The midseason slates of prep football certainly don't possess the unbridled anticipation of the preseason nor the ever-increasing exciting of the postseason. Usually it's a couple of decent games and a whole lot of posturing and elbowing among region peers.
Except this week. All eight of the state's remaining unbeaten teams take on ranked, top-quality competition - in fact, the four 3A teams with unblemished records square off in two games. And the rest of the games feature teams with poll positions or still-sparkling records.Look at the following nine highlighted games, with the team's accompanying poll rank, overall records and region records. Combine the overall marks from all 18 teams and you've got a total of 77 wins and 12 losses for an .865 winning percentage.
Here's a quick glance at the nine featured contests. Game times can be found in the high school football schedule in the Scoreboard section on page D4.
No. 2 Alta (4-1, 2-1) at No. 1 Skyline (5-0, 2-0): Region 2, which boasts four of the five top-ranked 4A teams, features another spotlighted showdown. The Hawks have won two straight after losing to Olympus, scoring 27 points and allowing 12 in five games. The high-flying Eagles have scored 40 or more points in three games so far.
No. 3 Jordan (5-0, 3-0) at No. 2 Bountiful (5-0, 3-0): Here are the league leaders in the 3A Region 6, with the Beetdiggers following two tightly contested triumphs with a lopsided victory last week. Meanwhile, the Braves have averaged 31 points a game while registering three shutouts.
No. 4 Dixie (5-0, 2-0) at No. 1 Springville (5-0, 2-0): This 3A Region 8 rivalry has been decided by a three-point margin in each of the last three contests. The Flyers' winning margin hasn't been so decisive of late (a 21-20 victory over Spanish Fork last week), while the Red Devils have been averaging 25 points game.
No. 3 Beaver (4-1, 4-0) at No. 1 Hurricane (5-0, 4-0): The Beavers have a four-win streak while averaging 26 points and allowing 7 a game.
Sharing top-spot honors in the 2A Region 10 is Hurricane, which has won four games by a single-digit margin.
No. 2 North Summit (2-3) at No. 1 Duchesne (4-0): The defending 1A state champion Braves have lost three games - but the defeats have been at the hands of 2A competition. Meanwhile, the Eagles enter this non-league game as the state's only undefeated 1A team.
South Summit (4-1, 2-1) at No. 2 North Sanpete (5-0, 3-0): The Wildcats have quietly logged a two-win streak and three shutout victories this season.
Roy (4-1, 2-1) at Clearfield (4-1, 2-0): The Royals have won two straight while averaging 31 points a game in their four victories.
Granger (4-1, 3-0) at Cyprus (4-1, 3-0): The Lancers have amassed a four-game win streak, but the three Region 3 wins have come by a margin of 10 points or fewer.
Box Elder (4-1, 2-1) at Bear River (4-1, 2-0): The Bees have allowed 6 points total in its last two league victories, while the Bears are riding a four-game win streak while allowing 10 total points in their last three games.
THE REST OF THE PREP FOOTBALL SLATE: Besides the aforementioned nine highlighted contests, here's how Friday's slate looks on a region-by-region basis.
Region 1: Fourth-ranked Davis puts its undefeated league record on the line against winless Layton, and Weber and Viewmont square off with both seeking their second region victory.
Region 2: Third-ranked Olympus visits Brighton - despite averaging only 10 points a game, the Bengals have logged three shutout wins. And fifth- ranked Highland hopes to rebound from last week's loss to Olympus by hosting Cottonwood.
Region 3: West Jordan also boasts a 3-0 region record, with the Jaguars visiting winless and struggling-to-score Kearns. Someone's got to triumph as a pair of 0-5 teams meet when Hunter travels to Hillcrest. And Taylorsville looks for its third straight region win when playing Bingham.
Region 4: First of all, the originally scheduled tripleheader at BYU's Cougar Stadium has been scrubbed. Two weeks ago, Timpview was undefeated and Provo was winless - now the Bulldogs sport the 2-0 league mark and the T- birds are without a league triumph. The two other Region 4 games are also crosstown contests - Orem meets Mountain View and American Fork plays Pleasant Grove, with all four teams 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Region 5: Logan looks to break its three-game losing string against a Sky View team that has been averaging 25 points a game in its four wins. Ben Lomond is trying for its second league victory when traveling to winless Ogden.
Region 6: With three of its four losses going into overtime, Granite faces a 2-3 West team that has won two region contests and suffered the three losses by a touchdown's difference or less. Murray meets Judge, with both teams needing to break into the region-win contest. And play-it-tight Tooele - four of five games decided by single digits - travels to Woods Cross, with the Wildcats having won two straight.
Region 7: After a lackluster three-loss preseason, Lehi is scoring points and earning the league's only 2-0 region record - and the Pioneers play defensive-minded Uintah. Carbon meets Wasatch, with both teams carrying identical 2-3 overall and 1-1 region records. And Union faces Emery.
Region 8: Two teams - Payson and Spanish Fork - look for their first region win in three tries. Winless Payson plays at Pine View, which has scored 20 or more points in four games; and four-loss Spanish Fork hosts Cedar City, which won its first 1990 game only last week.
Region 9: Park City, which has scored at least 21 points in its four wins, visits winless Juab. And Grantsville and Manti share similar records at 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.
Region 10: Scoring 44 and 38 points in its two wins after a 3-0 start, Delta travels to Millard, with the Eagles scoring 35 or more in its three wins. With an average 31-6 score in each of the Cowboys' three wins, Kanab meets North Sevier, which has lost three straight. And winless South Sevier takes on Richfield.
Non-league games: Once-ranked Bonneville hopes to snap its two-loss skid against East, which has lost four games - but none by more than 12 points. Other non-region contests has San Juan traveling to Durango, Colo.; winless Gunnison visiting one-win East Carbon; Grand County hosting Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Rich meeting Altamont; and Monticello playing Dove Creek, Colo.