Last week, Skyline’s junior quarterback Tommy McGrath passed for five touchdowns in a win over Murray. How long since a Skyline quarterback has passed for that many TDs?
How about never.
Since the mid-1980s, Skyline has been one of the winningest programs, but as prep observers know, the Eagles relied primarily on a wishbone ground attack to win nearly 75 percent of their games. McGrath joins 179 others who have thrown for at least five touchdowns in a game in Utah prep history.
The undefeated and the winless
Halfway through the regular season, seven teams savor perfect records while 16 others remain winless. Since none of the unblemished teams reside in the same region, there aren’t any possible meetings between undefeated teams during the rest of the regular season. No unbeaten teams are left in 3AA, 3A or 1A.
In matchups pairing winless teams this week, Copper Hills visits Cottonwood in Region 3 and Ogden plays at Payson in a non-region battle.
Six schools have raced to 5-0 starts this year. Here’s a look at the last time each of them matched, or bettered, that start.
Enterprise is off to its best-ever start under Andy Messersmith, the only first-time coach still unbeaten.
After winning just two games in 2014, Alta’s resurgence continues. The Hawks are 5-0 for the first time since 2003 when they set a school record by winning their first 11 contests.
East and Bingham won their first 13 and 14 games, respectively, in 2013. South Summit and Springville both captured their first 11 contests last year.
The other undefeated team, 4-0 Layton, enjoys its best start since 1987. That year, the Lancers won their first seven games, a school record.
Midway through the regular season, Layton Christian leads the state as the most improved team (which the NCAA calculates by taking the year-to-year difference in victories and the difference in losses, adding the two numbers and dividing by 2). The Eagles have moved from 2-9 last year to 4-1 so far, an improvement of 5.0 games. Timpanogos (1-9 to 3-2) is 4.5 games better than last season and Woods Cross (3-8 to 4-1) is 4.0 games better.
This week’s most-played rivalries (min. 50 games)
Dixie and Cedar continue their rivalry for the 87th time since 1949. It’s the second longest uninterrupted active series. Dixie rules the series 53-33 and has taken the last six.
Murray and Cyprus duke it out for the 76th time. Murray leads the series 40-31-4 since it began in 1926.
American Fork and Lehi square off in their 72nd meeting with AF dominating the series 48-19-4. Both are enjoying their best starts in several years. AF began the 2005 season with a 7-1 record, but Lehi hasn’t been this successful since the Pioneers started 5-1 in 2002.
Bear River battles Ben Lomond for the 53rd time and controls the series 36-16. BL is 4-1 for the first time since 1978; a 5-1 start would be the Scots’ best since opening the 1967 season at 6-0.
Judge Memorial at Ridgeline and Provo at Skyridge.
Ben Lomond competes for the 600th time.
In landmark games for coaches, Fremont’s Kory Bosgieter aims for career victory No. 100 including 49 at Weber. Juab’s Mike Bowring shoots for his 100th win with the Wasps. Stansbury’s Clint Christiansen guns for his 50th victory with the Stallions.
Box Elder’s Robbie Gunter directs his 150th game including 65 at Viewmont.
This Week’s Top 5
Scoring teams: Bingham, 46.4; Alta, 46.0; East, 44.0; Jordan, 43.5; Taylorsville, 42.4.
Defensive teams: Rich, 7.0; Enterprise, 7.6; Olympus, 9.0; Duchesne 9.4; Layton, 10.3.
By winning margin: Bingham, 35.0; Beaver, 31.4; East, 26.8; Alta, 23.4; Stansbury, 22.8.
Leopards make history
Last week, when East stunned highly-touted De La Salle (Calif.) 23-21 on the road, some suggested that it may be the biggest win in Utah prep history. That can be debated endlessly, especially since De La Salle won by just a point the week before falling to East. Bingham fans might argue that the Miners beat a better team in 2012 and 2013 in Valor Christian (Colo.) led by now-Stanford star Christian McCaffrey. Alta defeated an impressive Crenshaw (Calif.) squad in 2011. Jordan defeated high-profile Valdosta (Ga.) in 2006. Timpview dominated strong Mission Hills (Calif.) in 2014. And during this century, Bingham, East and Skyline have defeated Hawaii power Kahuku (Hi.).
But whether or not East’s was the biggest win, the Leopards have accomplished something unique in Utah prep history: defeating nationally-recognized out-of-state teams on successive weekends. (East beat Pulaski Academy, Ark. the previous week.)
East’s achievement was recognized nationally as the Leopards jumped 65 places to 32nd in this week’s MaxPreps poll. De La Salle dropped from 23rd to 64th. Bingham is ranked 19th in the same poll.
More From Last Week
Bingham scored in its 150th consecutive game, the longest current streak and third longest in state history. (Skyline scored in 262 straight games from 1986 to 2007 and San Juan scored in 160 in a row from 1999 to 2013.) Rivals Spanish Fork and Springville met for the 90th time and for the 42nd time since overtimes were instituted in 1974. But before last week, they’d never faced off in an overtime contest (Springville won)... Beaver’s loss last week ended the Beaver’s winning streak at 15 games. That matched the school record originally set during the 1973 and ’74 seasons.
Midpoint stats – single-game records
The Deseret News and MaxPreps websites list many of the top season performances in a number of categories, but here are some that aren’t conveniently listed elsewhere or aren’t in one place.
If the performance is among the all-time top 20, its place is listed in parenthesis.
Total Offense (400 yards min.)
738 – Crew Wakley, Jordan, Sept. 9 (state record)
704 – Dane Leituala, Taylorsville, Sept. 9 (no. 2)
485 – Jacob Barben, Dixie, Aug. 26
469 – Spencer Jorgensen, Provo, Aug. 19
454 – Crew Wakley, Jordan, Sept. 2
433 – Spencer Zur, Park City, Sept. 2
All-purpose Yardage (300)
444 – Joshua Davis, Alta, Aug. 26 (no. 6)
363 – Pastor James Lewis, Taylorsville, Sept. 9
313 – Jace Simons, Taylorsville, Sept. 9
312 – Joshua Davis, Alta, Sept. 2
Net Rushing (250)
272 – Joshua Davis, Alta, Sept. 2
267 – Jaylen Warren, East, Aug. 19
266 – Angelo Rios, Ben Lomond, Aug. 19
264 – Pastor James Lewis, Taylorsville, Sept. 16
256 – Jaylen Warren, East, Sept. 16
Passing Yards (350)
495 – Dane Leituala, Taylorsville, Sept. 9 (ties for No. 12)
491 – Crew Wakley, Jordan, Sept. 9 (no. 16)
467 – Jacob Barben, Dixie, Aug. 26
410 – Spencer Jorgensen, Provo, Aug. 19
403 – Jake Jensen, Pleasant Grove, Aug. 26
381 – Kris Edwards, Gunnison, Aug. 19
373 – Jordan Mariteragi, Timpview, Sept. 16
371 – Spencer Zur, Park City, Sept. 2
370 – Will Dana, Alta, Sept. 16
365 – Cammon Cooper, Lehi, Aug. 26
364 – Cammon Cooper, Lehi, Sept. 2
Receiving Yards (200)
264 – Hobbs Nyberg, Dixie, Aug. 26 (ties for No. 12)
253 – Ty Jones, Provo, Aug. 19 (no. 20)
240 – Isaiah Jackson, Jordan, Sept. 9
237 – Jace Simons, Taylorsville, Sept. 9
221 – Kyle Van Leeuwen, Timpview, Sept. 16
218 – Colton Lawson, Corner Canyon, Sept. 16
209 – Kyle Van Leeuwen, Timpview, Sept. 2
201 – N.J. Mo’o, Syracuse, Sept. 19
Touchdowns Responsible For (6)
11 – Dane Leituala, Taylorsville, Sept. 9 (ties for state record)
11 – Crew Wakley, Jordan, Sept. 9 (ties for state record)
6 – Nick Beasley, South Summit, Sept. 16
6 – Cammon Cooper, Lehi, Aug. 19
6 – Cammon Cooper, Lehi, Sept. 9
6 – Kenyon Harris, Ben Lomond, Aug. 26
6 – Andrew Kemp, Bonneville, Sept. 16
6 – Carson White, Ogden, Sept. 16
Felt’s Facts welcomes questions: email