In capturing its third championship, 12-0 Duchesne claimed its second undefeated season in its 41-year history. (The Eagles went 13-0 in 2006.) Layton Christian didn't complete a pass in the game and so Duchesne became one of 13 teams to allow zero passing yards in a championship. (Two others actually held their opponents to negative passing yards: Mountain Crest held Box Elder to minus-5 in 2001 and Kanab held North Summit to negative-3 yards in 1974.)
Also in the 1A final, LCA's Kyle Yockey set a title game record by booting an 85-yard punt, besting a 72-yarder by Beaver's Travis Hugh (1990). Maybe the venue – the wind or elevation or both – was a factor. It's the first championship that's been played in as mountainous a location as Wasatch High.
In the 2A battle, despite his team losing, Millard's Jesse Rhodes became the 40th Utah gridder to rush for over 3,000 career yards – he finished with 3,012. Teammate Pancho Alcala ended up in 26th place with 3,327 Career Rushing Yards.
Annual Scoring Champs
Offense: Logan is on track to snare honors for 2011, although its total points obviously won't be known until Friday afternoon. The Grizzles average 45.5 ppg. To catch Logan, Hurricane would have to put up 60 on DH while the Logan failed to score against East. It's the third time in seven seasons Logan has topped the state in scoring offense (2005 and 2008, too).
Defense: San Juan allowed just 8.4 ppg, capturing the scoring defense trophy for the second straight year. None of the remaining finalists can match that even if they shut out their opponents this week.
Margin: Duchesne defeated its foes by an average of 33.2 ppg, the largest margin of victory this season. The only way the Eagles could lose the scoring margin title is if Logan defeats East by 95 points.
Championship Game Numbers Trivia
Friday will see the 259th, 260th and 261st championship games played, but teams will claim the 270th, 271st and 272nd trophies. The difference of 11 is because three contests ended in ties, awarding trophies to an additional three teams, four more got state titles when the 1925 semifinals (East vs. West and Payson vs. South Sevier) ended in scoreless ties and another four were declared champs when Box Elder and Tooele refused to meet in the 1928 championship and Davis wouldn't play East in the 1943 finals.
Until 1917, state championships were determined by season records. State playoffs were to start in 1918, but the Spanish Flu caused the season to be cancelled after a total of just five games had been played.
Skyline has won the most championship games, 14, but West has the most state titles, 21, with 14 of those coming between 1898 and 1917, before title contests were played. East has the most state crowns, 15, during the championship-game years (1919-2010), but two of those were awarded because of a semifinal tie and when Davis wouldn't play the Leopards in 1943.
Millard now has the most championship game appearances, 21.
See you on the sidelines.