For the eighth straight year, since 2005, Week 10 kicks off the 2A postseason. More on those first-round games later.
In region races, seven teams claim outright titles by winning this week: Hunter (Region 2), Jordan (Region 3), Timpview (Region 8), Juan Diego (Region 10), Stansbury (Region 11), Spanish Fork (Region 12), and Duchesne (1A North).
Region 4 will likely have co-champions – Lone Peak and the winner of Bingham at Pleasant Grove. Same with Region 9, where Desert Hills and Hurricane are heavily favored over Cedar and Canyon View, respectively.
Three head-to-head matchups impact league championships: Bingham at PG; Judge at Juan Diego, where the Bulldogs must prevail to share the title with JD (and likely Wasatch, too); and Spanish Fork at Payson, where the Lions have to win to become co-champs with SF (and probably Delta as well).
Do or Die
Ten regions have games this week, and eight of them have one critical contest where at least one of the participants must win for a shot at postseason action.
In Region 3, Brighton has to defeat Copper Hills or be eliminated. A Bengal victory likely creates a three-way tie between Brighton, Cottonwood and West Jordan for two playoff positions. In Region 4, American Fork must beat Riverton to force a tie and a region playoff game with the Silverwolves for the final berth.
Region 8's crucial match pits Mountain View at Springville – the Bruins stay home unless they win and create a three-way logjam for the last spot between those two and Salem Hills (assuming Maple Mountain beats the Skyhawks). Springville grabs fifth and avoids a region playoff game with a victory (again assuming MM wins).
Region 9's key game finds Snow Canyon at Pine View, where the Panthers must prevail to force a tie and a region playoff game with SC for the last berth. Regions 10 and 11 have pure elimination contests – Union at Uintah and Ogden at Grantsville, respectively – where the winners get fourth and the losers are finished.
In 1A North, Layton Christian has to win at Rich and hope Altamont falls to Duchesne to cause a tie with Altamont for fourth. In 1A South, Whitehorse must defeat Monument Valley to force a tie and a region playoff game with the Cougars for the fourth and final berth.
Meanwhile, the most important Region 2 battle has Kearns at Granger playing for second and third. That game also features two of the state's leading rushers in Kearns' James Felila and Granger's Tani Lehauli. In Region 12, Spanish Fork at Payson and Delta at North Sanpete determine seeding with the likely outcome Spanish Fork, Delta, Payson and North Sanpete.
No, there's not one this week, but since 5A (Syracuse), 4A (East), 2A (San Juan) and 1A (Duchesne) all have just one undefeated team, there's only one possible matchup of unbeatens left. Should Juan Diego win this week, the Soaring Eagle would collide with Stansbury in the 3A semifinals if both teams advance that far.
Undefeated Regular Seasons
San Juan has wrapped up its third straight unbeaten regular season and seventh overall, while Syracuse has snared its first.
The four other undefeated teams are favored this week and if they all win, Duchesne will enjoy its second consecutive undefeated campaign and third overall; East, its 11th and first since 1996; Juan Diego, its fourth and first since 2008; and Stansbury, its first.
Duchesne has reached the 30-game mark, tied for the second longest all-time with San Juan (2009-2011) and six behind Timpview's state record (2006-2009).
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