Ben Brewer, Deseret News
Prelude to the Playoffs
The 2012 season will be memorable for the multiple hearings the past two weeks about ineligible players – which generally results in forfeits – at East and Timpview. A controversial and largely unpopular decision left many disappointed and confused.
Despite its forfeits, Timpview still had enough wins to remain in the playoffs. However, East would have been out, but a UHSAA Board of Trustees panel justified East's inclusion in the state tournament despite using ineligible players in seven of its nine games and, in the words of the written ruling, despite "East's utter failure to adhere to the By-Laws" and its "wholesale failure to follow the rules" because of "mismanagement of the rules by the principal" and resulting "failures that actually belonged to the principal and head coach."
A team has been booted from the playoffs before. In 1919, the first year of the state tournament, Logan used three college players in its final game of the regular season. Upon discovery, the Grizzlies admitted the infraction. Second-place Box Elder replaced Logan and lost to eventual champion East.
Two other times, schools have forfeited multiple games during a season. West forfeited three contests in 1916 for using an ineligible player, but that was before state playoffs were introduced. Ogden forfeited its last three games in 1968 after the school was suspended from play because of a massive fight following a loss to Weber.
But now it's time to focus on the 2012 playoffs.
Excluding Summit Academy, a newcomer, and Granger, whose last tourney appearance came in 2005, the rest of this year's 69 contestants made the postseason at least once the past two years. Fifty-nine teams – over 85 percent of the 2011 participants – return, led by 16 of the 17 Class 4A squads (Mountain View replaced Springville).
Enterprise stays home for the first time since 2000, a streak of 11 straight appearances. Juab sits out for the first time since 2004, while Cedar and Park City haven't missed since 2006.
Summit Academy is 12th team to qualify for the playoffs in its first year of varsity football. Of the previous 11, only the 1980 Mountain View Bruins own a first-round victory (24-14 over Ogden). MV was also the only school to ever host a playoff contest in its first year.
Eleven schools have made the postseason more than 80 percent of the time those schools have played football. Five have perfect attendance: Desert Hills makes its fifth appearance, Herriman its third, Diamond Ranch its second and Summit Academy its first. But Rich has been in all 28 years of the school's existence.
The other over 80-percenters: Hunter has been in 22 of its 23 seasons, Juan Diego 12 of its 13 and Timpview 32 of 36. Lone Peak's been in 14 of its 16 seasons, Fremont 16 of its 19, Syracuse five of its six and Skyline 42 of its 51.
The Top-20 Playoff Appearances
1. Millard – 60
2. Box Elder – 56
3. Delta – 52
4. Orem – 49
5. Grand County – 47
6. Beaver, Logan – 46
8. Davis, Morgan, North Summit, Wasatch – 45
12. Kanab – 43
13. Jordan, Skyline, Springville – 42
16. Monticello – 41
17. Bingham, East, Judge – 40
20. Dixie, Highland, Provo – 39
Through last week, Millard has played in 124 state games, Skyline – 114, Delta – 105, Davis – 96 and Beaver – 93.
The Top-20 Postseason Victories (through Tuesday)
1. Skyline – 87
2. Millard – 78
3. Delta – 62
4. Davis – 59
5. Beaver – 57
6. Timpview – 54
7. San Juan – 52
8. Judge, Kanab – 50
10. Highland, Logan – 49
12. Dixie – 48
13. Bountiful, East, Jordan, North Summit, Orem – 47
18. Morgan – 46
19. Bingham, West – 42
Delta makes its ongoing state-record 38th straight postseason (since 1975), San Juan, its 36th (1977) and Highland, its 30th (1983). Rich and Skyline have advanced to the playoffs the last 28 years (1985). Those five have the longest all-time postseason appearance streaks.
Others with long current streaks include Bingham, 24 (1989); Beaver and Timpview, 23 (1990); Hunter, 22 (1991); Emery, Millard and Morgan, 18 (1995); and Alta and Manti, 16 (1997).
San Juan is in the quarterfinals for the 26th consecutive season with a qualifier: 12 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 19th time in those 26 seasons.
Millard is in the quarters for the 18th straight year, but 11 times, the quarterfinal was the Eagles' first playoff game.
Skyline is attempting to advance to the quarterfinals for the 18th time in 20 years and 22nd time in 26. Juan Diego is trying to win a first-round game for the 11th year in a row.
Bingham has won eight straight opening-round games, while Delta and San Juan have snared seven and Millard, six. Rich has grabbed five consecutive tournament-opening games and Highland and Hurricane have captured four.
Eleven schools, led by Skyline's remarkable 37-0 home playoff record, have never lost a playoff game on their own turf. Of those, Syracuse (2-0), Desert Hills (1-0) and Herriman (1-0) host this weekend. And several more have a decided home-field postseason advantage.
By percentage: San Juan, 29-2 (.936); Bountiful, 18-3 (.857); Timpview, 32-6 (.842); Millard, 40-8, Mountain Crest, 20-4 and Rich, 10-2 (all .833); and Bingham, 25-6 (.807).
Millard has the most home wins in the postseason, 40, followed by Skyline, 37, Timpview and Delta, 31 and San Juan, 29.
Payson is back in the playoffs after a one-year hiatus, but the Lions haven't won a postseason contest since 1983, going 0-7 in the interim. Kearns is 0-8 in playoff action since 1993 and Region 2 mate Granger is 0-7 since 1997.
Milford hopes to nab its first state contest since 1999, going 0-10 since. North Sanpete has lost eight straight playoff games since 2002 and Maple Mountain attempts to get its first-ever playoff victory in three tries.
First-round games matching teams with the best records: Granger (7-3) at Northridge (8-2) and Timpanogos (7-3) at Mountain Crest (8-2); Brighton (8-4) at Lone Peak (8-2). In the 2A quarterfinals, Manti (8-1) hosts Beaver (8-2).
Only two teams with winning records failed to quality: Roy and Snow Canyon, both 6-4. But as happened last year, 16 teams with losing records made the tournament "led" this year by Viewmont's 2-8 mark.
The season saw 32 coaching changes and half of those coaches advanced to the playoffs. Of the the 22 who are first-time mentors in Utah high schools, eight took their teams to the tourney: Kirk Chambers (Spanish Fork), Gary Clark (Westlake), Greg Crowshaw (Cottonwood), Carl Franke (Desert Hills), Scott Gorringe (Summit Academy), Steve Marlowe (Skyline), Matt Roberts (North Sanpete) and Cary Whittingham (Timpview).
Six of eight who had previous head-coaching experience, but are new to their school also qualified for postseason action: Steve Coburn (Wasatch), Les Hamilton (Pleasant Grove), Scott Henderson (Hunter), Matt Labrum (Union), Justin Spencer (Woods Cross) and Cecil Thomas (Granger).
Both coaches, Jerry Cowan (Duchesne) and Jim Dandy (Monument Valley), who returned to their previous schools, are in the tournament, too.
First-time Matchups (5)
(4A) Timpanogos at Mountain Crest, East at Herriman, Box Elder at Maple Mountain; (3A) Payson at Desert Hills, Union at Stansbury.
While these games link schools for the first time, Mountain Crest's Mark Wootton defeated Timpanogos' Ed Larson in 2005 when Larson was at Ogden.
2012 Season Rematches
(5A) Riverton at Alta (Hawks won 19-7 at home on Sept. 7, Week 4); Cottonwood at Bingham (Miners prevailed 34-14 at Cottonwood on Sept. 14, Week 5); (1A) Altamont at Diamond Ranch (DR won 20-19 at home on Sept. 7, Week 4); Milford at Duchesne (Eagles dominated 47-6 at home on Sept. 7, Week 4); Summit Academy at Monticello (Bucks triumphed 20-17 at home on Sept. 21, Week 6).
Region Champ Update
With East and Timpview forfeiting games, Bountiful and Woods Cross in Region 6, and Maple Mountain and Orem in Region 8, were crowned in their places, respectively. Woods Cross claimed just its second-ever region title and first since 1988, while Bountiful captured its 12th and second in three years.
Thanks to Timpview's forfeits covering the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Maple Mountain suddenly finds itself the owner of consecutive region championships, the first titles for the four-year-old school. Orem picked up its 25th region trophy and first since 2004.
Undefeated Regular Seasons
Five teams celebrated the regular season with unblemished records. Duchesne claimed its second straight and third overall, Juan Diego got its fourth and first since 2008, San Juan grabbed its third in a row and seventh in its history, while Stansbury and Syracuse completed their first-ever unbeaten campaigns.
Because of Timpview's forfeit to Maple Mountain, the Golden Eagles now have nine victories this season, the most in school history.
This week, Granger guns for its 250 win while Timpview competes in its 400th. Among coaches, Duchesne's Jerry Cowan shoots for his 50th career victory.
Four records have been set or tied this year (aside from various longest-play categories, where 99- or 100-yard plays also tie state records).
Logan's Luke Falk has attempted 518 passes so far this season, eclipsing the 490 attempts of Jordan's Alex Hart in 2009.
Pine View's Prentiss Miller carried the ball 51 times on Aug. 24, surpassing the 48 of Altamont's Kyle Foy in 2011.
Pleasant Grove's Skyler Munson caught five touchdown receptions on Aug. 17, tying the performances of Wasatch's Keefer Babbitt in 2010 and Mountain Crest's Carl Blad in 2001.
Sky View's Ethan Dursteler recorded seven sacks on Oct. 17, matching the effort of Skyline's Cumer Palepoi in 1990.
Season Passing and Receiving
In addition to setting the season-attempts record, Falk has completed 307 passes, which ranks second all-time, and only 10 completions short of Hart's record of 317.
Falk jumped to 12th from 27th last week in all-time season passing yards with 3,439. He needs just 50 to match Grizzly D.J. Nelson's 3,489 set last year to move into the Top-10. But he's over 1,000 shy of the state record.
His favorite receivers, Taylor Compton (94 receptions) and Jesse Braddy (88 catches) are third and fourth on the all-time season receptions list (the record is 100 by West Jordan's C.J. O'Neal in 2009). In addition, Braddy has 132 career receptions, the eighth-most in Utah prep history, and Compton has 103, just outside the Top-20.
Three current players rank in the top 15 in all-time rushing yards: Millard's Jesse Rhodes is 10th with 4,472 yards, Pine View's Prentiss Miller is 11th with 4,358 yards and Altamont's Kyle Foy is 15th with 3,946.
Rhodes has climbed to fifth in both rushing TDs with 58 (the record is 70) and touchdowns scored with 63 (the record is 77). He's rushed for at least 100 yards 23 times, which ties him for second all-time and one game away from tying the state record.
Miller has 21 games of 100 yards or more (tied for fifth) and ranks fourth in career carries with 634 (the record is 722). Foy is in eighth with 575.
Career Passing and Receiving
In the career passing yards category, Dixie's Blake Barney is ninth all-time with 6,580 yards and Cottonwood's Cooper Bateman follows right behind in 10th with 6,472.
Bateman's go-to receiver, Inoke Lotulelei has reached third all-time in both reception yards with 2,957 (the record is 3,445) and receptions with 182 (the record is 231). He's tied for sixth in all-time touchdown receptions with 31 (the record is 41).
Career Total Offense and More
Several other 2012 gridders rank in the all-time Top-20 in various categories.
Barney has accumulated 8,022 yards of total offense, the sixth most on record. Jordan's Austin Kafentzis is eighth with 7,982.
Kafentzis has rushed for 37 scores, thrown for 48 more and caught one TD pass, making him responsible for 86 touchdowns, which ranks tied for 12th. James Delacenserie, who played at Judge from 2009-10 and Wasatch since 2011, is 16th with 80 TDs-responsible-for. Bateman has accounted for 78 touchdowns, placing him 18th.
Duchesne's McKade Nielsen is fourth in career interceptions with 22 and Emery's Bailey Faimalo ranks ninth with 17.
While Logan's Jake Thompson and Timpview's Tyler Solorzano have been sidelined with injuries, they still rank in the Top-10 in field goals and extra points.
Thompson is tied for fifth with 22 field goals and Solorzano is tied for 10th with 19. He's connected on 167 extra points, the third-most on record and Thompson has kicked 151, the fifth-most.
Thompson is finished for the season, but Solorzano hopes to return and make an impact in the playoffs.
Look for more player stats in Part 2 of this week's edition.
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