Among the six teams vying for championships Saturday, Class 2A’s South Summit makes its seventh title-game appearance in nine years — and fifth straight. Only two teams have made more consecutive championship-game appearances than South Summit: Skyline, with nine straight from 1995-2003 and Kanab, with eight from 1981-88. The Wildcats have six state titles and face two-time defending champion Beaver, which showcases 11 state trophies. It’s the first time that teams have met three years in a row to decide a championship since Hurricane battled Juan Diego in the finals from 2008-10.
It’s also the sixth time that Beaver and South Summit have dueled for a state championship. Beaver has grabbed four of the previous five title clashes. Duchesne and Rich have also skirmished for the state crown six times. Only one pair of teams have met more in championship games: Beaver and Kanab have fought seven times.
Beaver’s Jon Marshall is the 43rd first-year coach to guide his team to a championship game. He’s the first since Andy Stokes directed Dixie to the 2015 Class 3AA title contest, where the Flyers lost to Logan. The previous 42 coaches have compiled a 19-23 record in the finals. Timpview’s Cary Whittingham was the last to taste success in the championship game, in 2012.
The Class 1A championship pits defending champ Duchesne, and its six titles, against Milford, which won its only state trophy in 1993. Milford appears in the finals for the first time since making back-to-back trips in 1993 and ’94.
In 3A, two-time defending champion Juan Diego goes for its eighth state crown. JD encounters Morgan, which hopes to win its seventh state championships. The Trojans last reached the finals — and lost — in 2015 to Juan Diego. Morgan last took home the state hardware in 1997.
Back for more
In the three larger classifications, five semifinalists repeat from last year. In Class 6A, defending champ Bingham returns for the sixth consecutive time — a school record. Only Skyline, with 13 straight semis from 1993-2005, and Kanab, with eight straight from 1981-88, have more. It’s also the Miners’ 11th semifinal in 12 seasons. Lone Peak, state runners-up the past two years, qualifies for the seventh time in eight seasons. Now in 6A, two-time current 4A champion East revisits the semifinals for the sixth time in seven seasons. Springville makes its third straight appearance in the semis. Stansbury is back for the second year in a row.
Sky View sees semifinal action for the second time in three seasons after falling in the first round to Lehi last year.
Strangers to the semis
Meanwhile, four of this year’s other semifinalists missed the playoffs completely in 2016: Corner Canyon, Herriman, Mountain Crest and Skyridge. Skyridge opened last year and makes its first trip to the postseason memorable by becoming only the seventh school to win two tournament games in just its second year. Mountain Crest’s most recent trip to Rice-Eccles came in 2012, Corner Canyon’s in 2014 and Herriman’s in 2015.
The two other semifinalists haven’t advanced this far in a much longer time. Orem’s last semifinal was in 1996 and Lehi’s came in 2002.
Eight of the 12 semifinal teams display at least one championship trophy in their showcase. Corner Canyon, Sky View, Skyridge and Stansbury still seek their first.
Top seeds survive
With two exceptions, all the semifinal teams in all six classifications — that’s 24 schools — were seeded No. 1 or No. 2. One exception, Juan Diego, was actually a region three-way co-champ, but lost the coin flip and received the third seed. The other exception was Kanab, which finished third in 1A-South, but defeated second-seed Layton Christian before losing to top-seeded Milford in the semifinals.
The latest realignment took a toll on the larger St. George and Cedar City area schools that currently reside in Region 9. For the first time since 2002, none of those teams advanced to the semifinals. Realignment affected those schools by increasing the number of teams in their classification from 14 to 25 and by changing the mix to include more competition from Utah County and Cache County schools.
East defeated American Fork 67-31 last week as the two combined for 98 points. That’s the eighth-most in a playoff game in Utah prep history. East’s 67-point outing is the 12th-most scored by one team. Earlier in the tournament, three more teams scored enough points to place in the top-25 on the same list — Most Points by One Team in Playoff Games: Juan Diego – 66 points vs. Carbon, tied for the 13th-most; Bingham — 65 points vs. Cyprus, tied for the 17th-most; and Pine View — 63 points vs. Tooele, tied for the 23rd most.
Last week, Skyridge trimmed Jordan 45-43; the Beetdiggers’ 43 points represents the sixth-most in a losing effort in a tournament contest.
Playoff matchup notes
Class 6A semifinals
Among the semifinalists in 6A, East claims 18 state championships, Bingham, 10, and Herriman and Lone Peak, one each.
East (10-2) vs. Lone Peak (9-1)
Series history: First meeting.
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between East’s Brandon Matich and Lone Peak’s Bart Brockbank.
Current winning streaks: East – 2, LP – 4.
East’s last semifinal: 2016, blasted Maple Mountain 64-13 en route to capturing its second straight Class 4A title.
Lone Peak’s last semifinal: 2016, blitzed American Fork 66-19, then lost to Bingham in the Class 5A title game.
East’s playoff record (45th appearance in 104 seasons): 62-27-2.
Brandon Matich’s playoff record (12th appearance in 13 seasons overall and eighth in eight seasons at East: 24-9, including 4-4 at Park City (2005-09) and 20-5 at East (since 2010). Semifinal record: 4-3, including 0-2 at Park City and 4-1 at East. Two state championships, at East in 2015 and ’16. Matich has won 10 straight playoff games, which ties him for the eighth-longest such streak in Utah tournament history.
Lone Peak’s playoff record (19th appearance in 22 seasons): 31-17.
Bart Brockbank’s playoff record (first season): 2-0.
Bingham (11-0) vs. Herriman (6-5)
Series history: Bingham leads 7-0.
Last meeting: Bingham blanked Herriman 34-0 on Sept. 1 (Week 3), at Herriman.
Coach vs. coach: Bingham’s John Lambourne is 3-0 vs. Dustin Pearce. Both men also previously coached at Hunter: Lambourne from 1994-98, where he compiled a 40-15 record, and Pearce from 2008-10, where he went 19-15.
Current winning streaks: Bingham – 11 (tied for the longest active streak), Herriman – 5.
Bingham’s last semifinal: 2016, rolled over Fremont 35-12 and captured the Class 5A crown.
Herriman’s only semifinal: 2015, clipped Sky View 23-7 and won the Class 5A trophy.
Bingham’s playoff record (45th appearance in 94 seasons): 60-34.
John Lambourne’s playoff record (eighth appearance in eight seasons overall and third at Bingham in three seasons, since 2015): 13-6, including 5-5 at Hunter (1994-98) and 8-1 at Bingham. Semifinal record: 1-2 including 0-1 at Hunter and 1-1 at Bingham. One state championship, at Bingham in 2016.
Herriman’s playoff record (seventh appearance in eight seasons – missed last year): 9-5.
Dustin Pearce’s playoff record (eighth appearance in nine seasons overall and fourth at Herriman in five seasons: 12-6, including 1-1 at Enterprise (2004), 3-3 at Hunter (2008-10) and 8-2 at Herriman (since 2013). Semifinal record: 1-2, including 0-1 at Enterprise, 0-1 at Hunter and 1-0 at Herriman. One state championship, at Herriman in 2015.
Bingham has won 25 consecutive games against Utah opponents.
Class 5A semifinals
Lehi has two state championships and Springville, one.
Corner Canyon (11-0) vs. Skyridge (11-1)
Series history: Skyridge leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Skyridge nipped the Chargers 31-28 on Sept. 16, 2016.
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Corner Canyon’s Eric Kjar and Skyridge’s Jon Lehman.
Current winning streaks: Corner Canyon – 11 (tied for the longest active streak), Skyridge – 4.
Corner Canyon’s only semifinal: 2014, fell to Roy 39-0.
Skyridge’s first semifinal appearance.
Corner Canyon’s playoff record (fourth appearance in five seasons – missed last year): 6-3.
Eric Kjar’s playoff record (ninth appearance in nine years): 14-7, including 12-7 at Jordan (2009-16) and 2-0 at Corner Canyon. Semifinal record: 1-3, at Jordan. One state championship, at Jordan in 2012.
Skyridge’s and Jon Lehman’s playoff record (first appearance in two seasons): 2-0.
Corner Canyon is off to its best start since the Chargers won their first 12 games – a school record – in 2014.
As mentioned, Skyridge became just the seventh school to win two tournament games in its second year of football. Only two of the previous six won three games and advanced to the finals: Layton in 1969 and Fremont in 1995.
Lehi (10-2) vs. Springville (9-3)
Series history: 57th meeting; Springville leads 34-18-4.
Last meeting: Springville got by Lehi 18-14 on Sept. 8 (Week 4) at Lehi.
Coach vs. coach: Springville’s Willy Child is 3-1 vs. Lehi’s Ed Larson, whose win over Child came in 2012 when Larson coached Timpanogos.
Current winning streaks: Lehi – 8 (tied for fifth-longest active streak among all schools; it's also the second longest in school history and two short of the school record set in 1997), Springville – 7 (tied for the seventh-longest active streak).
Lehi’s last semifinal: 2002, fell to Tooele 32-21 in Class 3A. The Pioneers last advanced to the championship game in 2000 (and won).
Springville’s last semifinal: 2016, crushed Alta 42-14 before dropping to East in the Class 4A title contest.
Lehi’s playoff record (33rd appearance in 96 seasons): 22-30.
Ed Larson’s playoff record (seventh appearance in 12 seasons overall and second in four seasons at Lehi: 3-6, including 0-2 at Provo (1993-94), 0-3 at Timpanogos (2010-13) and 3-1 at Lehi (since 2014). First semifinal. (Larson also coached at Ogden from 2004-05.)
Springville’s playoff record (47th appearance in 101 seasons): 30-45.
Willy Child’s playoff record (fifth appearance in six seasons, since 2012): 8-4. Semifinal record: 1-1.
Lehi enjoys its first double-digit win season since 2002 and just the fifth in school history.
Class 4A semifinals
Orem owns five championships and Mountain Crest, three.
Stansbury (8-3) vs. Mountain Crest (11-1)
Series history: Mountain Crest leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Mountain Crest clobbered Stansbury 52-19 on Sept. 8 (Week 4), at Mountain Crest.
Coach vs. coach: Mountain Crest’s Jason Lee is 1-0 vs. Stansbury’s Clint Christiansen.
Current winning streaks: Stansbury – 7 (tied for seventh-longest active streak), MC – 3.
Stanbury’s only semifinal: 2016, lost to Desert Hills 49-14 in Class 3AA.
Mountain Crest’s last semifinal: 2012, defeated Highland 14-6 before falling to Timpview in double-overtime in the Class 4A finals.
Stansbury’s playoff record (seventh appearance in nine seasons): 5-6.
Clint Christiansen’s playoff record (13th appearance in 18 years overall, including seven in nine seasons at Stansbury: 6-12, including 0-4 at South Sevier (1998-2002), 1-2 at Provo (2004-07) and 5-6 at Stansbury (since 2009). Semifinal record: 0-1, at Stansbury.
Mountain Crest’s playoff record (26th appearance in 35 seasons): 45-22.
Jason Lee’s playoff record (first appearance in two years): 2-0.
Orem (10-2) vs. Sky View (11-0)
Series history: Orem leads 2-1.
Last meeting: Orem slapped Sky View 41-31 on Oct. 26, 2012, in a Class 4A first-round game at Orem.
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Orem’s Jeremy Hill and Sky View’s Danilo Robinson.
Current winning streaks: Orem – 8 (tied for the fifth-longest current streak), Sky View – 11 (tied for the longest current streak).
Orem’s last semifinal: 1996, topped Highland 21-14 before losing to Skyline in the Class 5A championship.
Sky View’s last semifinal: 2015, fell to eventual Class 5A champion Herriman 23-7. The Bobcats’ only title game appearance came in 1987 when Sky View dropped a 9-7 thriller to Mountain Crest in Class 3A.
Orem’s playoff record (53rd appearance in 89 seasons): 50-47.
Jeremy Hill’s playoff record (second appearance in two years): 2-1; first semifinal.
Sky View’s playoff record (26th appearance in 54 seasons): 14-25.
Danilo Robinson’s playoff record (first season): 2-0.
Orem celebrates its 10th double-digit win season but first since 1996. A semifinal victory sends the Tigers to the finals for the 13th time and gives them their most wins since going 11-1 in 1993.
Sky View posted its fifth double-digit win season. A 12th victory ties this year’s Bobcats with the 2015 team for the best start, most victories and longest winning streak in school history.
Class 3A championship
Morgan (9-2) vs. Juan Diego (10-2)
Series history: Juan Diego leads 4-1.
Last meeting: Morgan tamed the Soaring Eagle 49-20 on Sept. 16, 2016.
Coach vs. coach: Juan Diego’s John Colosimo is 4-1 vs. Morgan’s Kovi Christiansen.
Current winning streaks: Morgan – 7 (ties for seventh-longest active streak), Juan Diego – 3.
Morgan Quick Facts
The Trojans began their football program in 1928; 90th season.
Finals record: 6-5. Last championship: 1997. Playoff record: 53-43 (.552), 50th appearance.
Championship game history:
1940, defeated Richfield 20-7 (Class B)
1972, lost to Dixie 58-30 (2A)
1976, lost to Millard 20-14 (2A)
1977, defeated Delta 28-14 (2A)
1979, defeated Millard 26-14 (2A)
1980, lost to Lehi 7-6 (2A)
1983, defeated Hurricane 15-0 (2A)
1993, defeated San Juan 21-18 (2A)
1996, lost to Grantsville 7-0 (2A)
1997, defeated Ben Lomond 21-7 (3A)
2015, lost to Juan Diego 28-13 (3A)
Coach: Kovi Christiansen is 87-40 (.685) in 11 seasons (since 2007).
Playoff record: 10-10 (.500), 11th appearance.
Championship game record: 0-1.
Juan Diego Quick Facts
JD opened in 2000; 18th season.
Finals record: 7-1 (.875). Last championship: 2016. Playoff record: 36-9 (.800), 17th appearance (missed the tournament the school’s first year).
Championship game history:
2002, defeated Manti 28-12 (Class 2A)
2003, lost to Manti 20-19 (2A)
2004, defeated Juab 33-14 (2A)
2008, defeated Hurricane 21-18 (3A)
2009, defeated Hurricane 12-10 (3A)
2010, defeated Hurricane 10-7 (3A)
2015, defeated Morgan 28-13 (3A)
2016, defeated Delta 35-21 (3A)
With the exception of Skyridge, which is 2-0 in its first-ever playoff appearance, Juan Diego is the all-time winningest playoff team by percentage (.800). In all games, the Soaring Eagle are 107-18 over the past ten seasons.
Coach: John Colosimo is 175-42 in 18 seasons at Juan Diego and 221-117 in 30 seasons overall, including a 46-75 record at Judge Memorial (1986-96). He’s also won nine consecutive playoff games, which is tied for the 11-longest streak in Utah playoff history.
Playoff record: 41-17 (.707), 25th appearance. At Juan Diego: 36-9 in 17 appearances; at Judge: 5-8 in eight appearances.
Championship game record: 7-2, including 7-1 at Juan Diego and 0-1 at Judge.
Colosimo is the dean of active coaches. Only Earl Ferguson (39 years), Roger DuPaix (35), Thom Budge (31) and Larry Wall (31) coached more seasons. All-time, Colosimo ranks third in games coached with 338 and fifth in career victories with 221.
Class 2A championship
South Summit (11-0) vs. Beaver (10-1)
Series history: South Summit leads 13-10.
Last meeting: South Summit pelted Beaver 30-7 on Sept. 8 (Week 4) at South Summit.
Coach vs. coach: South Summit’s Mike Grajek is 1-0 vs. Beaver’s Jon Marshall.
Current winning streaks: South Summit – 11 (tied for the longest active streak), Beaver – 7 (tied for the seventh-longest active streak).
This game marks the seventh time that the same teams have met in the championship game for three consecutive years. No teams have faced off four times in a row. But Beaver was involved three of the other six times that the same teams clashed in the finals: Beaver played Monticello from 1969-71, Kanab from 1981-83 and Kanab again from 1985-87. (The other three times were Judge Memorial-Payson from 1969-71, Northridge-Skyline from 2000-02 and Hurricane-Juan Diego from 2008-10.)
The 2A state championship is the 722nd game for both Beaver and South Summit. It’s taken Beaver 78 seasons to reach that mark, while South Summit required 80.
South Summit Quick Facts
The Wildcats played football from 1913-16, then dropped the sport until 1942; 80th season.
Finals record: 6-9 (.400). Last championship: 2014. Playoff record: 53-34 (.609), 41st appearance.
Championship game history:
1973, lost to Beaver 30-0 (Class 1A)
1977, defeated Beaver 16-6 (1A)
1978, defeated North Summit 14-0 (1A)
1979, lost to Beaver 24-9 (1A)
1984, defeated Kanab 13-95 (1A)
1988, defeated Kanab 35-13 (1A)
1998, lost to San Juan 36-26 (2A)
1999, lost to Manti 34-15 (2A)
2000, lost to San Juan 20-14 (2A)
2009, lost to San Juan 7-0 (2A)
2010, lost to San Juan 19-6 (2A)
2013, defeated Grand 42-8 (2A)
2014, defeated Summit Academy 28-6 (2A)
2015, lost to Beaver 33-0 (2A)
2016, lost to Beaver 55-35 (2A)
Since 2013, South Summit has compiled a 54-5 record, the best five-year record in Wildcat history.
Coach: Mike Grajek is 21-2 in his second season at South Summit and 48-15 in six seasons overall, including a 7-3 record at Milford (1993) and a 20-10 mark at Morgan (1994-96).
Playoff record: 6-3 overall and 4-1 at South Summit, 2-0 at Milford and 2-2 at Morgan; fifth appearance.
Championship game record: 1-2 (won with Milford in 1993, but lost with Morgan in 1996 and with South Summit last year).
Beaver Quick Facts
Beaver began its gridiron program in 1925 and played 11-man football through 1933. After a five-year break, the Beavers took up six-man football from 1939-48. They resumed the 11-man version in 1949; 78th season of 11-man.
Finals record: 11-9. Last championship: 2016. Playoff record (11-man): 67-39 (.632), 51st appearance.
Championship game history:
1969, lost to Monticello 7-6 (Class B)
1970, defeated Monticello 22-0 (B)
1971, defeated Monticello 22-7 (B)
1972, lost to North Summit 16-0 (1A)
1973, defeated South Summit 30-0 (1A)
1975, defeated North Summit 12-6 in double-overtime (1A)
1976, lost to Kanab 27-7 (1A)
1977, lost to South Summit 16-6 (1A)
1979, defeated South Summit 24-9 (1A)
1980, defeated Park City 19-7 (1A)
1981, defeated Kanab 7-3 (1A)
1982, lost to Kanab 7-3 (1A)
1983, defeated Kanab 31-20 (1A)
1985, lost to Kanab 42-0 (1A)
1986, lost to Kanab 14-0 (1A)
1987, lost to Kanab 23-0 (1A)
1990, defeated Park City 12-7 (2A)
1992, lost to Grantsville 12-7 (2A)
2015, defeated South Summit 33-0 (2A)
2016, defeated South Summit 55-35 (2A)
Beaver makes its 21st championship game appearance, which ties the Beavers for the most in state history with Millard. The Beavers have posted three double-digit win seasons in a row for the first time since they won at least 10 games every season from 1969-73.
Beaver hopes to play spoiler and become the 60th team to ruin another school’s perfect season in the championship game. The Beavers have done it once before – in 2015, also against South Summit.
In addition, Beaver’s only loss this season was to the Wildcats. In the history of the playoffs, a team has avenged its only season setback in the championship game 12 times. Beaver hopes to become the 13th. The last time that happened was in 2016, when Duchesne lost to Kanab during the regular season but defeated the Cowboys in the title bout.
Coach: Jon Marshall is 10-1 in his first season at Beaver.
Playoff record: 2-0 at Beaver.
Class 1A Championship
Duchesne (10-1) vs. Milford (10-1)
Series history: Duchesne leads 21-6.
Last meeting: Duchesne beat Milford 21-12 on Sept. 22 (Week 6) at Duchesne.
Coach vs. coach: Duchesne’s Jerry Cowan is 6-0 vs. Milford’s Thayne Marshall.
Current winning streaks: Duchesne – 7 (tied for the seventh-longest active streak), Milford – 6.
Duchesne Quick Facts
The Eagles played for two seasons – 1931 and ’32 – then revived the program in 1973; 47th season.
Finals record: 6-3 (.667). Last championship: 2016. Playoff record: 35-31 (.530), 38th appearance.
Championship game history:
1995, lost to Rich 26-13 (Class 1A)
1996, lost to Rich 39-12 (1A)
2006, defeated Kanab 30-0 (1A)
2009, lost to Rich 25-0 (1A)
2010, defeated Rich 21-14 in overtime (1A)
2011, defeated Layton Christian 35-9 (1A)
2012, defeated Rich 28-0 (1A)
2013, defeated Rich 14-13 (1A)
2016, defeated Kanab 19-17 (1A)
Duchesne celebrates its second straight double-digit win season, its seventh in nine years and 11th overall.
Coach: Jerry Cowan is 100-26 (.794) in 11 seasons (2003-07 and since 2012).
Playoff record: 19-6 (.760), 11th appearance.
Championship game record: 4-0 (2006, ’12, ’13 and ’16).
Milford Quick Facts
Played from 1925 through 1931, then resumed in 1949 after playing 6-man football from 1939-48; 76th season of 11-man football.
Finals record: 1-1 (.500). Last championship: 1993. Playoff record: 15-30 (.333), 32nd appearance.
Championship game history:
1993, defeated Altamont 21-13 (Class 1A)
1994, lost to Rich 12-6 (1A)
Milford relishes its first-ever double-digit win season. In addition, Milford’s only loss this season was to Duchesne. In the history of the playoffs, a team has avenged its only season setback in the championship game 12 times. Milford hopes to become the 13th – or 14th – if Beaver avenges its only season loss to South Summit in the Class 2A championship game earlier on Saturday. The last time that happened was in 2016, when Duchesne lost to Kanab during the regular season, but it defeated the Cowboys in the title bout.
Coach: Thayne Marshall is 26-16 (.619) in four seasons, since 2014.
Playoff record: 3-3 (.500), fourth appearance.
First championship game.
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