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TRIO OF IMPRESSIVE WINS LIFTS 3A'S DELTA TO NO. 1

What's up doc?

Pardon the Warner Bros. plug, but the hares, as in the Delta Rabbits, have arrived. The state's newest rankings leader has assumed control of the No. 1 spot in the 3A ranks after three weeks of preseason play. Forget about bad luck coming in threes, Delta marched to the top with a trio of impressive victories, just ask Morgan, Cedar City and Dixie.The Rabbits scampered to the penthouse from the No. 5 spot when front-runners Carbon, Pine View, Dixie and Richfield were defeated Friday. The newcomers join Bingham , Olympus , Kanab and Milford as classification kings.

SURPRISE SCENE: After three weeks of play, several surprise teams have emerged on the gridiron. For starters, new schools Fremont and Snow Canyon own 2-1 records, while traditional powers Morgan and Highland , which hasn't even scored this season, are 1-2 and 0-3 respectively.

Payson and Murray are still unbeaten in the 4A ranks, though both have been bolstered by soft schedules, while powerful Bingham and American Fork are the lone perfectionists in the 5A classification.

THE BIG ONE: Two of the state's top three-ranked 5A soccer teams meet Tuesday, 3 p.m., at Brighton. The top-ranked Bengals, led by All-State goalkeeper Tawna Martineau, have yet to be scored on in region play. The Bruins however come to town with the deadliest scorer in the state, senior forward Shauna Rohbock. Rohbock collected the state scoring record with her 117th goal of her career, and 20th this season.

DIAL AWARD: Winners of the 16th annual Dial Award, billed as "America's No. 1 Award for High School Seniors," will be announced in December. Past honorees include Herschel Walker (1979), Bill Fralic (1980), Cheryl Miller (1981), Jeff George (1985), Todd Marinovich (1987) and Tiger Woods (1993).

HOOP HONOR: Alta High senior Brad Willden was recently tabbed as one of the nation's top basketball players by the AAU. Willden joined 14 others in earning honorable mention honors on the organization's 17 & Under All-American squad. Fifteen other players were named First Team.

"It's a great honor for Brad," reports Alta coach Ron Carling. Willden earned second team All-State honors from the Deseret News last year.

QUIET RIOT: Olympus High senior Paul Peterson, who is also the school's student body president, entered the record books two weeks ago by rushing for 337 yards in a lopsided win over Northridge. He had 302 yards at halftime and eventually left the game early in the third quarter - closing the books on the greatest assault on 400 since Tony Gwynn's baseball quest was cut short by the strike.

"I think it was good," Peterson said without second-guessing the coaching staff. "It gave the other guys a chance to get some experience."

And Northridge a chance to tackle somebody.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Football victories have been far and few between for East High in recent years. After dispatching Granite, 23-14, on Sept. 2 to snap a 13-game losing skid, the school celebrated by putting the score on its marquee, along with following message: "Happy days R here."

Unfortunately, Murray snapped the Leopards' new-found winning ways 14-0 last Friday.

Ironically, East, which hasn't had a winning season since 1975, has won 14 state championship games since 1919, more than any other school.

MAN. VS. MACHINE: When it comes to defending the human race against technology, enlist Frank Layden. The Jazz president posted a stellar 27-9 mark (season's best) last week to defeat computerized Parry's Power Guide by two games. For the year: Man 69-39, Machine 66-42.

Next week's guest picker is former Cedar City High School gridiron star and current Utah governor Mike Leavitt.