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Cowboys want to make up for some unfinished business of '06

The objective is pretty simple for Kanab in this year's 1A state tournament — take care of business.

A year ago the Cowboys strolled into the 1A championship against No. 1 Duchesne feeling pretty confident and was promptly waxed 30-0.

"The seniors have taken that loss personal, it hurt them bad," said Kanab coach Bucky Orton. "Our motto this year has been 'Unfinished Business,' and they feel they need to redeem themselves."

To put it bluntly, the No. 1 team in 1A is entering the playoffs with a chip on its shoulders. Orton loves the aggressive attitude. He isn't putting pressure on his players to win a championship but rather to end the season with no regrets unlike last year.

Kanab opens the state tournament against Altamont Friday, a game it should win handily. Two other quarterfinals are also on Friday, Monticello at Enterprise and North Sevier at Duchesne, whereas Rich hosts Parowan on Saturday.

Orton can't wait to see what happens in the North Sevier-Duchesne game, for two reasons. First, assuming Kanab wins this weekend it will face the winner in the semifinals. Secondly, it's definitely the best game on tap in the quarterfinal round.

Defending state champion Duchesne enters the playoffs with a 6-4 record, which includes narrow losses to No. 1 Kanab and No. 2 Rich this year.

As for North Sevier, it owns a 4-4 record in its first season competing in 1A football. Like its quarterfinal opponent, it also lost narrowly to Kanab during the regular season.

"I wouldn't dare pick a winner, but it will be a good first-round game," said Orton.

On the other side of the bracket, Rich is the clear favorite to advance to the title game on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Southern Utah University. Its toughest challengers in the top half of the bracket are Parowan and Enterprise, two teams the Rebels already beat this year.