Note: This week's highlights include looking at some of the prolific scoring offensive showcases put on this season. Also included are playoff scenarios in every region, as well as winningest coaches at their current schools and the top 5 schools in several statistical categories.
It’s prep football junkie heaven as beginning Wednesday, there are games on seven of the next 10 days.
Undefeated region matchups
In five of the 16 regions, there are just two teams that remain undefeated in league play. This week sees three of those regions witness games between unbeaten schools: Hunter at Taylorsville (Region 2), Bingham at Jordan (Region 3) and Juab at Manti (3A South).
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Looking toward the postseason, 23 teams have already secured playoff berths: Corner Canyon (Region 7); Timpview (Region 8), Juan Diego, Park City and Stansbury (3AA North); Judge and Morgan (3A North); Juab and Manti (3A South); South Summit, Layton Christian, Millard and North Summit (2A North); Beaver, Grand and San Juan (2A South); Altamont, Duchesne, Rich and Milford (every 1A North team); and Diamond Ranch, Kanab and Monticello (1A South).
Incidentally, Corner Canyon becomes the 13th school and fourth in four seasons to snare a tournament berth in its first year. (Herriman in 2010, Diamond Ranch in ’11 and Summit Academy last season were the other recent first-year qualifiers). Of the previous 12, however, only Mountain View, in 1980, won a first-round game.
With 23 berths locked up, 45 spots remain up for grabs.
Ten teams have clinched at least a tie for a tournament spot: Logan (Region 5); Springville (Region 8); Dixie and Pine View (3AA South); Grantsville (3A North); Richfield (3A South); American Leadership and Gunnison (2A North); and Enterprise and Parowan (2A South).
Meanwhile, seven teams could be eliminated by losing this week: Clearfield, Delta, Fremont, North Sanpete, North Sevier and Viewmont, and the loser of Ogden at Bonneville.
A region-by-region breakdown appears later on.
Entering Week 8, two teams in both Class 5A and 4A remain undefeated over the entire season. In 5A, if Bingham and Davis continue unscathed, they’d collide in the title game. In 4A, East and Logan would clash in the semifinal round if both advance that far.
Everyone has lost at least once in Class 3A, while each of the other classifications has just a single unblemished squad: Juan Diego in 3AA, South Summit in 2A and Duchesne in 1A.
Grantsville has whitewashed four foes this season to lead the state in shutouts. That’s the most for the Cowboys since 2000. Duchense has blanked three, all over consecutive weeks. That’s the fourth time in school history the Eagles have posted shutouts three weeks in a row.
Spanish Fork has played football since 1916 and Wasatch took up the sport in 1924, yet they’ve never had the opportunity to meet before this week. Two other first-time meetings pit teams that have been around at least 1977: Kearns at Woods Cross and Judge at Emery. Five pairings involve at least one newer school: Orem at Corner Canyon, Westlake at Pleasant Grove, Juan Diego at Stansbury, Summit Academy at American Leadership and Millard at Layton Christian.
Morgan and Grantsville renew their feud for the 77th time in what could be a fierce defensive battle. The Trojans rank fourth (8.3 ppg) and the Cowboys, fifth (9.3 ppg) in fewest points allowed. Morgan leads the series 46-28-2.
American Fork and Lehi tangle for the 69th time with the Cavemen leading the series 46-18-4.
Delta has defeated Richfield 14 consecutive times since 1989 heading into their 62nd battle and first since 2010. The Rabbits control the series 46-12-3.
Logan and Mountain Crest have split their last six meetings; the Grizzlies lead the series 15-13…. Box Elder and Sky View have divided their last four meetings; BE leads the series 23-20-3.
On the other hand, several other series feature long current winning-streaks by one team. Brighton is 18-0 against West Jordan and Milford is 12-0 against Whitehorse. Hunter has taken nine in a row from Taylorsville to lead the series 17-3. Bountiful has won six straight over Cyprus to go up 9-2 in their series. Duchense has a six-game winning skein going against Rich, which last defeated the Eagles for the 2009 Class 1A championship. Grand is 6-0 vs. Parowan, all time. Salem Hills (6-1) has equaled its most-ever wins but is 0-5 vs. Springville since opening in 2008.
Again this week, realignment reintroduces teams that haven’t met for several seasons. Dixie leads Payson 6-4 in a series that was last played in 1992. Ben Lomond and Uintah clashed in 1997 and 2000; the Scots captured both contests. Granger last encountered Hillcrest in 2003. Bear River and Park City met in 2001 (PC won) and ’05 (BR prevailed). In non-region games, Altamont and Kanab last faced off in 2008, Monument Valley and San Juan JV in ’08 and Skyline and Highland in 2009. The Eagles lead that series, 26-19.
Five games feature teams that last met in 2010: Cottonwood-West (Colts lead 7-6), Bingham-Jordan (Miners lead 22-21-1), Juab-Manti (tied 22 each), North Sevier-Enterprise (Wolves lead 5-4) and San Juan-Gunnison (Broncos lead 4-0).
South Summit celebrates its best-ever start at 7-0…. Bingham has scored in 111 consecutive games, moving into 10th on the all-time list and second on the active list behind Alta’s 130. Jordan, the Miner’s opponent this week, follows on the active list with 105 straight scoring games.
Cottonwood’s Malu Hosea ran for a school-record 327 yards. Already this season, individual passing records have been set at eight schools and individual rushing marks at four others.
Logan’s Taylor Compton hopped into fourth place on the all-time career receptions list with 174. He needs 20 more catches to reach third. He ranks 15th in career TD receptions (25) and 17th in career receiving yards (2,037).
Another receiver, Orem’s Nolan Gray, overtook a cluster of players to slide into sixth in career receiving yards (2,294) and ninth in career receptions (140). He’s also tied for 13th in career TD receptions (26).
For the third time in seven games, Lehi’s Caden Calton rushed for over 250 yards…. Roy’s Ben Aikuli, a refugee from the Congo and new to American football, booted a school-record nine extra points…. Alta’s Chipper Lucero became the 35th gridder to pass for over 5,000 yards in his career (5,166).
Jordan’s Austin Kafentzis has rushed for 55 career touchdowns, tied for the seventh most in state history and 15 away from the all-time record. He’s climbed into a tie for sixth in career 100-yard games with 21, only three off the state record. Kafentzis displaced fellow Beetdigger, Alex Hart (2008-09) to take over third on the all-time career passing yards list with 7,663. He’s 1,000 yards behind Ryan Zimmerman (Mountain Crest, 2000-02) for second.
Springville and Weber are 5.5 games better than last year and lead the state as the most-improved teams so far this season. Taylorsville has improved 5.0 games and North Summit and Salem Hills are 4.5 games better.
When “Riverton 71, Lehi 50” flashed across screen last week, some thought it was either a typo or an early basketball game. One would imagine those teams aired out the ball, but Riverton completed no passes on just three attempts. The Silverwolves rushed for a school-record 563 yards and Lehi ran for 493 yards and connected on five passes for 75 yards.
The 121 points rank second in Most Combined Points (tied with two others) and the most in a non-overtime game since Carbon crushed South Emery 175-6 in 1926.
Lehi set a record for Most Points-Losing Team, surpassing Park City’s 49 from just a year ago. Those 49 points nipped Dixie’s then-record 48 scored in a losing cause in 2010. Also this year, Tooele racked up 48 points in a 62-48 loss to Bear River.
This season, more teams are scoring more points – and still losing. In fact, 10% of all the teams that have ever scored at least 35 points and still lost have come this year.
More evidence that teams are scoring more points: nine teams – about 10 percent of all schools – average over 40 points a game this season. The previous high was four teams in 2010. And over the past four seasons (2009-12), a total of 12 squads finished the year averaging over 40 points per game. Compare that with the previous nine years (2000-08), when a total of just nine teams ended up averaging over 40 points a game in a season.
A look at the season scoring average of all Utah high schools shows it has fluctuated over the past decade while increasing, if only incrementally. The highest year in Utah was 2009, at 23.6. However, 2013 is currently on track to pass that at 24.3 through seven weeks. The scoring average typically drops slightly during the playoffs as the age-old adage, “Defense wins championships,” seems to kick in, but so far, the spread of the spread offenses and hurry-up attacks seem to contribute to higher scores.
2004 – 22.1
2005 – 22.4
2006 – 20.9
2007 – 21.7
2008 – 21.6
2009 – 23.6
2010 – 22.4
2011 – 22.7
2012 – 23.1
2013 – 24.3
Scoring teams: East, 48.4 ppg; Riverton, 43.1; Sky View, 42.1; Logan, 41.9; South Summit, 41.7.
Defensive teams: Davis, 5.8; South Summit, 6.1; Duchesne, 6.7; Morgan, 8.3; Grantsville, 9.3.
By victory margin: South Summit, 35.6; Morgan, 32.9; East, 31.9; Juan Diego, 28.9; Duchesne, 27.7.
Despite the impressive offensive statistics cited in the last section, defense still rules at some schools. Davis (6-0) has allowed just five touchdowns and South Summit (7-0), the only squad in the top five on all three lists, has surrendered just six TDs and two field goals this season.
Millard, in its 88th season goes for its 550th victory, just five behind West (120 seasons) and six back of Davis (98 seasons). Park City tries for school win #400 and Enterprise, #100. Spanish Fork shoots for its 350th victory while Juab guns for its 250th.
Jordan competes for the 950th time – only West (992) and Ogden (970) have played more games.
In the coaching ranks, Todd Peacock directs his 250th game at Cedar, Cole Meacham, his 150th at Manti and Clint Christiansen, his 50th at Stansbury.
With postseason spots and league championships still up for grabs, it’s time for a region-by-region look at the playoffs. This doesn’t cover every scenario for every team, but it’s a good place to start.
Region 1 (seven teams, four berths)
A lot hangs on the outcome of Fremont at Weber. The winner of Davis at Northridge clinches a tie for a berth no matter what. Davis is in if it and Fremont wins. In that case, Northridge and Syracuse clinch a tie for a spot, and Layton does too if it wins.
If Fremont loses and Layton wins, the Silver Wolves are eliminated for the first time since 2008. Viewmont is out if it falls at Layton.
Region 2 (six teams, four berths)
The survivor of Hunter at Taylorsville clinches a tie for a berth. But the winner locks up a spot and the loser clinches a tie if Granger and West lose. Cottonwood and Hillcrest clinch ties if both win. No one faces elimination this week.
Taylorsville is on the verge of advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
Region 3 (six teams, four berths)
This region mirrors Region 2 with different names.
The winner of Bingham at Jordan clinches a tie for a berth. But the winner secures a spot and the loser clinches a tie if Alta and West Jordan lose. Brighton and Copper Hills clinch ties if both win. No team can be eliminated this week.
Region 4 (seven teams, four berths)
American Fork clinches a tie for a berth with a victory over Lehi and claims a spot if Westlake also wins. Riverton clinches a tie by defeating Herriman and grabs a spot if American Fork and Westlake also win. Herriman clinches a tie by winning if AF and Westlake also prevail. No school faces elimination.
Region 5 (seven teams, four berths)
Logan has clinched a tie for a berth and secures a spot by winning at Mountain Crest. Box Elder clinches a tie with a victory at Sky View and wraps up a spot if Logan also wins. Sky View clinches at least a tie for a playoff berth it it and Logan prevail. Ogden is out of the tournament only if it loses and MC and SV win. Bonneville is eliminated with a loss to Ogden.
Region 6 (seven teams, four berths)
An East victory clinches a tie for a berth and eliminates Clearfield. The Leopards are assured postseason action if Woods Cross and Bountiful also win. Woods Cross clinches a tie by winning and stakes a spot if Bountiful also wins. Bountiful clinches a tie with a victory and if Woods Cross wins.
Region 7 (seven teams, four berths)
Corner Canyon is already in and by defeating Orem, will own at least a portion of the region title. Olympus clinches a tie for a playoff berth by beating Murray. No team can be eliminated by losing.
Region 8 (seven teams, four berths)
Defending 4A-champion Timpview is guaranteed postseason action for the 24th straight season. Springville has clinched a tie for a berth and snares a spot by defeating Salem Hills. Should the Skyhawks prevail, they clinch a tie. Nobody faces elimination this week.
North (seven teams, six berths)
Juan Diego, Park City and Stansbury have qualified for the postseason. Bear River clinches a tie for a berth by winning at Park City. No team faces elimination this week.
South (seven teams, six berths)
Dixie and Pine View have clinched at least a tie for a berth and are in with a win. If those favored pair prevail this week, Snow Canyon secures a spot by defeating Cedar and Desert Hills clinches a tie for a berth even though the Thunder don’t play. No team faces elimination.
North (six teams, four berths)
Judge Memorial and Morgan are assured tournament play. Grantsville has clinched a tie and is in with a win over Morgan. Emery clinches a tie by defeating JM. If that happens, the loser of Union at Carbon is eliminated.
South (six teams, four berths)
Juab and Manti have snared spots; the winner of their game snags at least a tie for region honors. Richfield has clinched a tie for a berth and joins the field of 68 playoff teams with a win. A Canyon View victory at North Sanpete clinches a tie for the Falcons and eliminates the Hawks.
If CV wins and Richfield defeats Delta, two long-time streaks end. Delta misses the postseason after making a state-record 38 consecutive appearances, since 1975. And Canyon View gets a tournament berth for the first time since 2000. Only Carbon has gone as long without qualifying for the playoffs.
North (seven teams, six berths)
South Summit, Layton Christian, Millard and North Summit have earned berths. South Summit gets a share of region by defeating arch-rival North Summit. American Leadership and Gunnison have clinched ties; AML is in with a win. Even if 0-4 Summit Academy loses at ALA, the Bears won’t be eliminated this week from a shot at postseason play.
South (seven teams, six berths)
Beaver, Grand and San Juan have staked berths. The Beavers can do no worse than tie for a share of the region crown by defeating South Sevier. Enterprise and Parowan have already clinched ties, but grab berths by winning. South Sevier clinches a tie with a victory or if Enterprise defeats North Sevier. The Wolves are out only if they lose and Parowan and South Sevier prevail.
North (four teams, four berths)
All four teams – Altamont, Duchesne, Rich and Milford – qualify for postseason action. Milford is locked into fourth. The final three weeks of the regular season determine seeding.
South (five teams, four berths)
Diamond Ranch, Kanab and Monticello have sewn up the top three berths; they play for seeding over the next three weeks. Whitehorse at Monument Valley on Oct. 25 decides the final spot.
Here’s a look at the winningest coaches limited to games where they’re currently coaching (minimum five years at current school and .500 winning percentage, through Oct. 4).
Coach, school, winning pct., record, seasons including 2013
1. John Colosimo, Juan Diego, .824, 136-29, 14
2. Monty Lee, San Juan, .820, 100-22, 11
3. Dave Peck, Bingham, .794, 135-35, 14
4. Jerry Cowan, Duchesne, .776, 56-17, 7
5. Marshall Sheriff, Millard, .731, 114-42, 14
6. Ray Hosner, Pine View, .724, 105-40, 13
Eric Kjar, Jordan, .724, 42-16, 5
8. Cole Meacham, Manti, .711, 106-43, 14
9. Mike Favero, Logan, .706, 127-53, 15
10. Brody Benson, Highland, .681, 64-30, 8
11. Mike Bowring, Juab, .679, 74-35, 10
Larry Wall, Bountiful, .679, 222-105, 29
13. Kovi Christiansen, Morgan, .671, 51-25, 7
Russ Jones, Syracuse, .671, 51-25, 7
15. Mark Wootton, Mountain Crest, .661, 76-39, 10
16. Bucky Orton, Kanab, .659, 81-42, 11
17. Blaine Monkres, Dixie, .645, 40-22, 6
18. Ashley Brown, Rich, .638, 97-55, 14
19. Mike Shepherd, Park City, .636, 56-32, 7
20. Chris Homer, Hurricane, .632, 86-50, 12
21. Erik Thompson, Northridge, .629, 66-39, 10
22. Jerry Parker, South Summit, .619, 78-48, 12
23. Craig Anhder, Sky View, .615, 59-37, 9
24. Ryan Bishop, Davis, .599, 84-56 -1, 13
25. Jimmy Jones, Emery, .575, 157-116, 26
26. Clint Christiansen, Stansbury, .571, 28-21, 5
Mike Miller, Riverton, .571, 60-45, 10
28. Chris Wise, Bear River, .550, 72-59, 12
29. Todd Peacock, Cedar, .546, 136-113-1, 23
30. James Cordova, Judge Memorial, .525, 64-58, 11
31. Robbie Gunter, Box Elder, .520, 26-24, 5