Excluding newcomers Diamond Ranch and Stansbury, all of this year's record 69 contestants made the postseason at least once between 2007 and 2010. Fifty-six teams – 84% – of last season's participants return.
American Fork and Timpanogos see postseason action for the first time since 2007 and Brighton, Layton Christian, North Sanpete and Ogden for the first time since 2008. Viewmont is back in for the eighth time in nine years after a one-year hiatus.
Parowan is missing for the first time since 2000, a streak of 10 straight appearances. Gunnison, North Sevier, Pleasant Grove and South Sevier sit out for the first time since 2004 – six playoffs ago – while Mountain View, Pine View and Union stay home for the first time since 2006.
Diamond Ranch is the 11th team to qualify for the playoffs its first year of varsity football. Of the previous 10, only the 1980 Mountain View Bruins won a first round game (24-14 over Ogden). MV was also the only first-year school to ever host a playoff contest.
Stansbury is only the 14th school to host its first-ever postseason game. Nine of the previous 13 won that initial contest. Syracuse, in 2008, was the last team to achieve that and then advanced to the 5A semifinals.
Just nine schools have made the playoffs more than 80% of the time that school has played football. Four have 100% attendance: Desert Hills makes its fourth appearance, Herriman, its second and Diamond Ranch, its first. But Rich has been in all 27 years of the school's existence.
Hunter has been in 21 of its 22 seasons, Juan Diego 11 of its 12 and Timpview 31 of 35. Lone Peak's been in 13 of its 15 seasons, Fremont 15 of its 18, and Skyline 41 of its 50.
Top-20 Playoff Appearances
1. Millard, 59
2. Box Elder, 55
3. Delta, 51
4. Orem, 48
5. Grand, 46
6. Beaver, Logan, 45
8. Davis, Morgan, North Summit, Wasatch, 44
12. Kanab, Springville, 42
14. Jordan, Skyline, 41
16. Monticello, 40
17. Bingham, East, Judge, Provo, 39
Except for Provo, all of the Top-20 are postseason repeaters from 2010.
Millard has played in 120 state games, Skyline, 112 state games, Delta, 103, Davis, 95, and Beaver, 91.
Top-20 Postseason Victories
1. Skyline, 86
2. Millard, 75
3. Delta, 62
4. Davis, 59
5. Beaver, 56
6. Timpview, 54
7. San Juan, 51
8. Judge Memorial, Kanab, 50
10. Dixie, Highland, 48
12. North Summit, Orem, 47
14. Morgan, 46
15. Bountiful, Jordan, Logan, 45
18. East, 43
19. Alta, Bingham, Box Elder, West, 41
Delta makes its ongoing state-record 37th straight postseason (since 1975), San Juan, its 35th (1977) and Highland its 29th (1983). Rich and Skyline have advanced to the playoffs the last 27 years (1985). Those five have the longest all-time postseason appearance streaks.
Others with long current streaks include Bingham, 23 (1989); Beaver and Timpview, 22 (1990); Hunter, 21 (1991); Emery, Millard and Morgan, 17 (1995); and Alta and Manti, 15 (1997).
San Juan is in the quarterfinals for the 25th consecutive season with a qualifier: 11 of those years, the quarterfinal was also the Broncos' first playoff game, including this season. With a win, SJ will advance to the semis for the 18th time in those 25 seasons.
Millard is in the quarters for the 17th straight year, but again, 11 times, the quarterfinal was Eagles' first playoff game, as it is this year, too.
Skyline is attempting to advance to the quarterfinals for the 17th time in 19 years and 21st time in 25 seasons. Timpview has won 11 straight first-round games and 16 in 17 seasons. Juan Diego is trying to win a first-round game for the 10th year in a row.
Bingham and Cottonwood have won seven straight opening-round contests, Delta and San Juan have snared six while Millard has captured five. Rich has grabbed four consecutive tournament-opening games and Dixie and Highland, three.
Ten schools, led by Skyline's remarkable 36-0 home playoff record, have never lost a playoff game on their own turf, and of those, only the Eagles are hosting this weekend. However, several teams, that do host this week still have a decided home-field postseason advantage, listed by percentage:
1. Skyline 36-0 (1.000)
2. San Juan 28-2 (.933)
3. Fremont 12-1 (.923)
4. Beaver 19-2 (.905)
5. Timpview 32-4 (.889)
6. Grantsville 20-3 (.870), Mountain Crest 20-3 (.870)
8. Viewmont 6-1 (.857)
9. Bountiful 17-3 (.850)
10. Rich 9-2 (.818)
11. Bingham 24-6 (.800), Juan Diego 12-3 (.800)
13. Alta 19-5 (.792)
14. Delta 30-8 (.790)
15. Manti 11-3 (.786)
Looking at overall home wins in the state tournament, Millard has the most with 38, followed by Skyline, 36; Timpview, 32, Delta, 30; San Juan 28; Morgan, 27 and Dixie, 25.
Riverton captured its first-ever state tourney victory in eight attempts by defeating West in the opening round in 2010. This year, West hosts the Silverwolves, and the Panthers shoot for their first playoff win since 1997, going 0-8 in the postseason since then.
Kearns is 0-8 in playoff action since '93, while North Sanpete and Viewmont are 0-7 since 2002 and 2003, respectively.
Milford hopes to nab its first state contest since 1999, going 0-9 since then. LCA attempts to get its first-ever playoff victory in four tries. The Eagles have been outscored 116-0 in three previous appearances.
Top-20 Playoff Winning Percentage
1. Juan Diego .821 (23-5)
2. Skyline .768 (86-26)
3. Timpview .711 (54-22)
4. Snow Canyon .679 (19-9)
5. Mountain Crest .672 (39-19)
6. Alta .651 (41-22)
7. East .657 (43-23-2)
8. Judge Memorial .633 (50-29)
9. San Juan .630 (51-30)
10. Millard .625 (75-45)
11. Davis .621 (59-36)
12. Northridge .621 (18.11)
13. Beaver .615 (56-35)
14. Kanab .610 (50-32)
15. Jordan .608 (45-29)
16. Dixie .608 (48-31)
17. Delta .602 (62-41)
18. Bountiful .600 (45-30), Highland .600 (48-32)
20. Rich .580 (29-21)
Games matching teams with the best combined records: Herriman (8-3) at Logan (10-0) and Dixie (7-2) at Juan Diego (9-1)…. Teams with losing records hosting a game: Rich (4-5) vs. Diamond Ranch (5-4) and Layton Christian (4-5) vs. Altamont (2-7).
Just two teams with .500 or better campaigns failed to qualify: Granger, 6-4, and Bonneville, 5-5.
A surprising 16 teams with losing records qualified for the tournament: Altamont and Milford, 2-7; Park City, 3-7; Hunter and Westlake, 3-6; four with 4-6 records, Kearns, North Sanpete, Ogden and Timpanogos; and four at 4-5, Cedar, LCA, Rich and Woods Cross.
In Tuesday's opening round game in 4A, Springville, then 3-7, was eliminated. Last week saw Grand, then 2-7, and American Leadership, then 3-6, ousted from the 2A tourney.
Of 16 coaches either in their first year or new at their current school, nine made the playoffs. The five new mentors are Craig Davis (Wasatch), Robbie Dias (Diamond Ranch), Nick Longshore (Woods Cross), Devin Smith (North Summit), who already won a playoff game last week, and Bob Stephens (Alta). The four with previous coaching experience, but new to their school, are Tyler Anderson (Orem), Steve Coburn (North Sanpete), Les Hamilton (Hunter), and Aaron Whitehead (Olympus).
First-time Meetings (7)
(4A) Highland at Maple Mountain, Herriman at Logan, Westlake at Mountain Crest; (3A) Morgan at Spanish Fork, Ogden at Delta, Juab at Stansbury, Park City at Desert Hills.
While these games link schools for the first time, some of their coaches have met previously. Logan's Mike Favero won the 1999 4A final coaching against Larry Wilson, then at Highland. In addition, Juab's Mike Bowring and Stansbury's Clint Christiansen met in 1998 and '99 when they coached at Monticello and South Sevier, respectively. Each won a head-to-head matchup.
Repeats of 2010 First-Round Games (or 2A Quarterfinals) (4)
(5A) Riverton at West (Silverwolves won 34-7 at Riverton); Davis at Jordan (Beetdiggers won 52-7 at Davis); (3A) Cedar at Judge Memorial (Bulldogs won 24-21 at Cedar); (2A) South Summit at Beaver (Wildcats won 46-0 at South Summit).
2011 Season Rematches (6)
(5A) Brighton at Fremont (Aug. 26, Week 2: Fremont 20-16, at Fremont).
(4A) Orem at East (Aug. 26, Week 2: East 41-17, at Orem).
(2A) Emery at Manti (Sept. 2, Week 3: Manti 28-0, at Manti).
(1A) Diamond Ranch at Rich (Oct. 14, Week 9: Rich 21-0, at Rich); Altamont at LCA (Oct. 7, Week 8: LCA 41-24, at Altamont); Milford at Monticello (Oct. 19, Week 10: Monticello 47-15, at Monticello)
James Edward and his Deseret News crew highlight each of this week's matchups on-line, so look there for more information.
Here are the head-to-head team and coach records and last meeting between the schools.
5A First round
Fremont (7-2) vs. Brighton (5-3-1) – Fremont 2-0. Fremont's Kory Bosgeiter is 1-0 vs. Brighton's Ryan Bullett. Last meeting: Fremont 20-15 on Aug. 26 (Week 2 at Fremont).
Bingham (8-2) vs. Kearns (4-6) – Bingham 22-9. Bingham's Dave Peck is 5-0 vs. Kearns' Bill Cosper. Last meeting: Bingham 52-7 on Sept. 24, 2010.
Alta (9-1) vs. Syracuse (6-3) – Alta 1-0. First meeting between Alta's Bob Stevens and Syracuse's Russ Jones. Last meeting: Alta 42-14 on Nov. 13, 2008 (5A semifinal at U).
West (5-5) vs. Riverton (5-5) – Riverton 3-0. Riverton's Mike Miller is 1-0 vs. West's Justin Spencer. Last meeting: Riverton 34-7 on Oct. 29, 2010 (5A first round at Riverton).
Lone Peak (10-0) vs. Hunter (3-6) – Hunter 3-0. Lone Peak's Tony McGeary and Hunter's Les Hamilton (when at Alta) are tied 1-1. Last meeting: Hunter 45-37 – 4 OT on Nov. 6, 2009 (5A quarterfinal at Hunter).
Northridge (7-3) vs. Cottonwood (5-4) – Northridge 5-0. First meeting between Northridge's Erik Thompson and Cottonwood's Josh Lyman. Last meeting: Northridge 52-8 on Nov. 1, 2002 (5A first round at Northridge).
Viewmont (7-3) vs. American Fork (5-5) – Viewmont 2-1. First meeting between Viewmont's Brad Lloyd and AF's Aaron Behm. Last meeting: AF 28-21 on Oct. 26, 2007 (5A first round at AF). The Viking wins came in 1971 and '80.
Jordan (8-2) vs. Davis (5-3-1) – Jordan 20-17-4. Jordan's Eric Kjar is 1-0 vs. Davis' Ryan Bishop. Last meeting: Jordan 52-7 on Oct. 29, 2010 (5A first round at Davis).
4A First round
Logan (10-0) vs. Herriman (8-3) – first meeting. Logan's Mike Favero is 1-0 vs. Herriman's 3Larry Wilson (when at Highland).
Maple Mountain (7-3) vs. Highland (6-3) – first meeting. First meeting between MM's Brad Burtenshaw and Highland's Brody Benson.
Olympus (8-1) vs. Box Elder (6-4) – series tied 2-2. First meeting between Oly's Aaron Whitehead and BE's Robbie Gunter. Last meeting: BE 27-22 on Oct. 30, 2004 (4A first round at BE).
Bountiful (6-4) vs. Timpanogos (4-6) – Bountiful 4-1. First meeting between Bountiful's Larry Wall and Timpanogos' Ed Larson. Last meeting: Bountiful 38-19 on Aug. 24, 2001. This is their first postseason matchup.
Timpview (8-2) vs. Woods Cross (4-5) – Timpview 2-1. First meeting between Timpview's Louis Wong and Woods Cross' Nick Longshore. Last meeting: Timpview 41-13 on Oct. 30, 1998 (4A first round at Timpview).
Mountain Crest (6-4) vs. Westlake (3-6) – first meeting. First meeting between MC's Mark Wootton and Westlake's Jason Walker.
East (9-1) vs. Orem (5-5) – East 3-1. East's Brandon Matich is 1-0 vs. Orem's Tyler Anderson. Last meeting: East 41-17 on Aug. 26 (Week 2 at Orem). Before this year, Orem won in 1966 while the Leopards captured wins in 1974 and '78, all in playoff games.
Skyline (6-3) vs. Sky View (5-5) – Skyline 4-0. First meeting between Skyline's Roger DuPaix and Sky View's Craig Anhder. Last meeting: Skyline 34-15 on Sept. 6, 1996. This is their first postseason matchup.
3A First round
Hurricane (9-0) vs. Wasatch (5-5) – series tied 1-1. First meeting between Hurricane's Chris Homer and Wasatch's Craig Davis. Last meeting: Hurricane 34-21 on Nov. 5, 2005 (3A quarterfinal at Hurricane).
Grantsville (6-4) vs. North Sanpete (4-6) – Grantsville 13-2-1. First meeting between Grantsville's Tony Cloward and NS's Steve Coburn. Last meeting: Grantsville 28-7 on Aug. 27, 2010.
Juan Diego (9-1) vs. Dixie (7-2) – Dixie 2-1. First meeting between JD's John Colosimo and Dixie's Blaine Monkres. Last meeting: Dixie 25-20 on Nov. 3, 2006 (3A quarterfinal at JD).
Spanish Fork (7-3) vs. Morgan (7-2) – first meeting. First meeting between SF's Matt Christensen and Morgan's Kovi Christiansen.
Delta (9-1) vs. Ogden (4-6) – first meeting. First meeting between Delta's Russ Henrie and Ogden's Troy Kolan.
Judge Memorial (7-3) vs. Cedar (4-5) – Judge 3-1. JM's James Cordova is 2-1 vs. Cedar's Todd Peacock. Last meeting: JM 24-21 on Oct. 30, 2010 (3A first round at Cedar).
Stansbury (8-1) vs. Juab (6-4) – first meeting. Stansbury's Clint Christiansen (when at South Sevier) and Juab's Mike Bowring (when at Monticello) are tied 1-1.
Desert Hills (6-3) vs. Park City (3-7) – first meeting. First meeting between DH's Jake Nelson and PC's Kai Smalley.
Manti (8-1) vs. Emery (6-4) – series tied 10-10. Manti's Cole Meacham is 2-1 vs. Emery's Jim Jones. Last meeting: Manti 28-0 on Sept. 2 (Week 2 at Manti).
Beaver (6-3) vs. South Summit (7-3) – series tied 8-8. SS's Jerry Parker is 1-0 vs. Beaver's Steve Hutchings. Last meeting: SS 46-0 on Oct. 30, 2010 (2A quarterfinal at SS).
San Juan (9-0) vs. North Summit (6-4) – San Juan 6-1. First meeting between SJ's Monty Lee and NS's Devin Smith. Last meeting: San Juan 35-0 on Oct. 1, 2010.
Millard (7-2) vs. Richfield (6-4) – Millard 42-12-1. Millard's Marshall Sheriff is 1-0 vs. Richfield's Corey Morrison. Last meeting: Millard 27-20 on Oct. 10, 2008.
Duchesne (9-0) vs. Monument Valley (5-4) – Duchesne 5-0. Duchesne's Bill Hoopes is 1-0 vs. MV's Powers Whiskers. Last meeting: Duchesne 54-0 on Oct. 1, 2010.
Rich (4-5) vs. Diamond Ranch (5-4) – Rich 1-0. Rich's Ashley Brown is 1-0 vs. DR's Robbie Dias. Last meeting: Rich 21 on Oct. 14 (Week 9 at Rich).
Monticello (8-2) vs. Milford (2-7) – Monticello 10-0. Monticello's Lee Chadwick is 2-0 vs. Milford's Brian Williamson. Last meeting: Monticello 47-15 on Oct. 19 (Week 10 at Monticello).
LCA (4-5) vs. Altamont (2-7) – Altamont 4-3. Altamont's Mick Fieldstead is 2-1 vs. LCA's Will Hawes. Last meeting: LCA 41-24 on Oct. 7 (Week 8 at Altamont).
San Juan goes for 30 in a row while Duchesne tries to become the 21st school to win 20 straight games. The other Top-10 longest current streaks include Logan and Lone Peak, 10; Delta and Hurricane, 9; Alta, 8; Manti and Timpview, 7; and Olympus 6. Lone Peak is, of course, off to its best-ever start.
2011's Most Improved
Stansbury, not only in the playoffs for the first time in its three-year history, but hosting a first round game as region champs, have improved 6.5 games from 2-8 in 2010 to 8-1 this season. Only 17 teams have improved more games than Stansbury in Utah prep history, led by Hurricane's impressive 9.0-game turnaround from 1-8 in 2004 to 12-1 in '05.
In 2010, Alta suffered its first losing campaign in six years, but has moved from 4-7 to 9-1 this season – that's 5.5 games better. Three teams that have made a 5-game improvement follow the Hawks: Dixie (2-7 to 7-2), Granger (4-7 to 6-4) and Maple Mountain (3-9 to 7-3).
Region Championship Streaks
Three teams continued school-record region title streaks: Juan Diego captured its ninth straight while Timpview won its seventh in a row and Hurricane grabbed its fourth consecutive league crown. Three others tied school records as San Juan won its fourth straight region championship for the third time in school history; Delta claimed its third straight for the fifth time and Fremont won back-to-back championships for the second time.
Granger posted its first winning season since 2001 and Grantsville, its first since 2003. And Carbon (4-5) enjoyed its most victories since 2000.
Olympus hasn't won eight games in a season since its 9-3 year in 2003 when the Titans captured their last region championship. At 8-1, Monticello has claimed its most W's since 2004, its last winning season.
Skyline has secured its on-going state-record 23rd consecutive winning season (since 1989), but Timpview nips at the Eagles' talons with 22 straight.
Logan (10-0) has its first double-digit win season since 2007 while Lone Peak (10-0) has posted its second straight.
Hurricane (9-0) is on the verge of its ongoing school-record fourth straight double-digit win season. So is Juan Diego (9-1) – its fifth ten-win season in six years – and San Juan (9-0) – its sixth such season in seven years.
Alta (9-1) can guarantee its fifth in six years by beating Syracuse.
Duchesne (9-0) needs only defeat Monument Valley to garner its third consecutive double-digit winning season. Delta (9-1) hopes to post its first since 2008 and East (9-1), its first since 1996.
Sky View's Craig Anhder is gunning for his 50th career victory.
Undefeated Regular Seasons
Five schools, one in each classification, celebrated the regular season with unblemished records. By class: Lone Peak seized its first-ever in 15 years; Logan, its seventh and first since 1978; Hurricane, its fourth and first since 2005; San Juan, its sixth and second straight; and Duchense, its second-ever and first since 2006.
An Offensive Game?
In the 119 seasons of Utah prep football, 104 teams have scored 35 or more points in a losing cause in non-overtime games. Eleven of those contests – 10.6 percent of the 104 – have been played this year, further evidence that more prolific offenses are on the rise.
(They include Monticello 60, Diamond Ranch 46; Lone Peak over Highland 56-41; Rock Point (Ariz.) beating Monument Valley 46-40; Cottonwood over West Jordan 41-38 and over Brighton 49-37 but losing to Jordan 49-35. Also, Highland defeating Woods Cross 44-37; Hurricane prevailing over West Jordan 48-36; Granger 37, Judge 35; Orem 52, Provo 35; and Cedar 53, Snow Canyon 35.)
In addition, more teams are averaging more points per game. Prior to 2010, four teams averaged at least 40 points a game just once, in 2001. Last year, Bingham, Cottonwood, Timpview and Mountain Crest all accomplished that. That's nearly 10 percent of the 43 teams that have ever averaged 40 or more points during a season.
This year, four more, Logan, Hurricane, Duchesne and Monticello, average better than 40 points per contest. Whether or not that quartet can maintain that average remains to be seen.
From 2000 to 2010, the average points scored per game for all teams climbed from 20.16 to 23.35. This year so far, teams are scoring an average of 23.33.
Guess someone would have to do some regression analysis to see if those numbers are statistically significant. Any takers?
On the Other Hand
San Juan is poised to claim the scoring defense championship for the second straight year. The Broncos allowed an average of 3.3 ppg in 2010 and have permitted just 6.3 this year. They've held seven opponents to a touchdown or less and two others, Grand and Beaver, to 13 points each.
Juan Diego has matched its school record with four shutouts this season. The Soaring Eagle also whitewashed four opponents in 2008 and '09.
Career Stat Update
Despite 196 yards of total offense, Spanish Fork's Hayden Nielsen remains fifth in Career Total Offense with 8,614 yards. He's just 163 behind Alex Hart (Jordan, 2008-09). But his 142 passing yards bumped him into fifth in Career Passing Yards with 6,934 and just 52 yards behind Riley Nelson (Logan, 2003-05).
He's sixth in TD's-Responsible-For (90), seventh in Career TD Passes (72), eighth in Career Completions (455) and ninth in Career Attempts (769).
Meanwhile, over at Springville, Steve Bate finished his career with 74 TD passes, the fifth best performance, all-time.
Martavius Redmond concluded his stellar career at West Jordan with 2,377 Receiving Yards – the fourth most all-time – and 167 Receptions, which also ranks fourth.
Teammate DeShawn Perkins became the 13th Utah prep player credited with more than 2,000 Receiving Yards – he finished with 2,055, good for 11th all-time, and he jumped to third in Career Receptions with 169, just a couple more than Redmond.
Another outstanding receiver, Park City's Jono Schettler, became the 14th to reach the 2,000 Receiving-Yard barrier; he now has 2,006.
North Summit's 42-9 victory over Kanab last week marked the Braves' first playoff win in three years and ended the Cowboys' six-game, first-round winning streak, which began in 2004.
Last year, Monument Valley had to travel some 470 miles to face Rich in a 1A quarterfinal. This year, the Cougars travel "just" 320 miles to Duchense. That's surpassed by Diamond Ranch's 400-mile trip to Rich, but at least most of that is by freeway. Other six-or-so hour playoff excursions include North Summit at San Juan (325 mis.) and Milford at Monticello (320 mis.). In 3A, 4A and 5A, the longest trip is Desert Hill's 300 mile jaunt to Park City.