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Skyline, Northridge in quarterfinals?

In the past four years, there's no question the most exciting and anticipated rivalry in prep football is the annual playoff showdown between Skyline and Northridge.

With three straight state title meetings from 2000 to 2002 and a semifinal matchup last year, how's this for a wrinkle? The rivals might be headed for a quarterfinal showdown.

That isn't the only intriguing story line developing now that the majority of the prep football playoff pairings have been finalized.

How about a Timpview-Bonneville shootout in 4A's opening round, or a Clearfield-Hunter first-round grudge match in 5A? In 3A, who wouldn't want to watch opening-round games North Sanpete at Cedar and Grantsville at Wasatch? In 2A, Kanab and Manti both have state title aspirations, but one will walk away a first-round loser on Friday.

As for the five defending state champs, all five qualified for the playoffs, but only Bear River appears to be in the running for another title.

Class 5A defending champion Hunter (7-3) battled injuries all year, and star running back Matt Asiata is still doubtful for the opening round with a foot injury. Two-time 4A champion Bountiful struggled to a 5-5 record this year, but did win its last two games by a combined score of 83-7. Class 2A defending champ Manti is on a two-game losing streak entering the playoffs, while 1A champion Enterprise lost to Rich in its season finale.

The answers to all these questions is only four weeks away.

LAST WEEK'S STARS: Rich's Sean Weston rushed for 164 yards and three TDs . . . Fremont quarterback Joel Hancock lit up Layton's defense for 379 yards and five touchdowns . . . Viewmont's Trevor Heiner connected on field goals of 49, 31 and 33 yards . . . Brighton's Rand Carter rushed for three TDs in the first half . . . Bonneville's Devon Holbrook racked up three receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown, while teammate Derek Hall passed for four TDs . . . Bountiful's Nick Binks recorded four of his team's six sacks . . . Lone Peak's offense came to life as Billy Burgess rushed for three TDs in a 49-point outing . . . Pine View's James Lark tossed four TD passes.

RECORDS WATCH: No player in state history has ever thrown for 4,000 yards, but Joel Hancock continues to threaten that magical number. With his 379-yard performance Friday night, he upped his season total to 3,059 with anywhere from one to four games remaining. The state record is 3,857 yards by Mountain Crest's Ryan Zimmerman in 2001. In that same year, Zimmerman threw a state-record 38 touchdown passes, a record that Hancock (who has 36 already) may erase. Fremont receiver Austin Raught may be in line for a record of his own. The junior has 69 receptions and needs 16 more to tie the state record of 85 set by Emery's Cody Allred in 1989. Springville's Trevyn Smith leads the state with 1,817 yards, but needs more than 750 more yards to catch Beaver's Kelly Smith, who rushed for 2,561 in 1979. He is, however, on pace to become just the 11th player in state history to rush for more than 2,000 yards.

FINAL STATS: The state's stingiest defense belongs to Bingham, which finished the year with an 8.1 points-against average. Cottonwood led the state offensively by averaging 40.6 points per game. Park City's 29.5 average margin of victory edged Skyline, which won by an average of 27.1.

ATTENTION COACHES: Coaches and statisticians are reminded to e-mail offensive yardage statistics to prepstats@desnews.com by Monday afternoon for publication in Tuesday's paper. Stats also can be faxed to 801-237-2543.

PREPS ON THE WEB: Why settle for a mere score? See the scoring summaries, updated standings, team and state scoring leaders and more by logging on to deseretnews.com/preps each evening. The scores post immediately after the Deseret Morning News receives the information from coaches.

Prep rankings

Class 5A

Team Rec Pv.

1. Brighton 10-01

2. Skyline 9-12

3. Bingham 8-24

4. Davis 7-25

5. Fremont 8-2—

Class 4A

Team Rec Pv.

1. Springville 10-01

2. Timpview 8-12

3. Highland 9-13

4. Bonneville 7-35

5. Mtn. Crest 6-4—

Class 3A

Team Rec Pv.

1. Bear River 9-01

2. Pine View 9-12

3. Park City 9-13

4. Cedar 8-24

5. Morgan 7-3—

Class 2A

Team Rec Pv.

1. Juan Diego 10-01

2. San Juan 8-23

3. Juab 8-2—

4. Kanab 7-34

5. Millard 7-35

Class 1A

Team Rec Pv.

1. Monticello 8-11

2. Rich 7-23

3. Enterprise 7-32

4. Milford 7-35

5. Duchesne 5-44


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com