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KANAB AND EMERY NOT HURT BY MOVE UP

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Noting the regular-season successes of former-4A-turned-3A teams this season, one Utah prep sports writer labeled the threesome of Box Elder (7-0 overall record, ranked No. 1), Bountiful (7-1, ranked fifth), and Woods Cross (6-2, ranked earlier this season) as "masquerading" as 3A teams following the state's reclassification.

Granted, there is some psychological edges as well as obvious advantages in size - individuals as well as school enrollment - when football teams drop down a size classification.But then, the acheivements of Kanab so far - a 7-1 overall record and the top pick in the final regular-season Deseret News Coaches Poll - are contrary to that change-in-classifiction theory. That's because the Cowboys didn't move down a classification, but in fact stepped up from 1A to the 2A level.

Kanab's successes included beating defending champion Millard, 2A runner-up Richfield and arch-nemisis Beaver; the only blemish was a 25-24 loss at Hurricane, putting Kanab in a three-way tie with Hurricane and Kanab for the Region 10 title.

Another team that has more than survived a step up is Emery, which advanced to 3A from 2A. The Spartans are 7-1 overall and have already clinched the Region 7 title.

2A PLAYOFFS: The 2A football teams get a week's headstart on playoff action, with eight teams involved in first-round action Thursday and the four top seeds - Morgan, San Juan, Hurricane and Manti - having byes. The opening-round matchups pit Delta and Grantsville, Juab and Kanab, Richfield and Grand, and North Sanpete and Millard.

EARLY GAMES: After six weeks of traditional Friday night action, the state's prep football teams once again are involved in midweek play - Thursday's games come a day early, thanks to the deer-hunt holiday.

ADD EARLY GAMES: Two of the few games involving ranked opponents can be found in the 1A ranks - and both games are being played a day early. No. 1 North Summit hosts No. 4 Rich in a Wednesday night finale of the Region 11 regular-season. Both are going to next week's 1A playoffs - the winner of the game is the top seed and the loser the second.

And in Region 13, No. 2 Duchesne travels to No. 5 Monticello in the league championship between division winners. The winner of Wednesday afternoon's game receives the region's No. 1 berth, while the loser has to settle for No. 2.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS: Some of the top individual performances in last week's games included:

- Cyprus' Troy Miller gained 170 yards on 26 carries - including three rushing TDs - and also intercepted a pass in the Pirates' 27-13 victory over West Jordan.

- Weber QB Ryon Jones and Roy counterpart Phil Durbano filled the air with passes in the Royals' 24-21 victory. Jones completed 20 of 40 passes for 248 yards and two scoring tosses, while Durbano was 16-of-32 for 248 yards and one TD pass.

- Highland's Chris Adamson scored three TDs in the Rams' 27-26 three-overtime loss to Skyline.

- East quarterback Rob Boyden threw three TD passes in the Leopard's 35-28 heart-breaker loss.

- Granger running back Kime Kinikini, coming off a sprained ankle, rushed five times for 93 yards - nearly 19 yards a carry - and a touchdown in the Lancers' 49-7 triumph over Taylorsville. In the same game, quarterback-kicker Craig Van Woerkom completed 9 of 15 passes for 211 yards as well as rushing for a TD and throwing two scoring passes to Terry Cummings.

- Logan receiver Richie Geertsen caught two 35-yard TD passes from Blair Hodson and added a 60-yard punt return as the Grizzlies shut out Ogden 32-0. Besides his two TD tosses, Hodson also rushed for another score.

- Woods Cross running back Kitt Rawlings rushed for more than 170 yards and scored four touchdowns - including a 57-yard interception return.

- Judge's junior running backs of Tim Clark and Eric Rogers combined for 224 yards on 29 carries in the Bulldogs' 18-0 victory over Granite. Clark gained 129 yards and two TDs on 22 attempts, while Rogers added another 95 yards on seven rushes and a 90-yard TD punt return.

- Emery's Ryan Stilson threw for two TDs and rushed for two more in the Spartan's 29-7 win over Payson.

- Hurricane's Chris Hurst scored two long-distance rushing TDs of 45 and 59 yards in the Tigers' 44-0 trouncing of South Sevier.

- Rich's passing efforts in the Rebels' 29-12 victory over Altamont looked like this - quarterback Heath Johnson, 16-of-24 for 232 yards and three TDs; and halfback Jesse Webb, 1-1 for 91 yards and 1 TD.

- Parowan sophomore Danny Guymon scored four touchdowns on runs of 7, 36, 3 and 4 yards in the Ram's 59-20 victory over Dugway. Parowan's Brandon Thornton threw for two scores and rushed for another.