After a week of build-up and chatter, it's time to settle the debate between the lines as the 5A and 3A semifinals get underway at Rice-Eccles Stadium today.
Two highly anticipated 5A games get the festivities started, beginning with undefeated Syracuse taking on preseason No. 1 Bingham at 11 a.m.
The afternoon game at 2:30 p.m. features No. 1 Jordan taking on defending 5A state champion Lone Peak.
The nightcap is the first 3A semifinal at 6:30 p.m. between Region 9 champion Desert Hills and Region 12 champion Spanish Fork. The second 3A semifinal is Friday between Juan Diego and Dixie.
For those unable to attend any of the games in person at Rice-Eccles Stadium today, DeseretNews.com will be streaming all three games, complete with live play-by-play and live stats. You can also get Twitter updates @DNewsPreps.
DeseretNews.com also has in-depth breakdowns of all eight high school football playoff games this weekend.
The first game at the U. today is a matchup of two elite 5A programs. Bingham has won three of the past six state championships, and is back in the semis after a one-year hiatus. It faces a Syracuse program that's in the semifinals for the third time in five years. Unfortunately for the Titans they'll be without starting quarterback Brock Anderson after he suffered a season-ending foot injury in the quarterfinals.
The second game is a rematch of Lone Peak's thrilling 45-42 win over Jordan in last year's 5A semifinals. The roles are reversed this time around though as Jordan is the clear favorite.
Lone Peak lost to Pleasant Grove 26-24 in a region game earlier this year, while Jordan crushed the Vikings 56-7 in the first round a couple weeks ago.
The final game features two teams familiar with the semifinal setting. Spanish Fork and Desert Hills were both semifinalists a year ago, and both ended up losing to Hurricane.
First-year Spanish Fork coach Kirk Chambers and first-year Desert Hills coach Carl Franke are hoping to help their programs take the next step tonight.
— James Edward
At Rice-Eccles Stadium
Bingham (10-2) vs. Syracuse (11-0), 11 a.m.
L. Peak (10-2) vs. Jordan (10-1), 2:30 p.m.
Sp. Fork (10-1) vs. Des. Hills (8-3), 6:30 p.m.