With the expansion to six classifications, a record 72 teams advanced to the playoffs, up from 69 the past two seasons. However, the highest percentage of schools entering the tournament came in 1997 when 75 percent qualified compared with 70 percent this year.
Fifty-six teams — over 81 percent — of the 2012 participants return, and 63 of this season’s 72 tournament teams made the postseason at least once the past two years.
The 2013 tourney includes a half-dozen squads that haven’t seen tournament action for at least four years: Taylorsville (2003), Snow Canyon, Tooele (both 2006), Roy, Uintah (both 2007) and Salem Hills (2009).
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Delta stays home for the first time since 1974, ending a state-record streak of 38 straight appearances. Skyline sits out for the first time since 1984 — 29 playoffs ago. Wasatch hasn’t missed since 2001 and Mountain Crest since 2003.
Corner Canyon is the 13th team to qualify for the playoffs in its first year of varsity football. Of the previous 12, only the 1980 Mountain View Bruins own a first-round victory (24-14 over Ogden). Another distinction for Corner Canyon: It becomes just the second school to host a tournament game in its first year. The other? Mountain View.
Fourteen schools have made the postseason more than 80 percent of the time those schools have played football. Six have perfect attendance: Desert Hills (sixth appearance), Herriman (fourth), Diamond Ranch (third), Summit Academy (second) and Corner Canyon (first). But Rich has been in all 29 years of the school’s existence.
The other over 80-percenters, in descending order: Hunter (23 of 24 seasons), Juan Diego (13 of 14), Timpview (33 of 37), Lone Peak (15 of 17), Syracuse (6 of 7), Skyline, (42 of 52), Alta (29 of 36) and Fremont (16 of 20).
Note: This listing includes the 2013 season
1. Millard – 61
2. Box Elder – 57
3. Delta – 52
4. Orem – 50
5. Grand County – 48
6. Beaver, Logan – 47
8. Davis, Morgan, North Summit – 46
11. Wasatch - 45
12. Kanab – 44
13. Jordan, Springville – 43
15. Monticello, Skyline – 42
17. Bingham, East, Judge – 41
20. Dixie, Highland – 40
Through last week, Millard has played in 126 state games, Skyline – 115, Delta – 106, Davis – 98 and Beaver – 94.
1. Skyline – 87
2. Millard – 78
3. Delta – 63
4. Davis – 60
5. Timpview – 58
6. Beaver – 57
7. San Juan – 55
8. Dixie – 52
9. Highland, Jordan – 51
11. Judge, Kanab – 50
13. East, Logan – 49
15. Bountiful, Orem – 48
17. Morgan, North Summit – 47
19. Bingham – 44
20. Alta, Box Elder, Mountain Crest, West – 42
San Juan makes its 37th straight postseason appearance (since 1977); Highland, its 31st (1983); and Rich, its 29th (1985). Others with long current streaks include Bingham, 25 (1989); Beaver and Timpview, 24 (1990); Hunter, 23 (1991); Emery, Millard and Morgan, 19 (1995); and Alta and Manti, 17 (1997). Monticello and Orem advance to the playoffs for the 15th consecutive year (since 1999).
San Juan appears in the quarterfinals for the 27th consecutive season with a qualifier: The quarterfinal was also the Broncos’ first playoff game 12 of those years. For the first time in six seasons and just the second time in 13 years, SJ had to win a playoff game to advance to the quarters. With a victory this week, the Broncos make the semis for the 20th time in those 27 seasons.
Manti is in the quarterfinals for the 14th time in 17 years, but nine times, the quarterfinal was the Templars’ first playoff game.
Several schools enjoy lengthy opening-round winning streaks. Juan Diego looks to win a first-round game for the 12th year in a row. Bingham and San Juan have snared nine straight first-round games, while Rich has captured six. Highland and Hurricane have grabbed five consecutive tournament-opening contests, and Duchesne, Lone Peak, South Summit and Spanish Fork have won four.
Eleven schools, led by Skyline’s remarkable 37-0 home playoff record, have never lost a playoff game on their own turf. Of those, Snow Canyon (10-0), Syracuse (4-0) and Desert Hills (3-0) host this weekend. Several more hosting this week also have a decided home-field postseason advantage.
Best home field winning percentages:
Kanab – .909 (20-2)
Timpview – .889 (32-4)
North Summit – .875 (21-3)
Beaver – .870 (20-3)
Rich – .846 (11-2)
Brighton – .826 (19-4)
Bingham – .818 (27-6)
Juab – .818 (9-2)
Manti – .813 (13-3)
Davis – .808 (21-5).
Millard has the most home wins in the postseason (40), followed by Skyline (37), Timpview (32), Delta (31) and San Juan (31).
The season saw 19 coaching changes, and just seven advanced to the playoffs. Of the 15 who are first-time mentors in Utah high schools, only four took a team to the tourney: Don Eck (Corner Canyon), Marcus Mantua (Snow Canyon), Mike Mower (Lone Peak) and Anthony Wilcox (Altamont).
Two of three who had previous head-coaching experience, but are new to their school, also qualified for postseason action: Doyle Holt (Layton Christian) and Dustin Pearce (Herriman).
One coach, Mike Shephard (Park City), who returned to his previous school, is in the tournament, too.
First-round games matching teams with the best combined records: Pleasant Grove (8-2) at Davis (9-0), Roy (6-3) at East (10-0) and Olympus (8-1) at Springville (7-3).
Only one team with a winning record, American Fork (6-4), failed to quality, while two .500 teams, Lehi (5-5) and Weber (5-5), didn’t make the cut. But as happened the past two seasons, 16 teams with losing records made the tournament, “led” this year by Hurricane’s 1-9 mark.
The 2013 playoffs open with four first-time matchups: in 5A, Layton at Herriman and Northridge at Riverton; and in 4A, Spanish Fork at Corner Canyon and Highland at Sky View.
This week also sees nine rematches, including Cottonwood at Brighton (5A), Bountiful at Logan, Salem Hills at Orem (4A) and Grantsville at Juab (3A). Also, Gunnison at North Summit, South Sevier at Grand, Parowan at Beaver (2A), Altamont at Diamond Ranch and Monticello at Rich (1A). More information about these games can be found under the notes for each classification’s games.
All but South Sevier at Grand and Altamont at Diamond Ranch are reprised on the same field.
With an additional classification and reshuffling of teams, there’s only one: Altamont at Diamond Ranch. Last year, the Longhorns stunned the top-seeded Diamondbacks 35-20 at Diamond Ranch.
Davis tackled Pleasant Grove 17-9 in a 2009 quarterfinal to keep the Darts’ record against PG at a pristine 4-0. Davis’ Ryan Bishop faced PG’s Les Hamilton twice before, once when Hamilton was at Alta (2008, the Hawks won) and once when he coached at Hunter (2011, the Darts prevailed).
Hunter leads its series with Jordan 5-2; they last met in a 2007 first-round encounter.
Alta controls Taylorsville 8-2 all-time, but they haven’t squared off since 2008.
Lone Peak defeated Syracuse 30-8 in their only previous battle, a 2010 first-round contest.
West has a perfect 3-0 record against Bingham, but they haven’t clashed since 1969.
Season rematch: Cottonwood at Brighton – the Bengals dominated 31-3 at home on Sept. 13 (Week 4) and led the series 10-4.
Layton at Herriman
Northridge at Riverton
Olympus and Springville tangle in the first-round for the fourth time. Olympus won in 1993 and 2003 and leads the series 2-1 as the Red Devils took a 35-14 victory in 2010.
Roy defeated East in its only previous meeting, a 4A quarterfinal win at what was then Rice Stadium in 1980, but their coaches matched wits in 2010 when Fred Fernandes directed Woods Cross. Brandon Matich’s Leopards prevailed 31-24.
Box Elder enjoys a 6-2 series advantage over Woods Cross, but the Wildcats tripped the Bees 3-0 the last time they met, in 2008.
From 2009-12, Timpanogos faced juggernaut Timpview as a region rival, but fate linked them this year in the playoffs. The T-birds are 5-0 against the Timberwolves.
Bountiful at Logan: The Grizzlies prevailed 10-3 at home on Sept. 6 (Week 3) to trim Bountiful’s series lead to 8-6.
Salem Hills at Orem: The Skyhawks triumphed 25-20 at Orem on Oct. 3 (Week 7) to narrow the Tigers’ series edge to 3-2.
First-time matchups: Spanish Fork at Corner Canyon and Highland at Sky View.
The four 3AA first-round contests feature teams that haven’t paired off for several years. Snow Canyon and Tooele last met in 2004 (Snow Canyon leads the series 7-0), Bear River and Hurricane in 2005 (series tied 1-1), Park City and Cedar in 2008 (Park City leads 6-1) and Desert Hills last played Uintah in 2009 (Desert Hills leads 2-0).
Morgan and Richfield have been gridiron strangers since 1991 when Morgan ousted the Wildcats from the 2A tournament in the quarterfinal round. Morgan leads the series 6-3.
Judge Memorial hasn’t dropped a game to North Sanpete in four meetings, including a 55-16 first-round victory in 2008.
Manti leads Emery 12-10 and nipped the Spartans 15-14 in 2012.
Grantsville at Juab: The Cowboys won 14-0 at Juab on Sept. 13 (Week 4) to up Grantsville’s series lead to 14-6.
The only 2A game that isn’t a rematch of a 2013 contest finds San Juan at South Summit. The Wildcats have yet to beat San Juan in seven attempts, including a 15-9 setback in the 2A semifinals last year.
Gunnison at North Summit: North Summit won 45-29 at home on Sept. 6 (Week 3) to extend its series lead to 17-6
South Sevier at Grand: The Red Devils prevailed 23-6 at South Sevier on Sept. 13 (Week 4) to take a 15-6 series lead
Parowan at Beaver: The Beavers won 35-0 at home on Sept. 6 (Week 3) and dominate the series 60-5-1.
Kanab and Milford last battled when Kanab competed in 1A, back in 2008. Kanab leads the series 45-10-1 stretching back to 1949.
Duchesne is 6-0 vs. Monument Valley; they last met in a 2011 quarterfinal.
Altamont at Diamond Ranch: The Diamondbacks ruled 21-0 at Altamont on Sept. 27 (Week 6) and grabbed a 2-1 series lead;
Monticello at Rich: The Rebels triumphed 20-19 at home on Sept. 27 (Week 6) to tie the series at 11 games each.
Despite expanding to six classifications for football, the number of gridiron regions has remained the same — 16 — as it has since 2009. However, this year, nearly one-fourth of all football-playing schools — a record 25 teams — won or shared region crowns. That’s up from 22, the previous record, in 2012.
Four teams — Herriman, Lone Peak, Pleasant Grove and Riverton — carved up the Region 4 championship. That’s just the fourth time in state history there has been quad-champs and the first time since 1999.
In sharing the region crown, Riverton nabbed its first championship in 15 seasons of football.
Millard holds the most league titles (40), followed by Box Elder (35), East (33), Delta (30), Davis (29), Jordan, Logan and Orem (26), West (24) and Dixie, Grand, Park City and Provo (23).
Park City again attempts to pick up its 400th victory. North Summit plays its 800th game, and Altamont competes for the 400th time.
East’s Brandon Matich tries for his 75th career win. Sky View’s Craig Anhder and Layton’s Jim Batchelor each direct their 100th contest.
Grand hopes to earn nine victories for the first time since 2005 and for just the second time since 1984. Beaver has matched it eight-win season of 2012, but hasn’t won nine since 2002.
Millard experienced a not-so-memorable milestone last week: The Eagles suffered their first-ever overtime loss (now 7-1) and dropped a first-round game, this one to South Sevier, for the first time in eight years. Meanwhile, Gunnison won its first playoff contest since 2006 with last week’s first-round win over Enterprise.
Through the end of the regular season, seven records have been set or tied, aside from various longest-play categories, where 99- or 100-yard plays also tie state records.
East and Jordan totaled 1,333 yards of offense on Sept. 6 for the most in a single game. That same day, Riverton amassed 657 team rushing yards against Dixie.
Logan’s Chase Nelson racked up 691 yards of total offense on Sept. 20 against Roy.
Cottonwood’s T.J. Fehoko claimed 7.5 sacks on Oct. 25 for a single-game record. So far this season, he’s sacked the QB a record 32 times.
Jordan’s Austin Kafentzis is responsible for 135 career touchdowns and tied the mark for career 100-yard games with 24.
Last week, Chase Nelson became the 13th gridder to top the 4,000-yard mark for season total offense (4,068). At the top of the list? His brothers, Riley (5,815 in 2005) and D.J. (5,096 in 2011). Chase is tied for sixth in TD passes (41) and for 10th in TDs-responsible-for (48).
Lehi’s Caden Calton averaged 195.4 rushing yards per game over the Pioneers’ season, and that places him 11th on the all-time list. He also finished 21st in season rushing yards (1,954) and 28th in season carries (267). Calton rushed for at least 100 yards nine times this year.
Last week, West Jordan’s Brent Beales established a school record for reception yards — 246 — surpassing Cameron Peacock’s 204 mark from 2010.
Prep football will likely see another state record set this week. With 12,810 yards of career total offense, Jordan’s prep phenom Austin Kafentzis needs just 108 yards to eclipse the current mark (12,917 by Alex Kuresa, Mountain Crest, 2007-10).
Kafentzis ranks high on other career record lists as well. He’s second in rushing touchdowns (65, record is 70) and third in TDs scored (65), passing yards (8,294), completions (546) and attempts (946). He’s sixth in carries (623), 10th in career rushing yards (4,516) and 11th in TD passes (70).
In the career reception yards category, Orem’s Nolan Gray is fifth all-time (2,581), Logan’s Taylor Compton ranks 13th (2,249) and Alta’s Mack Richards climbed to 20th (1,945).
Compton jumped to fourth in receptions (192), just six shy of second place all-time, and Gray moved to eighth (153).
Scoring teams (points per game):
East – 49.4
Sky View – 43.1
Logan – 42.3
Juan Diego – 42.1
Brighton – 41.8
Defensive teams (fewest points allowed per game):
South Summit – 7.7
Desert Hills – 9.8
Davis – 9.9
Grand – 10.7
Largest victory margins:
East – 33.7
South Summit – 32.2
Juan Diego – 28.6
Brighton – 27.0
Timpview – 27.0