Felt’s Facts: 2016 football playoffs, Round 1 edition

Felt’s Facts – Week 11 2016

Tournament Time

Of the 72 teams in this year’s playoffs, 61 – nearly 85% – also played in the 2015 tournament. Seven more return after a one-year hiatus: Canyon View, Grantsville, Hillcrest, Maple Mountain, Orem, Taylorsville and Woods Cross. Northridge last appeared in 2013. That accounts for 69 playoff squads.

The 2016 field includes two teams that have gone a long time without seeing tournament action. Ben Lomond last appeared in 2007 and Lehi makes – and hosts – its first tourney game since 2004.

New Ridgeline becomes the 14th school to qualify for the state playoffs in its first year. It’s only the third school to host a tournament game its first season. The other two, Mountain View (1980) and Corner Canyon (2013), both won their first-ever playoff games.

Notably Absent

For the first time since 2007, a defending champion failed to qualify for the playoffs the next season. And 2016 sees two such teams, Herriman and Logan.

Herriman had qualified since 2010 when the school opened. Logan had also appeared six straight seasons, since 2010.

Bountiful, which last stayed home in 2000, ends a streak of 15 straight appearances. Judge Memorial sits out for the first time since 2004 – a streak of 11 consecutive playoffs – and Brighton for the first time since 2010.

Frequent Contestants

Fifteen schools have made the postseason at least 80% of the time those schools have played football. Five have perfect attendance, led by Rich, which has been in all 32 years of the school’s existence. The others are Desert Hills (ninth appearance), Diamond Ranch (sixth), Summit Academy (fifth) and Ridgeline (first).

The other ten 80-percenters: Hunter, 96.3% (26 of 27 seasons); Juan Diego, 94.1% (16 of 17); Lone Peak, 90.0% (18 of 20), Syracuse, 90.0% (9 of 10) and Timpview, 90.0% (36 of 40); Herriman, 85.7% (6 of 7); Fremont, 82.6% (19 of 23); Alta, 82.1% (32 of 39); Skyline, 81.8% (45 of 55); and Duchesne, 80.4% (37 of 46).

The Top-20 Playoff Appearances (including 2016)
1. Millard – 64
2. Box Elder – 60
3. Delta – 54
4. Orem – 52
5. Grand County – 51
6. Beaver – 50
7. Davis, Logan, Morgan, North Summit – 49
11. Kanab, Wasatch – 47
13. Jordan, Springville – 46
15. Monticello, Skyline – 45
17. Bingham, East – 44
19. Dixie, Highland, Judge Memorial – 43

Through last week, Millard has played in 131 state games, Skyline – 118, Delta – 107, Davis and Beaver – 101.

The Top-20 Postseason Victories (through Oct. 20)
1. Skyline – 88
2. Millard – 80
3. Timpview – 69
4. Delta – 63
5. Beaver – 62
6. Davis – 60
7. Dixie – 59
8. San Juan – 57
9. East, Judge Memorial – 56
11. Bingham, Jordan, Kanab – 54
14. Highland, Logan – 53
16. North Summit – 51
17. Morgan – 50
18. Bountiful, South Summit – 49

Consecutive Years in Playoffs

Here’re the schools that have advanced to the postseason at least 20 straight seasons, including this year (active streaks in bold).

40 seasons, San Juan, 1977-2016
38, Delta, 1975-2012
34, Highland, 1983-2016
32, Rich, 1985-2016
28, Bingham, 1989-2016; Skyline, 1985-2012
27, Beaver, 1990-2016; Timpview, 1990-2016
26, Bear River, 1981-2006; Hunter, 1991-2016
23, Bonneville, 1978-2000
22, Millard, 1995-2016; Morgan, 1995-2016
21, Davis, 1972-1992; Kanab, 1971-1991; Monticello 1973-1993
20, Alta, 1997-2016; Beaver, 1969-1988; Manti, 1997-2016

Other lengthy active streaks include Monticello, which advances to the playoffs for the 18th consecutive year (since 1999), Duchesne and North Summit, which make the postseason for the 17th year in a row (since 2000) and Juan Diego, which sees tournament action for the 16th straight year (since 2001).

Quarterfinal Streaks

A note of explanation: In smaller classifications, fewer teams means fewer rounds in state tournaments, so, often, the quarterfinal round is also the first round of the playoffs.

San Juan appears in the quarterfinals for the 30th consecutive season with a qualifier: the quarterfinal was also the Broncos’ first playoff game 15 of those years, including this one. With a victory at home this week over Grand County, the Broncos make the semis for the 22nd time in those 30 seasons.

Manti competes in the quarterfinals for the 17th time in 20 years, but 12 times, including this season, the quarterfinal was the Templars’ first playoff game.

Grand is a quarterfinalist for the ninth time in 12 years, but four times, the quarterfinal was the Red Devils’ first playoff contest. This year, Grand won first-round game to advance to the quarterfinals.

Opening-round Winning Streaks

Several schools enjoy lengthy opening-round active winning streaks. Bingham has bagged 12 straight first-round games. San Juan has snagged 11 and Rich has captured 10. Hurricane has grabbed eight consecutive opening-round contests while South Summit has won seven.

Skyline holds the state record. The Eagles snared 13 straight tournament openers from 1993-2005. Bingham matches that with a victory this week.

Seeking First Tourney Win a While

Two of this year’s participants haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990s. Kearns last celebrated a tournament win in 1993 (0-11 since) and Milford last pocketed a postseason victory in 1999 (0-14 since).

In addition, Ben Lomond attempts to pick up its first playoff win since 2000 (but just 0-2 since). Lehi last won a tournament game in 2002 (0-3 since). Park City is 0-6 since advancing to the 3A quarterfinals in 2009.

Home-field Advantage

Ten schools, led by Skyline’s remarkable 38-0 home playoff record, have won every postseason game on their own turf. Of the 10, only Summit Academy (2-0) hosts this season.

A dozen more hosting this week have a decided home-field postseason advantage. By percentage:
San Juan – .941 (32-2)
Kanab – .917 (22-2)
Timpview – .905 (38-4)
Beaver – .885 (23-3)
Fremont – .882 (15-2)
Rich – .875 (14-2)
Juab – .857 (12-2)
Bingham  – .846 (33-6)
Highland – .833 (20-4)
Syracuse – .800 (4-1)

Millard has the most home wins in the postseason – 42, followed by Skyline and Timpview – 38, Bingham – 33, San Juan – 32, Delta – 31 and Morgan – 30.

First-year Coaches

The season saw 29 coaching changes from 2015, and 16 of the newly hired coaches advanced their teams to the playoffs. Of the 20 who are first-time mentors, 12 took a team to the tourney: Cazzie Brown (Hillcrest), Ricky Dias (Diamond Ranch), Zac Erekson (Skyline), Mike Esplin (Snow Canyon), Jon Faimalo (Emery), Jeremy Hill (Orem), Christopher Howell (Ridgeline), Andru Jones (Layton Christian), Devin Lindley (North Sevier), Andy Messersmith (Enterprise), Josh Montzingo (Park City) and Ethan Stephenson (Millard).

Four of the nine who had previous head-coaching experience, but are new to their school, qualified for postseason action: Mike Grajek (South Summit), Les Hamilton (Summit Academy), Randy Hunter (Beaver) and Mark Wootton (Pleasant Grove).

More Playoff Notes

Four teams with winning records, Layton (6-4); Corner Canyon, Granger and Skyridge (all 6-5) failed to quality for the postseason. One .500 team, Herriman (5-5), didn’t make the cut. But 20 teams with losing records made the tournament “led” this year by Millard (0-9 before falling in the first round of the “all-comers welcome” Class 2A playoffs). The Eagles are the fourth team to get to postseason with a winless record and first since American Leadership in 2014. 

Four of the teams with losing records even host an opening-round game, including Class 2A’s Gunnison, North Summit and South Sevier (all 3-6 at the end of the regular season, and their first-round home games were played last week) and Class 3AA’s Cedar (4-5).

First-time Encounters

The 2016 playoffs open with five first-time matchups including American Fork at Roy and West Jordan at Syracuse in Class 5A; Wasatch at Alta in 4A; and Snow Canyon at Ridgeline and Ben Lomond at Pine View in 3AA.

Repeats of 2015 Quarterfinal Games (3)

In Class 3A, Morgan tangles with Manti for the third straight year in the quarterfinals. Last year, Morgan won 28-14 at Manti en route to a championship game appearance.

In 2A, South Summit entertains Enterprise in a quarterfinal bout for the third consecutive year. SS triumphed 42-0 in 2015 on its way to the state championship game.

In 1A, Altamont invades Kanab; in 2015, the Cowboys repelled Altamont 41-0 and made its way to the state title contest.

Season Repeats

This week also sees nine season rematches: Hunter at Bingham in Class 5A; Canyon View at Juan Diego and Grantsville at Delta in 3A; Grand at San Juan, North Summit at Beaver and South Sevier at Summit Academy in 2A; and Diamond Ranch at Rich, Layton Christian at Milford and Monticello at Duchesne in 1A.

Of those nine matchups, three are reprised on the same field: Hunter at Bingham, North Summit at Beaver and South Sevier at Summit Academy.

More details follow under notes for each classification’s games.

Class 5A Game Notes

Lone Peak is 2-1 against Northridge, including a 21-14 quarterfinal victory at Lone Peak in 2011, the last time they met.

Jordan took care of Viewmont 43-7 in their last encounter, a 2011 quarterfinal at Viewmont. That tied the series at 1-1.

Davis swept Taylorsville the six times these schools have faced off, including a 38-20 win during the 2015 regular season.

Fremont stymied Pleasant Grove 29-6 in a 2010 first-round playoff game to retain a perfect 3-0 record against the Vikings.

Lehi and Sky View meet for the third time, but for the first time in postseason. Lehi grabbed the first encounter in 1993 and Sky View retaliated in ’94.

Season rematch: Bingham tackled Hunter 42-7 at home on Sept. 23 (Week 6), bumping the Miners’ record against the Wolverines to 15-7, including the last 10 in a row.

First-time meetings: American Fork at Roy and West Jordan at Syracuse.

Class 4A Game Notes

Skyline holds a 20-8 series edge over East, but the Leopards knocked Skyline from the playoffs, 20-13, in a 2011 quarterfinal, legendary coach Roger DuPaix’s last game, the last time these teams collided.

Timpview and Salem Hills tangle for the fifth time; Timpview has a 3-1 series edge, all region games, including a 42-21 shellacking when they last met in 2014. Salem Hills’ victory came by forfeit in 2011.

Olympus and Box Elder duel for the sixth time with Oly enjoying a 3-2 series lead. The Titans ousted BE from the 2011 tournament with a 17-12 first-round victory the last time they played.

Maple Mountain has never lost to Provo in four meetings, including a 35-20 region win in 2014 when they last faced off.

Highland and Hillcrest clash for the seventh time, but for the first time since 1994 and for the first time in the playoffs. Highland shut out the Huskies 16-0 in ’94 to up its series lead to 5-1.

Orem dominates its series with Springville 32-12-3 as they meet for the first time since 2012. Orem won that encounter 45-18.

Woods Cross is 2-0 against Kearns including a 50-0 scorching in 2014, the last time they crossed paths.

First-time meeting: Wasatch at Alta.

Class 3AA Game Notes

Cedar and Park City fight for the ninth time. In their last encounter, Cedar trimmed the Miners 23-13 in a 2013 first-round contest at Park City. But PC maintains a 6-2 series lead.

Hurricane rattled Bear River 38-26 in a 2013 first-round game to claim a 2-1 series lead.

First-time meetings: Snow Canyon at Ridgeline and Ben Lomond at Pine View.

Class 3A Quarterfinal Notes

Manti and Morgan clashed last year in the 3A quarterfinals when the Trojans ousted Manti 28-14. Morgan leads the series 7-4.

Juab plays Emery for the 27th time, but first since 2010, when Juab celebrated a 13-7 overtime win to narrow the Spartans’ series lead to 15-10-1.

Season rematches (2): Canyon View tripped Juan Diego 28-21 at home last week, on Oct. 21 (Week 10). That evened the series at 1-1. Delta commands Grantsville 11-3 and has captured eight of the last nine over the Cowboys. That includes a 26-19 victory at Grantsville just over a week ago, on Oct. 19 (Week 10).

Class 2A Quarterfinal Notes

South Summit eliminated Enterprise in the quarterfinals in both 2014 (48-14) and 2015 (42-0) in their only previous meetings.

Season rematches (3): Summit Academy eclipsed South Sevier 21-19 at home on Sept. 2 (Week 3) to extend its series lead to 2-0. Beaver crushed North Summit 55-20 at home on Sept. 9 (Week 4) and improved to 15-6 against the Braves. San Juan vanquished Grand 49-0 in a road game on Oct. 14 (Week 9) to build its series lead to 43-28.

Class 1A Quarterfinal Notes

Kanab has a pristine 7-0 record against Altamont, including a 41-0 victory in a 2015 quarterfinal when they last met.

Season rematches (3): Duchesne slammed Monticello 35-0 on the road on Sept. 16 (Week 5) for the Eagles’ tenth straight victory over the Bucks, but Monticello still leads the series 26-20. Layton Christian ruled Millard 30-20 at home on Oct. 7 (Week 8) to grab a 7-5 series lead. Diamond Ranch nipped Rich 21-18 at home on Sept. 23 (Week 6) and narrowed Rich’s series lead to 5-4.

Drum Game

Monument Valley and Whitehorse have inaugurated The Battle of the Drum, which includes a traveling trophy, a custom-made drum, to commemorate the rivalry of these two Navajo Nation schools. They collide for the 35th time with Whitehorse holding a slim 18-16 series lead.

Most Wins Since…

Kearns (8-2) has matched its eight-win total of 2015, but hasn’t won nine games since its 10-2 season in 1993. Lehi (7-3) hasn’t fared better since the Pioneers won 10 games in 2002, the last time they won a playoff game. Tooele (9-1) has its most victories since winning 10 in 2002. Miford (6-3) goes for seven season wins for the first time since 2004, the Tigers’ last winning season (7-4). West Jordan (8-2) seeks its ninth season victory for the first time since 2005. A Bear River (7-3) win hands the Bears its most victories since going 10-4 in 2006.

Successful First Seasons

Through the 2015 season, 17 schools had posted winning records their first year. Skyridge, which ended its season at 6-5 and Ridgeline, 7-3 so far, become the 18th and 19th. That’s out of 134 programs all-time. Ridgeline ties Timpview, which opened in 1977 and finished 7-3, with the most victories its first season. In addition to Skyridge, four other schools concluded their inaugural season with six wins: Corner Canyon (2013), East Carbon (1959), Mountain View (1980) and Roy (1965).

Milestones

Wasatch attempts to pick up its 450th victory and West Jordan its 150th. Woods Cross plays its 400th game, Whitehorse its 300th and Canyon View its 200th. Hunter competed for the 300th time in its Region 2 playoff game against Granger.

The current East Leopards try to become the 25th team to win at least 20 consecutive games. The Leopards own two longer streaks: 24 straight from 1955-57 and 21 in a row from 1920-23. Duchesne holds the state record with 48 straight wins (2010-14).

With its overtime victory over Layton last week, Davis became the 21st team to play at least three overtimes in a season. Incidentally, that Davis-Layton game has the distinction of being Utah’s 600th overtime contest since OT started in 1974.

Season Shutouts

Enterprise, Milford, Rich and San Juan have all posted three shutouts, the most in the state this year. For Milford, it’s the most in a season since 1993 when the Tigers also whitewashed three opponents.

The Regular Season’s Top-5…

Scoring teams: Alta, 50.6; East, 46.5; Bingham, 46.1; Beaver, 44.9; Jordan, 44.8.

Defensive teams: Kanab, 9.8; Duchesne, 10.4; San Juan, 10.9; Rich, 11.4; Bingham, 11.8.

By victory margin: Bingham, 34.3; Beaver, 32.3; East, 31.2; South Summit, 25.7; Fremont 23.9.

99-yard Pass Plays

Through the 2015 season, just 14 pairs of players had connected on 99-yard pass plays. Two more accomplished that feat this season – on successive weeks: Lehi’s Cammon Cooper to Dallin Hooker on Oct. 19 and Orem’s Cooper Legas to Hunter Van Buren on Oct. 25.

However, two such plays in a season aren’t unique to 2016. It’s happened twice before, in 1983 and 1997, but not on successive weeks.

See you on the sidelines!

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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

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