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).
With Hurricane falling to Desert Hills last week, the second longest current streak belongs to four 9-0 teams: Juan Diego, San Juan, Stansbury and Syracuse. East and Timpview follow with eight straight victories and Manti with seven. Mountain Crest has won six in a row and Spanish Fork, five, to round out the Top-10.
Granger hopes to secure second seed and home-field advantage for the first round and pick up school victory #250 in the process. A win gives Granger eight victories for the first time since 1997.
Woods Cross, which plays its 350th game, is 7-2, but hasn't grabbed eight season victories since going 9-3 in 1993.
Beaver and Timpanogos, also 7-2, can win eight games for the first time since 2002 when the Beavers and Timberwolves won nine contests.
Among coaches, Pine View's Ray Hosner fights to keep Pine View's playoff hopes alive and garner his 100th win with the Panthers.
2012's Most-Improved Teams
Grand and Union have improved 4.5 games over last year. The Red Devils have gone from 2-8 in 2011 to 6-3 so far and the Cougars from 0-10 to 4-5.
Class 2A First-round Games
Millard goes for its 40th home playoff victory – the most in the state – when the Eagles host South Sevier. They last met in 2010 when Millard won 42-6 to increase its series lead to 26-8.
Beaver puts its glossy 19-3 home playoff record on the line when the Beavers entertain Gunnison. The Beavers defeated the Bulldogs 21-14 in overtime at Gunnison on Aug. 24 to up their series lead to 7-2.
Richfield and North Summit haven't met since 2005 when the Wildcats clawed the Braves 34-14 for just their second victory in the nine-game series. Richfield's other win over NS came in 1929.
Kanab at Emery is a first-time matchup.
Most-played Rivalries (min. 50 games)
Spanish Fork clings to a 44-43-4 series lead over Payson heading into their 92nd meeting since 1917. The Dons have trimmed the Lions five straight times in the state's fifth most-played rivalry.
Park City and Wasatch feud for the 82nd time since 1924. The Miners have a nine-game winning streak going against the Wasps since 2003 to blow open what was a close series: PC now leads 43-35-3.
The Cougars and Utes battle, but this time it's Union and Uintah, for the 71st time. The Utes have won four straight to slice Union's lead to 36-34-1.
Delta holds a 55-9-2 lead over North Sanpete and has taken four in a row as they meet for the 67th time.
Duchesne and Altamont face off for the 64th time in an uninterrupted series that began in 1973. The Eagles have won 11 straight over the Longhorns and lead 36-27.
Kanab at Emery (as mentioned) and Diamond Ranch at Summit Academy.
Selected Game Notes from around the State
Alta is 9-2 against Cottonwood. The Colts won in 1991 and again in 2010, but the Hawks avenged the 2010 setback with a 48-7 shellacking last year…. Hillcrest and Cyprus last met in 1992. They played from 1962-70 and again from '87-92. The Huskies lead the series 9-6.
Granger and Kearns tangle for the 43rd time. The Cougars have grabbed three in a row since the series resumed in 2009 but still trail the Lancers 30-12…. Juan Diego has defeated Judge Memorial five straight years to take a 9-5 series lead…. Jordan is 8-7 vs. West Jordan and Oly is 10-5 against Woods Cross.
East leads its series with Logan 9-2-2. Both Grizzly victories came last year. If both survive their first round games, they'd meet again in the quarterfinals at East…. Mountain Crest whipped Northridge 38-14 in '11 to knot the series at 2-2…. Sky View and Weber last met in 2000 when the Warriors prevailed 30-20 to narrow the Bobcats' lead to 11-10-2. They played annually from 1964-82 and again from 1997-2000.
Highland and Box Elder clash for the sixth time, but for the first time since 1968 during the regular season. The Rams lead 4-1, including a 35-21 first-round victory the last time they played in 2010…. Bountiful is 15-11 against Layton and Bonneville is 5-2 against Murray.
Pleasant Grove beat Bingham three times in the 1950s, but the Miners have defeated the Vikings thrice since 2006 to even up the series…. Springville is on a three-game streak over Mountain View to jump ahead in the series 8-5.... Timpanogos got by Orem 10-6 last season, but the Tigers lead 13-4 in annual meetings that began in 1996.
Bear River and Tooele battled every year from 1997-2006 and again last season; the Bears lead 8-3…. Grantsville also leads Ogden 8-3 and nipped the Tigers 33-32 in 2011.
Snow Canyon took six of the first seven from Pine View, but the Panthers have claimed nine of the past 11 to go up 10-8 in the series…. Cedar is 4-1 vs. Desert Hills; the Thunder knocked the Redmen out of the playoffs in last year's semis 23-21…. Hurricane has captured eight in a row from Canyon View and leads the series 11-4.
Monticello is 10-0 over Milford while Whitehorse holds a 17-12 advantage over Monument Valley.
Region Champs II
For teams that have clinched at least a share of a league title, here are the number of region championships and the last year won for each team, as well as an update on Region 7's tri-champs. Region 4's possible champions and Region 9's likely winners are included, too. (Regions that have finished competition and 1A were covered last week.)
Region 2: Hunter – eighth, 2009.
Region 3: Jordan – 26th, 2005.
Region 4: Bingham has won 19, the last in 2010; Lone Peak has nine, including the past three years; Pleasant Grove has won 13, the last in 2008.
Region 7: Herriman – first; Olympus – 10th, 2011; Skyline – 21st, 2004.
Region 8: Timpview – 18th, 2010.
Region 9: Desert Hills – first; Hurricane – 11th and fifth straight.
Region 10: Juan Diego – 10th consecutive.
Region 11: Stansbury – second straight.
Region 12: Spanish Fork – eighth, 1991 (the Dons have never won an undefeated, outright region title).
Dixie's Blake Barney has accumulated 8,022 yards of total offense in three years, placing him seventh all-time. He's thrown for 6,580 yards, the ninth-best performance on record.
Four other current quarterbacks have thrown for over 5,000 career yards, which places them in the all-time Top-30: Orem's Taylor Camp has 5,538, Wasatch's James Delacenserie has 5,432 (including two years at Judge), Cottonwood's Cooper Bateman has 5,095 (the Colts haven't reported all his stats) and Jordan's Austin Kafentzis has 5,059.
Kafentzis is also responsible for 80 touchdowns, and that's the 15th-most all-time.
Millard's Jesse Rhodes continues his ascent on the rushing charts. He has 56 career rushing TDs, just one away from fifth place. Including receptions and returns, Rhodes has scored 60 touchdowns, the seventh most in Utah prep history. Rhodes remains in fourth in career 100-yard games with 22, but only two away from a first-place tie. He's dashed for 4,354 career yards, good for 10th place all-time.
Pine View's Prentiss Miller is 12th in rushing with 4,149 yards. He's fourth in career carries with 606, but 89 away from third place (Brandon Rogers, Park City, 1999-2001). Miller has rushed for over 100 yards 20 times, the sixth best all-time achievement.
Among receivers, Logan's Jesse Braddy has 134 catches with the Grizzlies, putting him seventh all-time. He needs four to reach sixth, but another 28 after that to get to fifth.
On defense, Duchesne's McKade Nielsen picked off a couple more passes to give him 22 career interceptions – only three others have more. Nielsen needs to snag at least four more to move up on the list.
And Season Stats
Logan's Luke Falk has completed 281 of 468 passes this year, vaulting him to third place all-time in both completions and attempts. He needs to connect on 16 more to reach second place (Alex Kusera, Mountain Crest, 2010) and 37 more to overtake Alex Hart's 317 (Jordan, 2009). In attempts, Falk is six away from Grizzly Tyler Stevens (2009) and 22 behind Alex Hart's 490.
Two of his favorite receivers rank high on the all-time season receptions list: Taylor Compton is in third with 89, six short of Jordan's Braden Hammond (2009) and a mere 12 catches away from overtaking C.J. O'Neal's 100 (West Jordan, 2009). Jesse Braddy is 11th with 83 receptions this year.
Kafentzis and Falk have amassed over 3,000 yards of total offense this season to climb into the Top-40: Kafentzis has 3,093 and Falk has 3,064.
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