East-Jordan – To Count or Not to Count?
Time for an editorial opinion – based, of course, on facts. (The opinion expressed does not necessarily reflect that of the Deseret News.)
Guess there's a first for everything. In the history of Utah prep football before last weekend, several games have been stopped for various reasons from weather to mechanical failure to injuries. In most cases, the games were finished either within a day or two or even the same night at a nearby stadium.
In eight of those interrupted games, at least half the game had been played. In every case, the score when the interruption occurred became the final score with a win, loss or tie appropriately given to the teams involved. No games have been treated any other way.
Last Friday, two more games were cut short.
One, East vs. Jordan, was halted by a fire in an electrical box with 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Administrators of both schools determined it to be a "suspended" non-game game. No winner or loser.
Stranger still, the teams decided to count the stats of a game that doesn't count. That's unprecedented and a rather specious way to get stats without inflicting the pain of defeat or allowing the thrill of victory.
I'm a huge proponent of players and teams getting local and national recognition. However, counting stats and not the game result is wrong, both historically and logically.
Do these teams count the points and the touchdowns for each player and team, but not count the score? Do East and Jordan have 2-0 records, but have played three games (or really 2.75 games because of when the game was suspended)?
How are offensive yards, defensive tackles, PATs, etc., anything other than phantom numbers if the game isn't considered complete? You can't have your cake and eat it, too.
I suppose there is leeway to consider the contest a scrimmage that doesn't count and, therefore, neither do the stats. That would be unprecedented, but at least consistent.
However, this should be about the integrity of the game of football. Football is by definition a competition with winners and losers. Friday night, a competition was held, more than half the game was played, it ended because of "weather, mechanical or facility problems" per the Utah High School Activities Assn. (UHSAA) handbook, and administrators decided not to finish the game.
It should be counted as a victory for East.
In Friday's other interrupted game, lightning stopped Duchesne at West Wendover (Nev.) at halftime. Those teams counted the result and final score (33-0 for Duchesne) and can legitimately count the game stats.
By the way, on the East-Jordan issue, the UHSAA should be held harmless because East-Jordan is a non-region game with no playoff implications. The decision rests with the schools involved. The only guidance the UHSAA handbook gives is that a "tentative date for resumption of play" be set when a contest is suspended, indicating a preference, but not a requirement, that the game be resumed and finished. There's no language about how to treat unfinished games, probably because those games are rare and one like the East-Jordan case – wanting to count stats but not the result – unforeseen and unheard of.
Now that perhaps East, Jordan and possibly other readers are alienated, let's look at Week 4's usual features.
Defending Region Champs
This week, Regions 8, 9 and 11 join Classes 1A and 2A in league competition, and this season, several teams will try to extend their string of consecutive region championships. Juan Diego (begins Region 10 play Sept. 21) has won nine straight while Timpview has claimed seven in a row. Hurricane and San Juan are four-time defending region champs.
Delta and Lone Peak have captured three straight, and Fremont and Logan are back-to-back region titlists.
Historically, only Millard (12 straight from 1949-60) and Dixie (11 straight from 1966-76) have longer streaks than Juan Diego.
Besides new Summit Academy (more on the Bears in a moment), Enterprise, Maple Mountain and Stansbury, all 3-0, enjoy their best-ever starts. Previous best starts: Enterprise began 2000 and 2003 with 2-0 records, while Stansbury won its first two games last year and MM claimed a season-opener for the first time in its four-year history.
With victories this week, Syracuse, Timpanogos and Woods Cross will match best-ever starts. Syracuse opened 2010 and '11 at 4-0, while Timpanogos started 2010 with a 4-0 mark. WX has seen 4-0 just twice – in 1978 and 1988.
A Roy victory at Murray sends the Royals to 4-0 for the first time since their best-ever, 10-0, start in 1975 when they were quarterbacked by Jim McMahon. Roy defeated the Spartans in three previous meetings, in 1974, '75 and last year.
Spanish Fork last started 3-0 in 1997, but hasn't won four games to open the season since 1996 when the Dons romped to a 6-0 start, their best ever. SF visits Logan this week.
Brighton began 2009 with a 3-0 record, but a win at American Fork gives the Bengals 4-0 for the first time since 2005.
Summit Academy became the eighth program to win its first three games. The only schools to win more games their initial season include East Carbon, which raced to 6-0 start in 1959, and four schools, Cyprus, Diamond Ranch, Kanab and Olympus, which began 4-0.
Box Elder opened its year with three shutouts for the first time since 1945. The Bees hadn't blanked three opponents the same season since 1992 and shut out three straight since 1957. This week's foe, Syracuse, has whitewashed its last two opponents – the first time the Titans have posted consecutive shutouts. Syracuse defeated Box Elder last year, 20-14 in overtime.
Last Friday, Maple Mountain recorded its first-ever shutout.
That Box Elder-Syracuse contest warrants being played at Weber State Friday night and is one of two games between unbeaten teams. In the other, Summit Academy takes its 3-0 record on the road to 2-0 Rich in a 1A North showdown.
Four games pit winless teams: Ben Lomond at Ogden in the Iron Horse battle, Taylorsville at Olympus, Delta at Park City and Lehi at Payson.
First-time and Other Pairings
Just two first-time matchups: Skyline (Wash.) at Cottonwood and Summit Academy at Rich. While Cottonwood is winless in two outings, the Skyline Spartans won their opener last week and come in ranked #1 in Washington and #22 nationally by MaxPreps. The Spartans are defending state 4A (largest school) champs and were runners-up in 2010.
Two other games find Brighton at American Fork – they last met in 2010 – and Sky View at Woods Cross – they last battled in 2008. Incidentally, Brighton has defeated AF three straight times and leads the series 8-3, while Sky View has beaten WX in five of six meetings.
The remaining 48 games are all repeats from last year – 43 from Week 4 (but at the opposite field) and five from different weeks during the 2011 season.
Most-Played Rivalries (min. 50 games)
In the ninth most-played series, bitter rivals Beaver and Kanab meet for the 84th time. The Beavers lead the series 45-38 and have won the last two after dropping seven straight to the Cowboys.
Morgan and Grantsville clash for the 76th time; the Trojans control the series 45-28-2. The Cowboys won 14-7 in overtime last year to break Morgan's five-game winning streak in the series.
San Juan and Grand meet for the 67th time. The Broncos have grabbed seven straight in the series to up their lead to 39-27.
As mentioned, Ogden battles Ben Lomond for the Iron Horse in a game played annually since 1953. In the series, the Tigers have a 44-19 overall lead, have won four straight. In Iron Horse games (which excludes region and state playoff games), Ogden has a 42-17 margin.
Cedar maintains a 43-15-3 lead entering its 62nd game with Hurricane. The two have split the last eight; Cedar handed the Tigers their last regular season loss, in 2010.
Orem and Provo meet for the 58th time – the Tigers have won four of the last five encounters to take a 30-26-1 series lead.
Payson enjoys a 30-17-2 lead over Lehi as they meet for the 50th time.
Other Game Notes
The West-Cyprus series includes annual meetings since 1993. The Panthers have taken six straight to increase their advantage to 18-8 overall.
Viewmont has defeated cross-town rival Bountiful the past two seasons, but they've split the last 10 to keep the Braves' series edge at 36-21.
Carbon snapped a six game losing streak to Union in 2011, but still trail 14-12 in the series.
Duchense looks to pick up school victory #200 when the Eagles host Milford.
Carbon and Springville each play their 800th game, Emery its 500th and Canyon View its 150th.
Robbie Gunter is coaching his 100th game in stints at Viewmont and Syracuse. Kory Bosgeiter is directing his 50th game for Fremont.
Desert Hills and West combined for 345 penalty yards, the second-most total penalty yards on record. Dixie (255 penalty yards) and Carbon (95) combined for 350 in a 1981 slugfest that Dixie won, 28-26.
Golden Years – Installment 4
This week: Carbon, Enterprise, Granite, Logan, Mountain View, Provo, Roy, San Juan, Springville, Stansbury, Timpanogos, Wasatch and West Jordan.
(For new readers: During the regular season, Felt's Facts is identifying the golden era in football for almost every high school, excluding a few that are too new or were too short-lived to have developed much history. Around a dozen active schools are randomly selected each week, with one or two discontinued programs thrown in for good measure.)
Carbon – 1929-1942 – Three coaches led Carbon during this era as the school won a state championship in '38 and six region titles. Vernon Merrill (1929-32), Pres Summerhays (1933-40) and Jackson Jewkes (1941-42) guided Carbon to a 79-26-7 record. Under Summerhays, Carbon won four straight region crowns from 1933-36. The '38 championship team shut out six opponents and allowed only a TD in each of the other three games en route to an 8-0-1 season. Ken Prince was named first-team all-stater three times (1937-39), while two-time all-state recipients included Jack Aramaki (1934-35), Vernon Mills (1932-33) and Gene Robertson (1937-38). (Carbon changed from Miners to Dinosaurs or Dinos in 1934.)
Enterprise – 2002-2006 – The Wolves took state in 2003 and a region championship in 2005. Coaching changes didn't bother Enterprise as it compiled a 39-12 record under three coaches, Randy Hunter ('02-03), Dustin Pearce ('04) and Scott Robinson ('05-06). The Wolves also advanced to the championship game in 2002 and '05 and to the semifinals in '04 and '06. Kody Phelps and Kody Probst shared recognition as all-state MVPs in 2003.
Granite – 1929-1933 – The Farmers won two of their three state championships in 1930 and '32 and region trophies in '29, '30 and '32. With Rex "Shify" Sutherland at the helm, Granite went 32-8-4. The 1930 state champ shut out six foes, including three in the state playoffs, and didn't allow more than a touchdown in its other four games. Shirley "Turk" Jackson ('30) and Wally Morse ('32) were impact all-staters on the championship teams. Granite played football for 98 seasons, from 1907 through 2005.
Logan – 2005-2008 – A pair of state and region championships in 2005 and '07 highlight this four-year stretch for the Grizzlies. Logan led the state in offense in '05 and '08. Mike Favero directed Logan to a 41-11 record, including 10-2 in the playoffs, with all-state MVPs Riley Nelson ('05), Jordan Ballam ('07) and Jeff Manning ('08) keying Logan's success.
Mountain View – 1998-1999 – The Bruins grabbed a region title in 1989 and a 17-5 record over two seasons. Coach Randy Rehrer and his son, two-time all-state quarterback Casey Rehrer helped MV to its only 10-win campaign, and one of two undefeated regular seasons, in 1999.
Provo – 1981-1984 – Frank Henderson's first four seasons saw the Bulldogs capture the 1982 state championship en route to a 36-10 record, including a 21-2 mark over '81 and '82 when Provo took back-to-back region titles. The Bulldogs celebrated a school-record 12 victories in '82. During that season, Provo won a state-record seven-overtime game and its only loss was by one point. Provo also advanced to the semifinals in 1983. Sean Covey garnered all-state MVP respect in '82.
Roy – 1975-1977 – The Royals won their only state championship in 1981, but during this three-year period, they collected consecutive region titles ('75 and '76) and were 25-7. The '75 Royals enjoyed one of Roy's two 10-win seasons and its only undefeated regular season. Ernest Jacklin coached the Royals and 1976 all-state MVP Jim McMahon.
San Juan – 2004-present (records through 2011) – The Broncos dominated 2A football, winning state championships in 2006, '09 and '10 and six region garlands, including four straight from 2008-11. Under Monty Lee, San Juan won nearly 85% of its games (78-14) and posted a 14-5 playoff record. The undefeated 2010 Broncos shut out a school-record seven of 12 opponents. San Juan also won 30 straight games from 2009 to 2011. Five of the Broncos' 10 all-time all-state MVPs played during this era: Marley Haws ('06), Jace Holliday ('09), Tranner Sharpe ('06), Cameron Shumway ('10) and Stetler Shumway ('10).
Springville – 1985-1992 – The 1985 season witnessed the Red Devils' only state gridiron crown and undefeated season (12-0). During Ray Bradbury's last five seasons (through 1989) and Doug Bill's first three, Springville speared six region titles and compiled a 63-20 record. The Red Devils won at least one playoff game from 1985-91. All-state MVP Scott Mitchell led the '85 title team.
Stansbury – 2011-present (records through 2011) – After going 3-16 their first two years, the Stallions ripped out a 9-2 season, accompanied by their first playoff appearance and postseason victory. Clint Christiansen coached Stansbury's only all-state player (so far), Jeremy Cafe.
Timpanogos – 2002 – The Timberwolves rolled to a 9-3 record, the best in their 16-year history, and earned their first state playoff win under Frank Bramall. Isley Filiaga gained first-team all-state status.
Wasatch – 1964-1970 – Under long-time coach Dan Wright, the Wasps won five region championships in seven seasons – three straight from 1966-68 – and a 63-15-1 record. The era included three double-digit win seasons, three one-loss seasons, annual playoff visits and two championship-game appearances. Some of the Wasps' all-state players at the time include Dave Densley ('66), George Wilson ('67), Keith Young ('64) and Steve Young ('70).
West Jordan – 1991-1992 – The Jaguars won their first region title (1992) and a playoff game for the first time as Rick Bojack steered WJ to a 16-5 record. Adam Casto made the all-state team in 1991 while Matt Doman, Jason Nelson and Jim Richards were named in '92.
Felt's Facts welcomes questions – email firstname.lastname@example.org.