Felt’s Facts: Casting an eye toward the playoffs as regular season wanes

Felt’s Facts – Week 8 2016

The 2016 Season’s Real Halfway Mark

With seven weeks in the books, it may seem the season is nearing its conclusion. But there’re still seven weekends of football left until the last champions are crowned.

Undefeated Region Matchups

Five regions feature a pair of teams that remain undefeated in league play. Class 1A South has three 1-0 teams, but they’ve barely begun region competition. This week, three contests match unbeaten-in- region teams. In Class 5A’s Region 1, Roy visits Sky View; in 1A North, Rich entertains Duchesne; and in 1A South, Diamond Ranch invades Monticello.

Postseason at a Glance

Looking toward the postseason, 22 teams have already secured playoff berths, but 18 of them qualify just by showing up – all of Class 3AA South and the entire 2A classification. Salem Hills, Springville (both in Region 8), Stansbury (3AA North) and Morgan (3A North) have played their way in.

With 22 berths locked up, 50 spots remain up for grabs.

Nine teams clinch playoff berths by winning this week regardless of the outcome of other games.

In the larger classifications, they include Lone Peak (Region 4), Highland (Region 5) and Olympus (Region 6). Smaller classification candidates include the winner of Tooele at Bear River (3AA North), Juan Diego and the winner of Grantsville at Emery (3A North), Juab (3A South), and Kanab and the winner of Diamond Ranch at Monticello (1A South).

Other teams can clinch berths, too, but they’re dependent on the results of other games.

The Unbeaten

Entering Week 8, Alta, Bingham, East and Springville remain undefeated with 7-0 records. Alta has its best record since starting 11-0 in 2003. Bingham won its first 14 and East captured its first 13 in 2013. Springville started the 2014 season with an 11-0 record.

Most Wins Since…

An American Leadership (4-3) victory gives the Eagles five wins for the first time in its 11-year history. Ben Lomond (4-3) hasn’t won five games in a season since going 6-5 in 2000. Lehi (5-2) seeks six season wins for the first time since 2004 when the Pioneers compiled a 6-4 record. West Jordan (5-2) guns for six victories for the first time since the Jaguars finished 7-4 in 2009.

Consecutive Winning Seasons

San Juan (6-1) has secured its current state-high 14th straight winning campaign. Highland (5-1) needs one more victory to extend its streak to 14 seasons, matching San Juan for state high. Bingham (7-0) is guaranteed its 13th in a row while Davis (6-1) has garnered its 11th straight. Jordan (5-1) needs one more win to lock up its 12th straight winning season. (Skyline holds the all-time record: the Eagles had 23 consecutive winning seasons from 1989-2011.)

First-time Matchups

As with last week, there’re just two games pairing teams for the first time and both involve new schools: Ridgeline at Park City and Skyridge at Mountain View.

Most-played Rivalries (min. 50 games)

Springville and Payson renew Utah’s fifth most-played rivalry for the 94th time. Springville controls the series 55-31- 7 and has won the last four.

Kanab holds a rather lopsided 69-4- 1 series edge over Parowan as they meet for the 75th time. The series began in 1949 and Kanab has won 52 straight over the Rams going back to 1971.

Cedar and Hurricane duke it out for the 66th time in 68 seasons – since 1949. Hurricane has taken six of the last eight, but Cedar still dominates the series 44-18- 3.

Juab leads its series with North Sanpete 27-25 going into their 53rd meeting. They’ve split the last six.

Fast Scoring

Several teams have posted big point totals this season, notably Jordan’s 91 and Taylorsville’s 83 in the same game, as well as Beaver’s 76 last week and East’s 73 two weeks ago. But no squad this year has scored as many points in a brief period of time as Pine View did last week. The Panthers tallied 21 points in just 1:01 against Hurricane.

As described by Andy Griffin in the St. George News, Pine View led 21-12 with 6:09 left in the third quarter when the Panthers scored on a Ryan Javines to Daniel Larsen pass. Two major penalties on the extra point moved the kickoff to the Hurricane 30. PV then recovered its onside kick attempt and scored two plays later – a Javines pass to Lance Mandrigues. Following an interception on Hurricane’s ensuing series, Javines connected with Jacob Mpungi as Pine View’s lead exploded to 42-12 with 5:08 remaining in the third.

The record for scoring 21 points in the shortest time goes to Timpview, which accomplished the feat in 0:40 in 2013.

It’s really not possible to say there’s an overall record for most points in a brief period of time, but for comparison, here are some other achievements that fit in the category. East racked up 47 points in 4:00 (1919), Timpanogos scored 34 in 3:59 (1997) and Hunter tallied 31 in 3:00 (1993).

Pine View has another similar scoring flurry in its history. The Panthers scored 26 in 1:32 in a 2007 game.

Last Week…

Alta tripped Skyridge 59-56 and accumulated 731 yards of total offense. That’s the eighth most in a Utah prep game. The teams combined for 1,282 yards, the sixth most. Skyridge’s 56 points is the second most in a losing effort (in a regulation game) to Taylorsville’s 83, which happened just three weeks earlier. The combined 115 points is the 16th most on record.

Tooele amassed 530 total yards – all from rushing. That’s the 19th most rushing yards all-time in a game. Ten players carried the ball, led by Jeno Bins’ 158-yard output. The Buffaloes only attempted one pass all evening while rushing 49 times.

Alta’s Joshua Davis totaled 482 all-purpose yards, the fourth-most in state history. (He also had the seventh best performance, 444 yards, on Aug. 26.) Davis now ranks third in career all-purpose yards (6,655). He’s also 15th in career net rushing yards (4,109), tied for 15th in career touchdowns scored (56) and 18th in career rushes (510).

Summit Academy’s Isaac Hamilton completed 39 passes, tying for sixth most all time, for 509 yards, tying for the fifth most all time and just 29 yards off the state record. (Incidentally, he threw to 11 different receivers, led by Tryston Peery’s 184 yards.) Hamilton lost seven yards rushing, but still had 502 yards of total offense.

Two other quarterbacks also collected more than 500 yards of total offense – that’s now happened 46 times in Utah prep history. Jordan’s Crew Wakley compiled 510 yards – 356 passing and 154 rushing. Lehi’s Cammon Cooper totaled 501 yards – 473 passing, the 29th most in Utah prep history, and 23 rushing.

Park City’s Collin Zur had 19 reception yards and needs just 23 receiving yards to become the 26th Utah prep gridder to reach the 2,000-yard mark for career reception yards.

State Reception-yards Record

Trevor Phibbs in the Salt Lake Tribune noted that Jordan’s Spencer Curtis set the state mark for career reception yards (3,714) and listed his career-to- date achievements, but those are included here, just for the record. In addition to his state record, Curtis ranks second in receptions (211) and sixth in touchdown catches (34).

Most-improved

For the third week in a row, Layton Christian leads this week’s list of most-improved teams over last year. LCA has gone from 2-9 to 5-2, an improvement of 5.0 games. (The NCAA calculates the improvement by taking the difference in victories and the difference in losses, adding the two numbers and dividing by 2.) Bear River and Woods Cross are the next most-improved teams, showing a 4.0 game improvement from 3-8 to 5-2.

Current Winning Streaks

East (7-0) enjoys a 16-game undefeated streak. But that’s well short of the school record streak of 24 games set from 1955-57. The Leopards are the only team to carry over a winning streak from last year. Thus, the other four 7-0 teams, Alta, Bingham and Springville, have the next longest current winning streaks. San Juan (6-1) and Stansbury (6-1) have won six in a row.

Kanab (6-1), Morgan (5-2) and Salem Hills (6-1) have captured five straight.

Milestone Games

Tooele aims for its 400th victory. Weber plays its 800th game and Layton, its 500th. Juan Diego competes for the 200th time; John Colosimo has directed all of the Soaring Eagles’ contests.

This Week’s Top-5…

Scoring teams: East, 49.3 ppg; Alta, 48.3; Beaver 46.9; Bingham, 46.1; Fremont 42.4.

Defensive teams: Bingham, 9.1; Rich, 9.2; Kanab, 9.6; Duchesne 11.2; Bear River, 11.6.

By victory margin: Bingham, 37.0; East, 33.7; Beaver, 32.6; Fremont 25.9; Timpview, 23.7.

Nationwide Recognition

This week’s national polls rank Bingham as high as 19th and East at 24th. In those polls, the only states with more than one ranked team are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas – and Utah.

See you on the sidelines!

Felt’s Facts is a weekly column covering the vast area of prep football landscape in the state of Utah and is written by George Felt.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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