It's no surprise that teams like Hunter, Pine View and Juab are still unbeaten six weeks into the high school football season. Hurricane, however, is a completely different story.
At 6-0, the Tigers are definitely one of the surprises of the year. This is the same Hurricane club that finished with a 1-8 record each of the past two seasons.
So what's with the drastic turnaround?
"This group of kids is just a pretty special group," said Hurricane coach Chris Homer. "For us to have a group of 35 seniors, that's great numbers for us."
While Homer has had hard-working groups in the past, the 2005 Tigers also could be one of the most athletic in school history.
On Friday, Hurricane rolled past Snow Canyon 56-19, the team's fifth victory by more than 26 points this year. The only game the Tigers have really been challenged was in Week 2, when they beat Delta 21-6.
In the past couple years, it was Hurricane that was often on the other side of those lopsided scores. Homer insists he isn't doing things much differently this year to prevent those blowouts.
"A lot of the guys that are seniors have played for two years and three years. They stuck with it and got through some tough years," said Homer. "I don't think I've done much different; in fact, I've probably had better coaching years the past two years."
For as good as Hurricane has been through six weeks, it will need to be even better next week.
Hurricane hosts undefeated Pine View (6-0) this Friday, in a match-up that may ultimately determine the Region 9 champion — even though Dixie has a legitimate claim as the league's best team.
"I think our kids are confident," said Homer. "This group of seniors has competed through the years against the Pine View group, and they've had close games growing up. I don't think they're intimidated by them at all."
His players may not be intimidated, but Homer — the team's defensive coordinator — knows he has his hands full. Between James Lark, Jesse Ence and David Foote, Class 3A's No. 1 Panthers are a dangerous team that can score on any play.
"Not very often do we play against a Division I quarterback, and I think Lark has proved that he's the real deal," said Homer.
So far this year, Hurricane has proved that it's the real deal as well.
FRIDAY NIGHT STARS: Skyline's Wes Marshall rushed for two TDs while passing for another . . . Mountain Crest's RyanWeiss returned an interception 98 yards for a score . . . Cottonwood's Danny Payne hauled in four receptions for 111 yards and two TDs . . . Copper Hills' Ricky Leuluai racked up 217 yards of total offense and three TDs . . . American Fork's Dustin Moe rushed for two TDs and also had a receiving touchdown . . . Hurricane's Mike Long tallied three TD passes . . . Enterprise's Sam Fenn finished with four rushing TDs and 203 rushing yards.
CREAM OF THE CROP: Through five weeks, here's a look at the top offensive and defensive teams in each classification from a statistical standpoint:
Top offenses: 5A — Hunter (47.2 ppg); 4A — Cottonwood (37.0 ppg); 3A — Logan (46.7 ppg); 2A — San Juan (40.3 ppg); 1A — Milford, Duchesne (30.7 ppg).
Top defenses: 5A — Bingham (10.8 ppg); 4A — Bountiful (10.7 ppg); 3A — Dixie (6.8 ppg); 2A — Juab (9.3 ppg); 1A — Duchesne (13.2 ppg).
WEEK 6 RECAP: Six weeks into the 2005 prep football season, eight of the state's 92 teams are still unbeaten. Two of those teams are in Class 5A, four are in 3A and two are in 2A. Conversely, seven schools are still searching for their first wins. There were nine winless schools heading into Week 6 games, but Copper Hills and Grantsville both recorded their first victories.
ODDS AND ENDS: The 64 points Skyline scored against Taylorsville are the most points in school history. The same goes for Juan Diego's 62 points against Emery . . . Mountain Crest's 32-0 win over Bonneville was the Mustangs' first shutout in five years . . . Olympus extended its winning streak to nine straight over West . . . By beating Beaver 41-14, South Sevier snapped a six-game losing streak against the Beavers.
LOOKING AHEAD: Several very big games are on tap in Week 7, most notably the showdown between No. 1 Bingham (6-0) and No. 2 Hunter (6-0) in 5A on Thursday night. The following night, the 4A showdown between No. 2 Bountiful (5-1) and No. 4 Mountain Crest (5-1) will likely determine the Region 5 champion. Not to be outdone, 3A has some outstanding games as well. In Region 9, Hurricane (6-0) hosts Pine View (6-0), while in Region 10, Judge (5-1) visits Union (4-1). In 2A, Manti (4-1) at Gunnison (6-0) will be a dogfight.
ATTENTION, COACHES: Coaches and statisticians are reminded to e-mail offensive yardage statistics to email@example.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 just a 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. The same goes for 1A baseball, volleyball and girls soccer.
Prep football rankings
1. Bingham 6-0 1
2. Hunter 6-0 2
3. Skyline 5-1 3
4. Alta 4-2 4
5. Brighton 5-1 5
1. Timpview 5-1 1
2. Bountiful 5-1 2
3. Cottonwood 4-1 3
4. Mtn. Crest 5-1 4
5. Highland 5-1 5
1. Pine View 6-0 1
2. Logan 5-1 2
3. Morgan 5-0 3
4. Dixie 5-0 5
5. Hurricane 6-0 —
1. Juab 6-0 1
2. San Juan 6-0 3
3. Gunnison 6-0 4
4. Manti 4-1 2
5. Millard 4-2 5
1. Enterprise 4-2 1
2. Monticello 3-3 2
3. Duchesne 5-1 4
4. Kanab 3-3 4
5. Milford 4-2 —