a double team in almost every game. This has allowed Stansbury’s heralded linebacking crew to wreak havoc on anything that runs, passes or blocks.
“I think it’s a big advantage to play alongside my brother,” said 6-foot-3, 290-pound tackle Allan Havili. “Especially up the middle, we’re big, strong and quick. It’s an honor to play next to my brother, it’s the first time ever, and I think we’re a big asset to the defensive line.”
With Stansbury headed for the 3A quarterfinals to play Desert Hills on Friday, it’s clear the Stallions’ two biggest defenders are also their most important.
“If one of those kids were to go down, we would definitely feel the effect,” Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen said. “You can’t replace them; they’re too good of football players. We have guys that could fill in, but to say you can replace an Atu or Allan? It would definitely hurt our team.”
Stansbury advanced to the second round of the 3A playoffs with a 48-21 win over Juab. The Stallions’ defense flexed its muscles with a 29-0 second-half shutout of the Wasps. But things will only get tougher for the Region 11 champions.
“Defensively, we’ve got a lot more challenges ahead of us,” said senior defensive tackle Atu Havili. “Our goal right now is to make it to the championship, but we’re still playing each team one at a time.”
For the most part, this disciplined Stansbury team has stuck to its one-game-at-a-time philosophy, and it’s worked. The team is 9-1 and has won seven straight since a Week 3 loss at Delta.