Utah high schools have enjoyed a rich tradition of playing out-of-state competition ever since Denver's East High traveled by train to meet Salt Lake – now West in 1899. The teams played to a scoreless tie.
By the end of this season, Utah schools will have faced 193 non-Utah teams from 16 states – including such far-flung places as Hawaii, Alaska, Florida, Georgia and Ohio – and Alberta, Canada. Naturally, most opponents are in neighboring states: Nevada leads the way with 39 followed by Colorado with 33 and Idaho with 30.
When Bingham clashes with Trinity High of Euless, Texas on Sept. 7 in Texas Stadium, it'll be the first Utah-Texas prep matchup.
Utah teams have played 1,878 games against out-of-state opponents, almost 7 percent of all games ever played, compiling a 1,011-808-59 (.554) record. This season, 40 games against non-Utah competition are scheduled, the same number as last year.
Historically, the most common out-of-state opponent is Preston (Idaho), which competed in a northern Utah region from 1925 through 1939. Utah schools are 76-46-10 in 132 games against Preston. The others in the top-five most games are Lincoln County (Panaca, Nev.), 89 games (Utah is 52-36-1 vs. Lincoln Co.); Moapa Valley (Overton, Nev.), 84 games (43-40-1); Grand Junction (Colo.), 69 games (27-42-5); and White Pine (Ely, Nev.), 67 games (33-29-5).
This week will see the highest number of contests involving non-Utah competition this season – 13 games. They include some traditional teams – Virgin Valley (Mesquite, Nev.) at Kanab, Milford at White Pine (Nev.), West Wendover (Nev.) at Layton Christian – and some first-time matchups: Proctor R. Hug (Reno) at Granger, Sierra Vista (Las Vegas) at Pine View and Timpview at Highland (Pocatello).
Region 1's nine-team slate requires league play to begin this week. The last time region play began this early was in 1999 when eight Class 2A teams in central and southwest Utah (known as Region 11) started in Week 2. An eight-team league of Class 4A teams in Utah County (Region 6 back then) began region play the second week of the 1998 season.
Last Friday, Ogden's Nik Allred totaled 540 total yards, the third-most in state history. Only Mountain Crest's Ryan Zimmerman (583 total yards in 2002) and Logan's Riley Nelson (568 in 2005) have higher totals. Allred threw for 469 yards, the seventh-best performance on record.
While Timpview had its state-record 36-game winning streak broken, Louis Wong, now in his fifth year as head coach, can still count his losses on one hand: he's 46-5 overall. The setbacks came in 2005 to Punahou (Honolulu), Orem and East; in 2006 to Lone Peak and now, to Pleasant Grove.
Long-time Rivalry Games
Grand and Monticello meet for the 58th time; Grand leads the series, 41-12-4….Springville holds a 30-18-4 edge over Lehi as these teams clash for the 53rd time….Carbon faces Uintah for the 52nd time; the Utes lead the series, 29-20-2….Orem and Payson battle for the 50th time; Orem leads the series, 33-10-6.
Olympus and Skyline, which last met in 2005, renew their Battle for the Rock for the 44th time. Skyline leads the series, 26-16-1, and has taken 10 of the last 11 contests. Coach Roger DuPaix is 14-4 vs. Olympus.
Other Game Notes
In the Black-and-Blue game, Alta leads the series with Bingham, 14-8, and has won three straight after the Miners took the five previous games. They've clashed twice each of the last three seasons. In head-to-head coaching, Bingham's Dave Peck leads Les Hamilton, 4-3.
For some reason, four of this week's matchups were last played in 2002: Bountiful-Spanish Fork, Canyon View-Richfield, Fremont-Roy and Highland-Hunter….Cottonwood and Sky View met annually from 1979-82; the Bobcats won all four contests….Layton and Jordan have faced off every year since 2003; the 'Diggers lead the series 4-2….Morgan and Snow Canyon met in state games in 1997 and '99 but this is their first regular-season meeting….Mountain Crest defeated Lone Peak in a 2000 Class 4A quarterfinal, the only previous meeting between these two….
Juan Diego and Park City last met in the 2008 Class 3A semifinals with the Soaring Eagle eliminating the Miners, 27-3.
First-time Matchups (9)
Altamont at Lyman (Wyo.), Riverton at American Fork, West Jordan at East, Mountain View Christian (Las Vegas) at Enterprise, Hug (Reno) at Granger, Westlake at Maple Mountain, Logan at Mountain View, Provo at Stansbury and Timpview vs. Highland (Pocatello) at Holt Stadium, Idaho State's indoor arena.
East is playing its 850th game – only West, Ogden, Jordan and Davis have played more – and Highland is playing its 550th contest.
Finally, from last week:
Bear River (567 yards) and Logan (552 yards) amassed 1,119 total yards, only the fifth time in state history that teams have combined for more than 1,100 yards in a game….Congratulations to American Leadership, which broke an 18-game losing streak.