The first full weekend of playoff action again emphasized the mismatches that have characterized early-round games. Of the 32 contests, 20 were decided by at least three touchdowns and only four by less than a TD.
This year, including the first-round games in 2A a couple of weeks ago, the host team has gone home happy 30 of 36 times, and, arguably, two of the six visiting squads that won were favored.
Games this week pairing teams with the best combined records:
Timpview (9-2) at East (11-0), Beaver (9-1) vs. Summit Academy (9-1), San Juan (9-1) vs. South Summit (9-1), Lehi (8-3) at Bingham (11-0), Highland (8-2) at Alta (10-1), Jordan (8-2) at Lone Peak (10-1) and Pine View (8-2) at Tooele (9-1).
Just one team, Taylorsville (5-6), survives with a losing record.
Bingham has now advanced to the quarterfinals for 13 straight seasons, since 2004. Timpview appears in the quarters for the 16th time in 17 years and Lone Peak is in for the 13th time in 17 seasons. Fremont makes its 12th quarterfinal appearance in 16 years.
In the semifinal rounds this week, Rich competes for the 11th time in 11 seasons, South Summit for the eighth time in eight and Juan Diego for the seventh time in nine. Duchesne has played in the semifinals 12 of the past 15 seasons and San Juan has made the semis 22 of the last 30 years.
First-time Coaches Still Alive
Two first-time coaches, Ridgeline’s Chris Howell and Park City’s Josh Montzingo, advanced to the next round. Three coaches with previous experience, but who are new to their school also won last week: Mike Grajek at South Summit, Les Hamilton at Summit Academy and Randy Hunter at Beaver.
Maple Mountain, which opened in 2009, captured its first-ever postseason victory in five attempts. Milford hosted its first playoff game since 2010 and won its first since 1999. Lehi snared its first tournament victory since 2002. Park City grabbed its first since 2009.
Success of Region Playoff Teams
Since championship tournaments began in 1919, 165 teams, including four this year, have advanced to the state tournament after being involved in a region playoff. Last week, American Fork became the 38th squad to win a state tourney game after facing a region playoff just to get in. Of the previous 37, just 11 have won two or more postseason contests.
Nine of those 11 captured a state championship – Granite, 1930; Bingham, 1945; Millard, 1951; Murray, 1954, Carbon, 1956; Box Elder, 1960; Kearns, 1972; Bountiful, 1979; Dixie, 1998.
Bountiful and Dixie's championships are perhaps the most impressive of this group since they had to win four tournament games to take State. Granite in 1930 and Kearns in 1972 won three and the others won two.
The two region playoff teams that won multiple games in the state tournament, but didn’t win a state championship: Orem (won two state games in 1970, but lost in the finals) and Judge Memorial (snared two playoff wins in 2010 but lost in the semifinals).
Twice, the winner of a region playoff went directly to the state championship game, where they — Box Elder in 1951 and Weber in 1952 — promptly lost. Incidentally, the overall record for “region-playoff” teams in the state tourney is 57-155 (about 27-percent) through last week.
(Thanks to a reader for the question about how such teams have fared.)
Ridgeline picked up its eighth season victory, the most ever for any first-year school. New school-mate Skyridge (6-5) also posted a winning campaign. As mentioned last week, there are now 19 schools that have achieved a winning record their first season out of 134 programs all time. Perhaps as impressive is that 46 schools were winless their inaugural year and another 24 won just one game.
Summit Academy has won six consecutive games, tying the school record set in 2014. A victory in the 2A semifinals hands this year’s Bears 10 wins, matching the school record also set in 2014.
After 11 Weeks, the Top 5…
Scoring teams: Alta, 50.5; East, 48.6; Jordan, 46.6; Bingham, 46.4; Beaver, 44.5.
Defensive teams: Kanab, 8.9; Duchesne, 10.0; San Juan, 10.4; Rich, 10.9; Beaver, 11.3.
By victory margin: Bingham 34.8; Beaver, 33.2; East, 32.9, South Summit, 26.3; Timpview, 25.0.
Back-to-Back 2,000-Yard Rushing Seasons
Just two players have rushed for 2,000 yards over consecutive seasons. Granger’s Fahu Tahi was the first, in 1997 (2,176 yards) and 1998 (2,001 yards). This year, Alta’s Josh Davis became the second. Davis ran for 2,077 last season and has rushed for 2,399 so far this year.
All-time Career Performances
This week, Felt’s Facts recognizes several players who rank in the top-20 all-time in several career categories. Those whose teams have concluded their seasons are indicated with an asterisk.
First, Jordan’s Spencer Curtis (2013-16) set three records, for receiving yards (4,456), touchdown receptions (44) and receptions (247).
Other players in the top-20 in various categories follow (alphabetically by school).
Alta’s Josh Davis (2013-16) ranks second in all-purpose yards (7,871; the record is 8,532 yards).
He’s fourth in net rushing yards (5,045), fourth in points scored (414) and tied for seventh in TDs scored (63). Davis is eighth in rushing touchdowns (55), 12th in rushes (584) and 13th in 100-yard games (20).
Brighton’s Sione Lund* (2013-16) finished seventh in all-purpose yards (5,504), tied for 11th in 100-yard games (21) and 20th in net rushing yards (4,037).
East’s Jaylen Warren (2014-16) is tied for seventh in 100-yard games (22) and 14th in net rushing yards (4,410).
Fremont’s Haze Hadley ranks third in receptions (216), ninth in receiving yards (2,622) and tied for 17th in touchdown receptions (29).
Herriman’s Noah Vaea* (2013-16) is 12th in interceptions (16).
Lehi’s Cammon Cooper (2014-16) heads into this week’s quarterfinals ranked sixth in completions (516), 12th in attempts (844) and 20th in passing yards (6,257).
Jordan’s Isaiah Jackson is 19th in TD receptions (26).
Kearns’ Kaden Leonard* (2015-16) concluded tied for 14th in field goals (20).
Murray’s Gage Cuthbertson* (2014-16) finished tied for 16th in field goals (19).
Park City’s Collin Zur (2014-16) ranks 19th in reception yards (2,214) and 20th in receptions (128).
Park City’s Spencer Zur (2014-16) is currently 13th in passing yards (6,861), 17th in attempts.
(826), 18th in total offense (7,176 yards) and 18th in completions (456).
Provo’s Ty Jones* (2014-16) ended up fifth in touchdown receptions (39), sixth in receiving yards (2,740) and 16th in receptions (132).
Timpview’s Thomas Rossi (2015-16) is tied for ninth in field goals (22).
All-time Season Feats
Several players, including some who appear in the “Career Performances” section above, find their names among the top-20 all-time for their 2016 accomplishments. An asterisk indicates the player’s team has concluded its season.
Alta’s Davis broke a record that stood for 19 years in all-purpose yards (3,380). Davis also ranks fifth in net rushing yards (2,399), 15th in TDs scored (31), 15th in TDs-responsible- for (31) and tied for 20th in rushing TDs (27).
East’s Warren is third in consecutive 100-yard games (11, two off the record) and fourth in net rushing yards (2,426; the record is 2,561 yards.) He’s also tied for fourth in 100-yard games (11) and is 15th in rushing touchdowns (29).
Fremont’s Haze ranks tied for eighth in touchdown receptions (19).
Kearns’ Leonard* tied for second in field goals (17).
Lehi’s Cooper is fifth in passing attempts (442), fifth in completions (283) and ninth in passing yards (3,678).
Provo’s Jones* ranks fifth in TD receptions (20) and sixth in receiving yards (1,522).
Timpview’s Rossi is tied for sixth in field goals (15).
Others, listed alphabetically by school, place in the top-20 in all-time rankings in several categories for their 2016 season performances.
Alta’s Jett Sollis is tied for eighth in extra points (72).
Bingham’s Kade Lever ranks tied for 12th in extra points (68).
Corner Canyon’s Mikey Petty* tied for 20th in sacks (20).
Davis Riley Smith* finished tied for 15th in rushes (281).
Jordan’s Isaiah Jackson is tied for 13th in touchdown receptions (17).
Jordan’s Crew Wakley ranks fourth in TDs-responsible- for (56) and ninth in total offense (4,502 yards).
Kearns’ Sese Felila* completed his season tied for 14th in 100-yard games (10) and consecutive 100-yard games (9).
Lehi’s Dallin Holker is tied for 12th in receptions (85).
Taylorsville’s Jace Simons is tied for 11th in TD catches (18).
Playoff Matchup Notes
5A Quarterfinals (home school listed first)
Lone Peak (10-1) vs. Jordan (8-2)
Series record: Lone Peak leads 3-1. Last meeting: Nov. 8, 2012 – Jordan 35, LP 14, Class 5A semifinal.
Coach vs. coach: first meeting between Lone Peak’s Mike Mower and Jordan’s Eric Kjar.
Last quarterfinals: Lone Peak – 2015, defeated Roy 28-7 and made it to the championship game; Jordan – 2014, fell to American Fork 58-13.
Lone Peak has qualified for the semifinal round five of the past six seasons, missing only in 2014. Jordan last advanced to the semifinals in 2013.
Lone Peak has reached double-digit wins for the seventh time in the school’s 20-year history.
Current winning streaks: Lone Peak – 8, Jordan – 2.
Lone Peak is 20-5 in home playoff games.
Syracuse (7-3) vs. American Fork (8-4)
Series record: first meeting.
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Syracuse’s Russ Jones and AF’s Aaron Behm.
Last quarterfinals: Syracuse – 2012, defeated Alta 31-24 en route to advancing to the Class 5A championship game; American Fork – 2014, cruised by Jordan 58-13 on its way to the Class 5A title contest.
Current winning streaks: Syracuse – 2, American Fork – 2.
Syracuse is 5-1 in home playoff games.
Bingham (11-0) vs. Lehi (8-3)
Series record: Bingham leads 4-0. Last meeting: Oct. 10, 2012 – Bingham 49, Lehi 0.
Coach vs. coach: first meeting between Bingham’s John Lambourne and Lehi’s Ed Larson.
Last quarterfinal: Bingham – 2015, shut out Mountain Crest 28-0 before losing to Lone Peak in the semifinals; Lehi – 2002, slammed Cedar 28-3 in Class 3A before dropping to Tooele in the semifinals.
Current winning streaks: Bingham – 11; Lehi – 3.
Bingham is 34-6 in home playoff games, has played at least one postseason contest every year since 2004 and hasn’t lost a tournament game at home since 2005.
Lehi has never scored on Bingham in four attempts. They met in 1930 (20-0), ’56 (32-0), 2011 (49-0) and 2012 (49-0).
Bingham has posted a double-digit win season for the 11th time in 12 years. Lehi has its most wins since going 10-3 in 2002.
Fremont (9-1) vs. Taylorsville (5-6)
Series record: Fremont 2-0. Last meeting: Sept. 10, 2004 – Fremont 50, Taylorsville 7. (Their first meeting was in 1994; Fremont won 22-7.)
Coach vs. coach: first meeting between Fremont’s Kory Bosgieter and Taylorsville’s Rod Wells.
Last quarterfinals: Fremont – 2015, succumbed to Herriman 42-13; Taylorsville – 1999, blanked Alta 28-0 en route to the 5A state title game.
Fremont tries for its first semifinal appearance since 2011. T-ville has advanced to the semis just once, in 1999.
Current winning streaks: Fremont – 5, Taylorsville – 3.
Fremont is 16-2 in home playoff games.
A Fremont victory rewards the Silver Wolves with a double-digit win season for the first time since 2011 and for the fourth time in their 23-year history (1994).
4A Quarterfinals (home school listed first)
East (11-0) vs. Timpview (9-2)
Series record: Tied 5-5. Last meeting: Nov. 20, 2015 – East 49, Timpview 14, Class 4A state championship.
Coach vs. coach: Timpview’s Cary Whittingham is 3-1 vs. East’s Brandon Matich.
Last quarterfinals: East – 2015, defeated Alta 56-37 and eventually captured the 4A crown; Timpview – 2015, tripped Bountiful 42-34 but finally fell to East in the title game.
Current winning streaks: East – 20, Timpview – 3.
The Leopards are 14-4 in home playoff games.
East works to punch its ticket to the semifinals for the fifth time in six seasons. The Leopards have posted their fourth double-digit win season in six years, but claim back-to- back 10-win seasons for the first time since 1973-74.
Timpview seeks its 17th double-digit win season in its 40-year history (1977) and its 12th in the past 17 seasons.
Maple Mountain (6-5) vs. Box Elder (6-5)
Series record: Box Elder leads 1-0. Last meeting: Oct. 26, 2012 – BE 20, MM 0, Class 4A first-round game at Maple Mountain.
Coach vs. coach: Box Elder’s Robbie Gunter is 1-0 vs. Maple Mountain’s Brad Burtenshaw.
Last quarterfinals: Maple Mountain – first quarterfinal in its eight-year history (2009); Box Elder – 2012, fell to East 21-7. BE seeks its first semifinal appearance since 2006.
Current winning streaks: Maple Mountain – 6, Box Elder – 3.
The Golden Eagles are 1-2 in home playoff games.
Alta (10-1) vs. Highland (8-2)
Series record: Highland leads 6-1. Last meeting: Oct. 14, 1992 – Highland 24, Alta 19.
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Alta’s Alema Te’o and Highland’s Brody Benson.
Last quarterfinals: Alta – 2015, dropped to East 56-37; Highland – 2015, nipped Corner Canyon 41-38 in double-OT before falling to Timpview in the semifinals.
Alta hasn’t been to the semis since making five straight appearances from 2005-09, winning state trophies in 2007 and ’08.
Current winning streaks: Alta – 1; Highland – 2.
The Hawks are 37-4 in home playoff games.
Alta enjoys its first double-digit win season since 2009 and eighth in its 39-year school history (1978).
Springville (10-0) vs. Woods Cross (6-4)
Series record: Springville leads 1-0. Only meeting: Nov. 6, 2009 – Springville 16, WX 12, Class 4A quarterfinal at Springville.
Coach vs. coach: first meeting between Springville’s Willy Child and Wood Cross’ Justin Spencer.
Last quarterfinals: Springville – 2015, whitewashed Murray 35-0 before falling to East in the semifinals; Woods Cross – 2014, defeated Skyline 35-21 before losing to Timpview in the semis.
Current winning streaks: Springville – 10, Woods Cross – 1.
The Red Devils are 15-15 in home playoff games. Springville has posted its sixth double-digit win season, and back-to- back 10-win campaigns for the second time (also 2009-10), in its 100 seasons of football (1908-09 and since 1919).
3AA Quarterfinals (home school listed first)
Stansbury (8-2) vs. Park City (6-5)
Series record: Stansbury leads 5-1. Last meeting: Sept. 23, 2016 (Week 6) – Stansbury 32, PC 13 at Stansbury.
Coach vs. coach: Stansbury’s Clint Christiansen is 1-0 vs. Park City’s Josh Montzingo.
Last quarterfinals: Stansbury – 2014, lost to Dixie 49-42; Park City – 2009, defeated Delta 21-14 before falling to Hurricane in the Class 3A semifinals.
Current winning streaks: Stansbury – 0, Park City – 2.
The Stallions are is 2-5 in home playoff games.
Stansbury hopes to advance to the semifinal round for the first time in its eight-year history (2009).
Desert Hills (7-2) vs. Ridgeline (8-3)
Series record: first meeting.
Coach vs. coach: first meeting between Desert Hills’ Carl Franke and Ridgeline’s Chris Howell.
Last quarterfinals: Desert Hills – 2015, dropped to Snow Canyon 17-13; Ridgeline – first year.
Current winning streaks: Desert Hills – 2, Ridgeline – 4.
The Thunder are 5-1 in home playoff games.
Desert Hills makes its seventh straight quarterfinal appearance, and for the third year in a row, it’s DH’s first playoff game. Desert Hills missed the semis last year, but shoot for its fifth semifinal appearance in six seasons.
Ridgeline tries to become the first team in its first year to make it to the semifinals by winning its way in. The only first-year school to appear in the semis was Union, which opened in 1951. But that year, the Class B tournament consisted of just four teams, so the semifinal contest was the first playoff game for the Cougars that year. (Union lost to Cyprus 21-19.)
Dixie (6-3) vs. Bear River (8-3)
Series record: Bear River leads 4-0. Last meeting: Aug. 27, 2010 – Bear River 32, Dixie 21.
Coach vs. coach: first meeting between Dixie’s Andy Stokes and Bear River’s Chris Wise.
Last quarterfinals: Dixie – 2015, eliminated Pine View 28-23 en route to winning its second consecutive state championship; Bear River – 2014, lost to Desert Hills 56-13.
Dixie eyes the semifinals for the fifth consecutive season. Bear River last saw semifinal action in 2006 when the Bears claimed the Class 3A title.
Current winning streaks: Dixie – 6, Bear River – 3.
Dixie is 28-7 in home playoff games.
Bear River has its most wins since going 10-4 in 2006.
Tooele (9-1) vs. Pine View (8-2)
Series record: Pine View leads 4-1. Last meeting: Oct. 28, 2006 – Pine View 52, Tooele 14, Class 3A first-round at Pine View.
Coach vs. coach: First meeting between Tooele’s Kyle Brady and Pine View’s Ray Hosner.
Last quarterfinals: Tooele – 2015, blasted Hurricane 35-7 before falling to Dixie in the semifinals; Pine View – 2015, lost to Dixie 28-23. Pine View last visited the semifinals in 2014.
Current winning streaks: Tooele – 6, Pine View – 2.
The Buffaloes are 15-5 in home playoff games.
Tooele has its most victories since posting a 10-2 record in 2002 and winning the Class 3A crown, its fifth state title.
3A Semifinals at Weber State
Morgan (8-3) vs. Delta (8-3)
Series record: Morgan leads 11-8. Last meeting: Sept. 9, 2016 (Week 4) – Morgan 28, Delta 14, at Delta.
Coach vs. coach: Morgan’s Kovi Christiansen is 3-0 vs. Delta’s Russ Fowles.
Last semifinals: Morgan – 2015, crushed North Sanpete 43-22 before falling to Juan Diego in the championship; Delta – 2010, lost to Hurricane 38-7. Delta last competed in a title game in 2001 when the Rabbits won their ninth crown.
Current winning streaks: Morgan – 1; Delta – 5.
Delta has its most wins since its 10-2 season in 2010.
Juan Diego (6-4) vs. Juab (8-3)
Series record: Juan Diego leads 7-1. Juab’s only victory in the series came in 2001, Juan Diego’s second season. Last meeting: Nov. 6, 2015 – Juan Diego 28, Juab 13, Class 3A semifinal at SUU.
Coach vs. coach: Juan Diego’s John Colosimo is 5-0 vs. Juab’s Mike Bowring.
Last semifinals: Juan Diego – 2015, defeated Juab 28-13 before winning the Class 3A title; Juab – 2015, lost to Juan Diego 28-13. Juab last made the championship game in 2014.
Current winning streaks: Juan Diego – 1, Juab – 7.
Juan Diego appears in the semifinals for the seventh time in nine years.
Juab is in the semis for the fourth year in a row.
2A Semifinals at Weber State
Summit Academy (9-1) vs. Beaver (9-1)
Series record: Summit Academy leads 1-0. Only meeting: Oct. 31, 2014 – SA 22, Beaver 19, Class 2A quarterfinal at Summit Academy.
Coach vs. coach: first meeting between Summit Academy’s Les Hamilton and Beaver’s Steve Hutchings.
Last semifinals: Summit Academy – 2014, shut out San Juan 24-0 before losing to South Summit in the finals; Beaver – 2015, trimmed North Summit 14-6, then defeated South Summit to win its 10th state title.
Current winning streaks: Summit Academy – 6; Beaver – 5.
San Juan gave Summit Academy and Beaver each team’s only loss.
San Juan (9-1) vs. South Summit (9-1)
Series record: San Juan leads 7-4. Last meeting: Aug. 19, 2016 (Week 1) – South Summit 35, San Juan 26, at South Summit.
Coach vs. coach: South Summit’s Mike Grajek is 1-0 vs. San Juan’s Monty Lee.
Last semifinals: South Summit – 2015, dominated San Juan 47-23 en route to winning the 2A championship – its sixth state crown; San Juan – 2015, lost to South Summit 47-23.
South Summit makes its eighth straight semifinal appearance, while San Juan is in the semis for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Since 2005, San Juan has advanced to the finals five times (in 2005, ’06, ’09, ’10 and ’12, taking State in ’06, ’09 and ’10). South Summit has been in the championship game five times in the past seven years (in 2009, ’10, ’13, ’14 and ’15, celebrating titles in ’13 and ’14.)
Current winning streaks: San Juan – 9, South Summit – 3.
South Summit hopes to claim its fourth straight double-digit win season and sixth in eight years.
A San Juan victory rewards the Broncos with its ninth double-digit win season in 12 years, but first since 2014.
San Juan’s only loss came to South Summit, while South Summit’s only setback was to Summit Academy.
1A Semifinals at Weber State
Duchesne (9-1) vs. Milford (7-3)
Series record: Duchesne leads 19-6. Last meeting: Aug. 19, 2016 (Week 1) – Duchesne 35, Milford 9, at Milford.
Coach vs. coach: Duchesne’s Jerry Cowan is 4-0 vs. Milford’s Thayne Marshall.
Last semifinals: Duchesne – 2015, lost to Kanab 16-14; Milford – 1999, fell to Manti 31-14 (Class 2A).
Duchesne last qualified for the championship game in 2013, while Milford last made the finals in 1994.
Current winning streaks: Duchesne – 6, Milford – 3.
Duchesne’s sole loss was to Kanab.
Kanab (10-1) vs. Rich (6-4)
Series record: Kanab leads 8-2. Last meeting: Sept. 16 (Week 5) – Kanab 14, Rich 0, at Rich.
Coach vs. coach: Kanab’s Bucky Orton is 8-2 vs. Rich’s Ashley Brown.
Last semifinals: Kanab – 2015, tripped Duchesne 16-14 before losing to Diamond Ranch in the title contest; Rich – 2015, fell to Diamond Ranch 34-0. Rich last advanced to the finals in 2014.
Rich battles in the semis for the 11th straight year and 14th time in 16 seasons. During those 16 seasons, Rich advanced to the championship game nine times including six of the past nine years.
Current winning streaks: Kanab – 9, Rich – 3.
Kanab’s only loss was to Class 2A’s Beaver.
Felt’s Facts welcomes questions – email email@example.com.
Nathan Harker is a sports writing intern currently enrolled at Brigham Young University majoring in broadcast journalism. Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @n8_harker.