Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
In 5A, 4A and 3A, eleven of the 12 semifinalists also made the semis at least once in 2010 or 2011. The 12th team, Dixie, last made the semis in 2009.
The semifinals are rife with schools that have captured multiple state football crowns. Six of the participants have won a combined 52 championships. That's nearly 20% of all titles by about 5% of all schools. The list is led by East's 15 and Jordan's 11.
In 3A, one semifinal pairs teams with 11 combined championships – Dixie has six and Juan Diego five. The other pits schools – Spanish Fork (93 seasons) and Desert Hills (five seasons) – that have never won.
Jordan and Lone Peak return to Rice-Eccles for the third straight year while Desert Hills, East, Spanish Fork, Syracuse and Timpview appear in their second consecutive semifinals. (Incidentally, Timpview is back for the ninth time in 11 seasons.)
Even though these three missed last year, Bingham qualifies for the semis for the sixth time in seven seasons, Mountain Crest for the fifth time in six years and Juan Diego for the fourth time in five attempts.
In 1A, two-time defending champ Duchesne makes the title game for the fourth consecutive season and in 2A, defending champion Manti for the second. Including Rich and San Juan, the four finalists that play Saturday have won every 2A and 1A title the past three seasons.
Duchesne and Rich match up for the fifth time in the finals. Only Beaver and Kanab have met more times – seven – to decide a championship.
A Manti championship provides Cole Meacham an ancillary benefit: his 100th victory with the Templars…. Mark Wootton tries to guide Mountain Crest to the title game and snare his 75th win at the Mustang helm.
It's a landmark season for two teams as Spanish Fork and Syracuse enjoy their most-ever wins with 11.
This season, Jordan's Austin Kafentzis leads the state in total offense with 3,937 yards, which ranks 15th all-time and is about 100 yards shy of the Top-10. But its over 600 yards short of his 2011 performance. Kafentzis is responsible for 47 total touchdowns this year, tied for ninth-most all-time with three others.
One of those others is Timpview's Jake Lloyd. He enters the semifinals tied for third all-time in season touchdown passes with a school-record 46. He's also 17th in season passing yards (3,300). Over his career, Lloyd is seventh in TD passes (73).
One of Lloyd's go-to receivers, Dax Raymond, has hauled in 20 touchdown passes this season and is tied for second all-time with two others. He's just three off the state record.
Another receiver, Orem's Nolan Gray had a stellar season. He accumulated 1,514 reception yards, the fourth most on record and caught 17 touchdown passes, tying him with five others for the seventh most. He had 83 receptions this year, which puts him 11th all-time.
Gray's quarterback, Taylor Camp, finished his season 12th in all-time passing yards (3,480), tied for 19th in touchdown passes (36) and in the top 30 among season total offense leaders (3,641 yards). He's also eighth in all-time season passing attempts (420) and 12th in completions (231), both school records.
Camp completed his career ranked 11th in passing yards (6,446), and 12th in both attempts (789) and completions (426).
Alta's Chipper Lucero ended his season ranked ninth in completions (236) and 15th in both season passing yards (3,414) and touchdown passes (37) – all school records.