It's play-in madness in the week leading up to the first round of the high school football playoffs.
Call it what you will, parity or futility, but either way 2007 postseason excitement gets under way a bit early this week.
There are four play-in games scheduled for Tuesday, three more than last year and twice as many as the year before. Fremont faces Clearfield in Region 1, Spanish Fork takes on Lone Peak in Region 4, Payson battles Springville in Region 7 and Ben Lomond meets up with Bear River in Region 11.
If the four regular season meetings between these same teams are any indicator, at least three of Tuesday's four games figure to be nail-biters. The only game that might not be competitive is in Region 1. Fremont beat Clearfield 49-21 Friday in the regular-season finale, and there's no reason to believe it won't duplicate that win when the teams square off again at Fremont at 4 p.m.
The winner takes on No. 1 Bingham in the opening round of the 5A state tournament.
As for the other three play-in games, the average margin of victory was just over a field goal in previous regular season meetings.
When Spanish Fork faces Lone Peak at Lehi at 5 p.m., it is a rematch of the Knights' 13-9 win over the Dons in the first week of the Region 4 season. Third-ranked Layton awaits the winner.
Class 4A's only play-in game is in Utah County. Springville could've avoided the play-in game with a win over Payson this past Friday, but the Lions prevailed 12-7 to force a rematch at Springville Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Region 11's play-in game between Bear River and Ben Lomond is slated for Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Box Elder. Bear River won the regular-season meeting 26-24 but only after the Scots missed a potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation.
Ben Lomond starting quarterback Chase Moore missed that game with a broken hand, but in his first game back in eight weeks on Friday he tossed three touchdown passes to lead the Scots past Ogden 35-14 in the battle of the Iron Horse.
ODDS & ENDS: Skyline secured its 19th consecutive winning season with its win over Brighton, only two behind the state record of 21 consecutive winning seasons by Davis from 1972 to 1992 ... Timpview's 63-0 win over Provo Friday was the most points scored by Timpview in school history ... San Juan advanced to the quarterfinals for the 21st straight year ... Judge scored 63 points against Uintah Friday, tying the school record set in 1979.ATTENTION, COACHES: Coaches and statisticians are reminded to e-mail offensive yardage statistics to [email protected] by Monday afternoon for publication in Tuesday's paper. Stats also can be faxed to 801-237-2543.
E-mail: [email protected]