One's a rematch, another one looks like a high-scoring shootout. And then there's a promising showdown and a tossup, too.
That best describes what's in store during Friday's 5A football quarterfinal matchups as teams try to stay on the road to this year's state championship.
The rematch sends two-time defending 5A champion Bingham (9-2) up to Plain City to tangle with Region 1 champion Fremont (8-2).
These same two teams tangled for the 5A state title last year, when the Miners claimed their third crown in five years by whipping the Silver Wolves 30-7 on Nov. 19, 2010.
"We used that game as an example of things we needed to fix," said Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter. "Those are the things that we don't want to happen again.
"But, last year was last year, and this year is this year. We're excited to play them again."
Now, almost a year later, Fremont gets that glorious chance and puts its glossy 13-1 home playoff record on the line against a Bingham program that's regarded as one of the greatest this state has ever seen.
Quarterback Brady Lail, running back Daniel Palepoi and receivers Kalan Cantwell and Hayden Weichers spearhead a potent Bingham offense, and the Miners' defense can make things mighty difficult for opponents to put very many points up on the scoreboard.
"The winner of this game is going to be the team that wins the turnover battle," Bingham coach Dave Peck said. "Whoever takes care of the ball best will win it. We're looking forward to going up there and playing them. I think it's going to be a great game between two evenly-matched teams."
Fremont will counter with a quarterback tandem of Cooper Kelley and Jordan Preator, plus star running back Nick Vigil and a strong defense of its own.
The high-scoring shootout could very well take place at Lone Peak, where the undefeated and top-ranked Knights (11-0) take on another bunch of Knights from Northridge (8-3).
With multi-talented quarterback Chase Hansen leading the way, Lone Peak has piled up nearly 41 points per game this season on its way to running the table. Between his passing and running ability, Hansen has accounted for a whopping 3,100-plus yards and 43 touchdowns thus far this season.
"Chase Hansen is the best football player I've seen in 10 years coming out of this state — not just the best quarterback, but the best football player," said Northridge coach Erik Thompson. "He runs the ball extremely well, he throws the ball on the button and he can play defense, too. He's a great leader and has a warrior-type mentality, so we've definitely got our hands full."
Northridge has a prolific offense of its own, led by quarterback Karson Casteel and running back David Adams. Casteel has thrown for almost 2,700 yards and 22 touchdowns and has run for nine more scores, and Adams has nearly 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards and 18 TDs.
"It could be a very good matchup," Lone Peak coach Tony McGeary said. "They put a lot of points on the board and so do we. … It very well could be a shootout."
And while Lone Peak would appear to be a definite favorite to advance, Thompson and his team aren't going to simply roll over and let those "other" Knights move on without a dogfight.
"We're not the best team in the state, and we've got a ton of guys playing both ways and a lot of injuries we're dealing with," he said. "But one thing I know about my kids is they're going to show up and play their butts off, and they care about each other. I mean, what more could a coach ask for?"
The promising showdown will take place at Viewmont (8-3), where the Region 2 champion Vikings employ a fierce defense to subdue their opponents.
They'll face another high-scoring squad in Jordan (9-2) in a matchup which would seem to send the irresistable force, the Beetdiggers' offense, up against the immovable object, the Vikings' defense.
Jordan, which averages around 35 points per game, is led by stellar freshman quarterback Austin Kafentzis, whose passing and running talents have given him a staggering combined total of 4,100-plus yards and helped him account for 36 touchdowns this season.
Viewmont will take on the challenge of trying to contain Kafentzis and Co. with a solid defense which has given up only 14 points per game this season and shut out American Fork 21-0 in last week's playoff opener.
The Vikings will also have a solid 7-1 home-field playoff record on their side in their quest to reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1980.
And the tossup finds Syracuse (7-3), fresh from its shocking first-round victory over heavily favored Alta, taking the trip to Salt Lake City to tangle with a West High team which picked up its first postseason victory since 1997 last week.
The Panthers (6-5) boast a superb 17-5 playoff record at home, but Syracuse certainly didn't let playing on the road deter the Titans from taking care of business against Alta, 16-10, a week ago. It marked the first time since 2005 that a No. 1 seed suffered a first-round defeat in the 5A playoffs.
"We really knocked 'em in the mouth," Syracuse coach Russ Jones said proudly of his team's tenacious effort against the normally high-scoring Hawks. "It was a brawl.
"This will be a good matchup, too, I think. Those (West) guys are gonna come out and get after us, and we're gonna come out and get after them. So it's gonna be another brawl, just like last week."
And the winners of Friday's brawls will advance to the 5A semifinals scheduled next week at the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Bingham (9-2) at Fremont (8-2), 3:30 p.m.
Syracuse (7-3) at West (6-5), 3:30 p.m.
Northridge (8-3) at Lone Peak (11-0), 4 p.m.
Jordan (9-2) at Viewmont (8-3), 4 p.m.
Highland (7-3) at Logan (11-0), 5 p.m.
Bountiful (7-4) at Olympus (9-1), 5 p.m.
Westlake (4-6) at Timpview (8-2), 4 p.m.
Skyline (7-3) at East (10-1), 3:30 p.m.
Grantsville (7-4) at Hurricane (10-0), 5 p.m.
Spanish Fork (8-3) at Juan Diego (10-1), 4 p.m.
Cedar (5-5) at Delta (10-1), 5 p.m.
Desert Hills (7-3) at Stansbury (9-1), 5 p.m.
At Pleasant Grove High School
Manti (9-1) vs. S. Summit (8-3), 11 a.m.
Millard (8-2) vs. San Juan (10-0), 2 p.m.
Saturday's Semifinals12 comments on this story
At Wasatch High School
Rich (5-5) vs. Duchesne (10-0), 11 a.m.
Layton Christian (5-5) vs. Monticello (9-2), 2 p.m.labelWord5aplayoffs