This season, 30 games involve out-of-state teams, up from 27 in 2010. All but five are with schools from neighboring states – Idaho and Nevada provide the most competition with six teams each. This week will see 12 of those "out-of-state" contests. Utah's all-time records vs. out-of-state teams in 1,968 games: 1,069-838-61 (.559).
Although Utah squads face four California schools this year, Jordan plays the most exotic opponent: Notre Dame from Lawrenceville – just outside Trenton – New Jersey. The Irish travel some 2,150 miles to meet the Beetdiggers in a doubleheader – Alta vs. Taft (Calif.) is the other game – at Rio Tinto in the Xfinity High School Football Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 24. It is, of course, the first New Jersey team to play a school from Utah.
While some schools regularly schedule non-Utah opponents, especially those on the border of the state, 16 have never seen the need to venture against out-of-state teams including nine that have played football for at least 30 seasons – Bountiful, Kearns, Manti, Murray, Pleasant Grove, South Sevier, Taylorsville, West Jordan and Woods Cross.
Prep Football Heaven
Next week, on Sept. 3, Alta, Bingham and Timpview travel to Southern California to play in the Mission Viejo High School Football Classic. A real die-hard could watch seven games over two days – a Friday night doubleheader followed by five (!) contests on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. (Pacific time) when Alta and Timpview's JV teams take the field and concluding with Oaks Christian (Calif.) vs. Belleview (Wash.) at 8:30 p.m.
In between, Timpview takes on Bakersfield (Calif.) at 11:15, Alta meets Crenshaw (Calif.) at 2:20 and Bingham plays Orange Lutheran (Calif.) at 5:25. That'd be a lot of hot dogs.
Black and Blue Classic:
This week, the second game of Saturday's doubleheader at Rice-Eccles Stadium features bitter rivals Alta and Bingham, who have shared the last five Class 5A titles (Alta in '07 and '08, Bingham in '06, '09 and '10). From 2006-09, the two battled in August and again in the semifinals or finals.
Since the series resumed in 2001, the Miners have won nine of 13 contests over Alta. However, the Hawks still lead the all-time series, 14-11.
Should both win their respective regions– not a foregone conclusion – they'd be in opposite brackets on track to meet again in the 5A championship.
In Saturday's first game, Herriman tangles with Riverton.
This Week's Rivalry Games:
Millard and Delta renew the seventh most-played series – it's been stuck on game 87 since 2006. The Eagles have a 47-36-4 edge over the Rabbits.
Springville and Spanish Fork have split their last six as these foes battle for the 85th time since 1920. The Red Devils nipped the Dons 35-34 last year to increase their series lead to 42-39-3.
Kanab is 65-4-1 vs. Parowan and has won 48 straight over the Rams.
Grand and Monticello meet for the 60th time; Grand dominates 43-12-4 and has captured six straight in the series.
Morgan and South Summit clash for the 52nd time, but they haven't met since 2000. Perhaps that's because the Trojans control the series, 31-19-1.
The 47th battle for the Shield takes place at Roy with the Royals up 24-22 on Weber.
South Sevier meets North Sevier for the 40th time with South leading the series 30-9. North hasn't prevailed since 1999.
Realignment continues to provide opportunities for first-time parings – this week there are eight: Logan at Cottonwood, Mountain View at Bountiful, West Jordan at Hurricane and River Valley (the Dust Devils from Mojave Valley, Ariz.) at Dixie. Also, Lehi at Maple Mountain, Park City at Stansbury, Navajo Prep (Farmington, N.M.) at Monument Valley, and Sky View JV at Layton Christian.
Been a While:
East last played Orem in 1978 and holds a 2-1 series lead; this is their first regular-season matchup…. Highland defeated Cedar in both previous meetings, which came in 1985 and '86…. Pleasant Grove defeated Hunter, 21-14, in their only other meeting back in 1994…. That season was also the only time Olympus faced Northridge – the Titans walloped the Knights, 54-18…. Grantsville and Juab last met in 2000; the Cowboys lead the series 14-3.
Other Game Notes:
Bear River and Preston (Idaho) met regularly from the mid-1920s through 1937 when Preston was a member of Utah's Region 1 (and won league titles in 1925 and 1927), but haven't collided since 2003. The Bears lead the series, 8-5-2…. Davis battles Viewmont for the 44th time, leading the series 30-12-1. The Darts prevailed last year, 27-20, avenging the Vikings 24-21 win in '09.
Fremont meets Brighton for just the second time; the Silver Wolves ousted the Bengals in the first round of the 2006 Class 5A tournament…. Hillcrest has defeated Taylorsville 10 of their 12 meetings…. Layton and Jordan have made their game an annual affair since 2003. The 'Diggers have captured six of those eight to tie the series at six games each.
Juan Diego and Manti face off for the first time in the regular season. JD defeated Manti in the 2002 Class 2A championship and the Templars returned the favor in 2003…. Although North Summit has a 12-3 record vs. Duchesne, the Eagles have a two-game streak in the series.
Milford looks for its 200th win while Orem and Weber both play game #750.
In the coaching ranks, Mike Favero is gunning his 100th victory as he directs his 150th game at Logan. At Davis, Ryan Bishop is also coaching his 150th contest.
Chink in the Armor
Timpview lost to Springville to end its 2010 campaign and fell to Alta to open 2011. That marked the first time Timpview's vaunted program has dropped back-to-back contests since the the last two weeks of August 2001 when the T-birds succumbed to Kamehameha (Hawaii) and Lone Peak. You have to go back to the last two weeks of October 1999 to find the last time Timpview endured consecutive losses to Utah teams – Lone Peak and Fremont.
From Last Week:
Diamond Ranch won its debut contest as a varsity squad, just the 32nd school to win its first-ever game out of 132 high schools that have played football in Utah. That's just under 25 percent.
Cedar suffered its first shutout since 2005 – a span of 58 games – and just its second since 1996…. Meanwhile, Gunnison and North Summit whitewashed opponents for the first time since 2006 and American Fork (which blanked Cedar) for the first time since 2007.
Highland scored in its 110th consecutive game, tying a school record set from 1982 to 1992. The current streak began in 2002.
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Over the course of the season, several contests originally scheduled for Friday have been switched to Thursday to accommodate KJZZ-TV broadcasts, hoping to attract viewers who might otherwise be at a game on Friday. They include Juan Diego at Skyline (Sept. 8), Riverton at Kearns (Sept. 15), Bonneville at Mountain Crest (Sept. 22) and PG at Lone Peak (Oct. 6).
Other Thursday night TV games include Lone Peak at Davis (Sept. 1), Lone Peak at Bingham (Sept. 29), Timpview at Springville (Oct. 13) and Cottonwood at Alta (Oct. 20).
This week, both Herriman-Riverton and Alta-Bingham will be televised from Rice-Eccles Stadium.
(The complete schedule appears on the kjzz.com website with a link in the lower right corner of the home page.)