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Felt's Facts final season wrap-up: Records, stats and coaching changes

East High football celebrates its second-consecutive Class 4A state championship Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
East High football celebrates its second-consecutive Class 4A state championship Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
Jeffery Allred, Deseret News

East’s playoff domination

En route to its 18th title, East scored 229 points in the tournament, the most in state history and breaking Northridge’s record of 212 in 2001. The Leopards averaged 57.3 points per game in the playoffs, also the most ever, eclipsing Tooele’s 57.0 average that stood since 1928. The Leopards rushed for 404 yards, the 11th most in a title contest.


East became the 59th team to ruin another school’s undefeated season — in this case, Springville’s — in a championship game. That’s out of 290 title contests since 1919.

Championship-game comebacks

In the Class 3AA final, Desert Hills trailed Pine View 27-14 after three quarters. But the Thunder rallied to win 28-27 on a successful PAT after completing a 1-yard pass as time expired. Desert Hills is the eighth team to come from at least 13 points down to claim a state crown. Just two teams, Desert Hills and Timpview, have trailed by at least 13 points after three quarters and still won. (Timpview, playing Olympus, looked at a 16-0 scoreboard after three in the 1997 Class 4A finals, but stormed back to capture a 19-16 thriller.)

In the 5A championship, Lone Peak scored the first 10 points, but Bingham overcame that deficit and won 17-10. Bingham is just the 19th team to win a title after trailing by at least 10 points.


There have been just five championship-game “cliffhangers,” contests won by a team scoring on the final play of regulation (or the ensuing PAT if a TD tied the score). Desert Hills now owns two of those; its other came on a 2-yard plunge in 2013 to lift the Thunder to a 27-21 win — also over Pine View. (The other three: North Summit hit a 20-yard field goal to defeat Manti 31-28 in 2008, Juan Diego completed a 31-yard Hail Mary to stun Hurricane 12-10 in 2009, and Juan Diego made a 20-yard field goal to trip Hurricane 10-7 in 2010.)

200-yard rushers

Desert Hill’s Nephi Sewell rushed for 243 yards in the Class 3AA title contest, the sixth most in a championship game. A few hours later, East’s Jaylen Warren dashed for 206, the 12th most. (Last year, Warren ran for 231 in the 4A finale, now the ninth most on record.)

Five individual championship game records in 2016

  • Rushing yards — 326, Jordan Hardy, Beaver
  • Rushing touchdowns — 5, Dillon Smith, Beaver
  • Receiving yards — 205, Brandon Dansie, South Summit
  • Receptions — 12, Layne Anderson, Kanab
  • Longest rush — 96 yards, Jordan Hardy, Beaver

Initial state titleBingham’s John Lambourne earned his first state football championship and became the 150th coach to win a state title.

Undefeated seasons

Bingham and East celebrated state championships and unbeaten seasons, making 108 teams from 47 schools that have enjoyed undefeated, untied seasons. It’s Bingham fourth and East’s eighth (second only to West, which has nine).

Season offensive output

East established a state record for total offense yards (7,438), rushing yards (6,900) and points scored (694). Alta racked up the fourth most total offense yards all-time (6,803), Jordan, the ninth most (6,085) and Taylorsville, the 16th most (5,925).

In the rushing yards category, Tooele accumulated the 14th most on record (4,218) and Stansbury amassed the 18th most (4,026).

In passing yards, Lehi threw for 4,059, the fourth best all-time, Alta for 3,595, the 16th most, and Jordan for 3,548, the 17th most.

Alta scored 627 points during 2016, the sixth most all-time, and Bingham, 599, the ninth most.

Over the season, East averaged 49.6 points per game, the seventh highest ever and most since Dixie’s 52.2 in 1972. Alta averaged 48.2, the 13th highest and Jordan, 45.7, the 20th highest.

Season offense, margin and defense winners

East’s 49.6 points-per-game and 32.4 average-winning-margin led the state, while Kanab was first in fewest average-points-allowed, 9.0.

Road warriors

Felt’s Facts doesn’t track records for away games, but a reader pointed out that this year, American Fork (8-6) played on its opponent’s field nine times — nine true road games. That is likely a state record. And, perhaps more impressively, and also a probable record for road victories, the Cavemen won seven of those nine games. They included a region-playoff decision at defending 5A-champ Herriman, a first-round win at Region 1 No. 1 Roy and a quarterfinal triumph at Region 2 No. 2 Syracuse.

Most improved

Delta enjoyed the biggest turnaround in the state, from 3-9 in 2015 to 9-4 (and a championship-game appearance) this year, an improvement of 5.5 games. (The NCAA calculates this by taking the difference in victories and the difference in losses, adding the two numbers and dividing by 2.) Layton Christian was next, improving 5.0 games from 2-9 to 7-4, followed by Bear River — 4.5 games better, from 3-8 to 8-4 — and Lehi — 4.0 games better, from 3-7 to 8-4.

Looking ahead

The 2017 season welcomes one more gridiron program. Green Canyon High opens in North Logan. The Wolves share a mascot directly with Enterprise and North Sevier and quite closely with Fremont (Silver Wolves), Riverton (Silverwolves) and Timpanogos (Timberwolves). But the newest Wolves chose forest green and silver as school colors, a unique scheme among all those schools. (Other teams using similar color schemes include the Payson Lions — green and silver and the Olympus Titans — green and gray.)

Green Canyon draws students from Sky View; both are slated to join fellow Cache County schools Logan, Mountain Crest and Ridgeline in Class 4A, the third-largest classification in the proposed realignment for 2017-19. (The UHSAA announces suggested region membership on Nov. 29.)

Coaching change

After leading Sky View to an 89-46 record over the past 12 seasons, since 2005, Craig Anhder is leaving the Bobcats. But he’s just moving down the road to the new digs at Green Canyon.

Sky View has announced that Danilo Robinson, a Utah State player from 1993-96, will coach the Bobcats next season.

Winning streaks

East looks forward to the 2017 season with a current state-high 23-game winning streak. That ties for the 10th longest in state history. (The record is 48 by Duchesne, 2010-14.) Bingham has claimed 14 straight, Duchesne and Juan Diego, eight in a row and Beaver, seven. Desert Hills finished the season on a five-game winning skein.

Seven teams won their final game of the regular season, but failed to make the playoffs, so each enters the 2017 season on a one-game winning “streak.” They include Clearfield, North Sanpete, Parowan, Richfield, Riverton, Spanish Fork and Whitehorse.

Player stat update

For the 2016 season, here’s a list of gridders who rank in the top-20 in all-time state records in selected game, season and career categories — and those who were close enough to warrant mentioning. Listed by school with new state records in boldface:

Alta: Will Dana — Season: Passing Yards, 11th (3,595); Touchdown Passes, tied for sixth (42); Completions, 20th (230).

Joshua Davis — Game: All-Purpose Yards, fourth (483 on Sept. 29), seventh (444 on Aug. 26); Season: All-Purpose Yards, first (3,834);Rushing Yards, second (2,644); Average Rushing Yards-Per-Game, eighth (203.4); Rushing Touchdowns, tied for 17th (28); 100-Yard Games, tied for 14th (10); Points Scored, tied for ninth (204); Touchdowns Scored, tied for ninth (34); Career: All-Purpose Yards, second (8,325); Rushing Yards, third (5,290); Rushing Touchdowns, eighth (56); Carries, eighth (624); 100-Yard Games, tied for 11th (21); Points Scored, second (434); Touchdowns Scored, third (72).

Jett Sollis — Season: Extra Points, tied for first (81).

MJ Tafisi — Season: Tackles, eighth (200).

American Fork: Bronson Barron — Season: Passing Attempts, seventh (461); Completions, 11th (248).

Ben Lomond: Deontay Nish — Career: Receptions, 20th (129).

Bingham: Kade Lever — Season: Extra Points, tied for fourth (79).

Brighton: Sione Lund — Season: Average Yards-Per-Carry, 22nd (10.44); Career: All-Purpose Yards, seventh (5,504); Rushing Yards, 20th (4,037); 100-Yard Games, tied for 11th (21).

Corner Canyon: Jakob Johnston — Season: Punting Average, tied for 19th (44.2 yards).

Colton Lawson — Season: Receiving Yards, 16th (1,394); Reception Yards-Per-Game, 11th (126.7).

Mikey Petty — Season: Sacks, tied for 21st (20).

Zach Wilson — Game: Passing Yards, tied for ninth (501 on Oct. 13).

Dixie: Hobbs Nyberg — Game: Receiving Yards, tied for 13th (264 on Aug. 26).

East: Matt Barker — Season: Extra Points, tied for fourth (79).

Jordan Lolohea — Season: Sacks, tied for 10th (23).

Jaylen Warren — Season: Rushing Yards, first (3,099); Average Rushing Yards-Per-Game, third (221.4); Average Yards-Per-Carry, ninth (12.06); Rushing Touchdowns, tied for first (38); 100-Yard Games, first (14); Consecutive 100-Yard Games, first (14); Points Scored, tied for third (228); Touchdowns Scored, tied for third (38); Career: Rushing Yards, fifth (5,083); Rushing Touchdowns, sixth (59); 100-Yard Games, tied for second (25); Points Scored, 15th (354); Touchdowns Scored, tied for 10th (59).

Fremont: Haze Hadley — Season: Touchdown Receptions, tied for fourth (21); Receptions, tied for third (95); Receptions-Per-Game, tied for 10th (7.92);Career: Receiving Yards, sixth (2,866); Touchdown Receptions, tied for 11th (31); Receptions, second (235).

Herriman: Noah Vaea — Career: Interceptions, tied for 12th (16).

Jordan: Emily Bluemel — Game: Extra Points, third (13 on Sept. 9).

Spencer Curtis — Game: Receiving Yards, fifth (279 on Oct. 19); Touchdown Receptions, tied for first (5 on Oct. 19); Season: Receiving Yards, 13th (1,419); Reception Yards-Per-Game, eighth (129.0); Touchdown Receptions, tied for 15th (17); Career: Receiving Yards, first (4,534); Touchdown Receptions, first (45); Receptions, first (253).

(Note: Curtis also holds the state record for Season Reception Yards-Per-Game, 141.4 set in 2015.)

Isaiah Jackson — Season: Receiving Yards, 14th (1,417); Reception Yards-Per-Game, ninth (128.8); Touchdown Receptions, tied for sixth (20); Career: Receiving Yards, 17th (2,265); Touchdown Receptions, tied for 14th (29).

Crew Wakley — Game: Total Offense Yards, first (738 on Sept. 9), 12th (573 on Oct. 14), 22nd (542 on Oct. 7); Passing Yards, 18th (491 on Sept. 9); Touchdowns Responsible For, tied for first (11 on Sept 9); Season: Total Offense Yards, fifth (4,927); Average Total Offense Yards-Per-Game, second (447.9 yards); Passing Yards, 15th (3,509); Average Passing Yards-Per-Game, eighth (319.0); Touchdown Passes, tied for 15th (38); Touchdowns-Responsible-For, fourth (60).

Kearns: Sese Felila — Season: 100-Yard Games, tied for 14th (10); Consecutive 100-Yard Games, tied for 13th (9).

Kaden Leonard — Season: Field Goals, tied for third (17); Career: Field Goals, tied for 14th (20).

Lehi: Cammon Cooper — Game: Passing Attempts, tied for seventh (60 on Aug. 26); Completions, tied for eighth (38 on Sept. 30); Season: Total Offense Yards, 19th (4,106); Average Total Offense Yards-Per-Game, 18th (342.2 yards); Passing Yards, third (4,059); Average Passing Yards-Per-Game, fourth (338.3); Touchdown Passes, tied for 20th (37); Passing Attempts, third (486); Completions, third (309); Career: Passing Yards, 16th (6,615), Passing Attempts, third (887), Completions, sixth (541).

Dallin Holker — Season: Touchdown Receptions, tied for sixth (93) Receptions-Per-Game, tied for 14th (7.75).

Kade Moore — Career: Receptions, 21st (128).

Lone Peak: Thomas Rossi — Season: Field Goals, second (18); Career: Field Goals, tied for third (25).

Milford: Trae Williamson — Season: Tackles, 17th (177); Solo Tackles, tied for 12th (113).

Murray: Gage Cuthbertson — Career: Field Goals, tied for 16th (19).

Park City: Collin Zur — Career:: Receiving Yards, 18th (2,255); Receptions, tied for 16th (132).

Spencer Zur — Career: Total Offense Yards, tied for 16th (7,282); Passing Yards, 12th (6,962); Passing Attempts, sixth (860); Completions, 13th (470).

Provo: Tavita Ika — Game: Punts Returned for a Touchdown, tied for first (2 on Sept. 9); Season: All Kicks Returned for a Touchdown, tied for second (6).

Ty Jones — Game: Receiving Yards, 21st (253 on Aug. 19); Season: Receiving Yards, sixth (1,522); Reception Yards-Per-Game, 12th (126.6); Touchdown Receptions, tied for sixth (20); Career: Receiving Yards, seventh (2,740); Touchdown Receptions, fifth (39); Receptions, tied for 16th (132).

San Juan: Jordan Blake — Career: Interceptions, tied for 12th (16).

South Sevier: Tyson Chisholm — Season: Solo Tackles, 14th (112).

South Summit: Jaxon Sargent — Season: Solo Tackles, tied for 16th (109).

Summit Academy: Isaac Hamilton — Game: Passing Yards, tied for sixth (509 on Sept. 30), 20th (487 on Oct. 7); Completions, tied for sixth (39 on Sept. 30).

Taylorsville: Dane Leituala — Game: Total Offense Yards (704, Sept. 9); Passing Yards, tied for 14th (495 on Sept. 9); Touchdown Passes, tied for first (8 on Sept. 9); Touchdowns Responsible For, tied for first (11 on Sept 9); Season: Average Total Offense Yards-Per-Game, sixth (410.6); Average Passing Yards-Per-Game, 11th (305.9).

Jace Simons — Season: Touchdown Receptions, tied for 10th (19).

Timpview: Kyle Van Leeuwen — Season: Touchdown Receptions, tied for 12th (18).

Viewmont: Preston Pitt — Season: Punting Average, 14th (45.5 yards).

Wasatch: Nash Jones — Season: Kickoff Return Average, 20th (34.9 yards).

Felt’s Facts welcomes questions — email