Without a doubt, the most surprising result from the opening weekend of the high school school football playoffs was Pleasant Grove's 17-13 win over Jordan. A month ago, it wouldn't have been so stunning, but lately these 5A teams have been heading in the opposite direction.
In the final month of the season, P.G. went 0-4 and lost all four games by an average of 18 points. Jordan, meanwhile, beat Skyline, Alta, Hillcrest and Copper Hills during that same stretch and after a coin flip earned the No. 1 seed out of Region 2.
So how in the world did the Vikings hold one of the highest-scoring offenses in the state to a paltry 13 points?
"I wish I could pinpoint it and I'd do it every week," said P.G. coach Dale Sampson. "I just think the players made a decision they weren't going to shutdown. They started to make the extra effort, and they weren't being selfish."
Earlier in the year, that extra effort was there as Pleasant Grove beat Springville and Timpanogos, and narrowly lost to Timpview by nine points.
For some reason, however, that desire was missing in losses to Lone Peak (31-14), American Fork (28-7) and Spanish Fork (42-14).
"Hopefully we can play with the same enthusiasm and effort," said Sampson, who said he was still trying to wipe the smile off his face.
Once the Vikings watch film of West Jordan, their quarterfinal opponent, that smile will probably naturally vanish. Pleasant Grove will have its hands full slowing down perhaps the best running team in the state.
WEEK 1 PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHTS:
Logan's Riley Nelson set a couple of state record's in Saturday's win over Dixie. With his two passing TDs, he upped his season total to 43, eclipsing the 41 touchdowns set by Pine View's James Lark in 2004. In addition, he racked up 310 yards of total offense against Dixie, increasing his 2005 total to 4,362 yards — 79 more than Mountain Crest's Ryan Zimmerman in 2001.
Hurricane has now won a school-record 11 games.
Bingham's 10 victories matches the school record win total of 10 set in 2000.
Skyline assured itself of a non-losing season with last weekend's 14-10 win over Lone Peak. The Eagles have now won 13 straight first-round playoff games, followed by Manti's nine, Brighton's seven and Timpview's six. Lone Peak and Northridge had won five-straight playoff games prior to Friday's losses.
In losing to Cottonwood in the first round, Bonneville (2-8) finished with its worst record since 1963.
Rich (2-8) finished with its worst record since the school opened in 1985.
West Jordan's 14-10 win was the school's first playoff victory since 1994, and just the third in school history. The Jaguars are in great position to make it two straight victories when they host Pleasant Grove in the quarterfinals.
The Grand Red Devils earned their first playoff win since 1998, and are guaranteed of their best record since 1984.
Bountiful was 15-1 in home playoff games prior to last Friday's 28-24 loss to Orem.
Fremont improved to 8-0 in home playoff games by beating Riverton 28-0.
Even though Provo dropped its opening-round game to Olympus, the Bulldogs still finished with their second winning season in the past 14 years.
Cottonwood's Alex Cate increased his state-record career touchdown pass total to 75 with a pair of strikes against Bonneville.